How To Cover An Unused Fireplace

How To Cover An Unused Fireplace

An unused fireplace can be a source of draft in your home during cold months. Covering an unused fireplace not only helps to improve energy efficiency, but it also adds aesthetic value to your home. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps to cover an unused fireplace and address frequently asked questions about fireplace covers.

Steps to Cover an Unused Fireplace

Step 1: Clean the Fireplace

Before you start covering the fireplace, ensure it’s clean. Use a steel-bristled brush to sweep ash and dust from the fireplace walls, floor, and hearth.

Step 2: Measure the Fireplace

Measure the size of the fireplace. This includes the height, width, and depth of the opening. These measurements are essential when buying the materials for the cover.

Step 3: Choose Your Cover Material

There are different materials that you can use to cover an unused fireplace, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are some options:

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a) Fireplace Cover Board

A cover board is a relatively cheap and straightforward option. It is made of a sturdy material like plywood or drywall, and it is cut to fit the size of the fireplace opening. Cover boards are easy to paint or wallpaper for added decoration.

b) Magnetic Fireplace Cover

A magnetic cover attaches to the metal frame of a fireplace, making it an ideal option for metal fireplaces. Magnetic covers come in different designs, patterns, and colors, allowing you to choose one that matches your decor.

c) Fireplace Draft Stopper

A draft stopper is a highly effective option for covering an unused fireplace. It’s made of an insulating material like foam or wool, and it fits inside the fireplace opening to prevent drafts and cold air. Draft stoppers can be removed quickly when you want to use the fireplace.

Step 4: Install the Cover

The installation process depends on the type of cover you choose. Here are some general guidelines:

a) Fireplace Cover Board

– Cut the cover board to fit the size of the fireplace opening using a saw or jigsaw.
– Paint or wallpaper the cover board to match your decor.
– Cover the edges of the board with adhesive tape to prevent fraying.

b) Magnetic Fireplace Cover

– Attach the magnetic cover to the metal frame of the fireplace.
– Adjust the cover to fit snugly over the opening.
– Smooth out any wrinkles or bumps in the cover.

c) Fireplace Draft Stopper

– Insert the draft stopper into the fireplace opening.
– Adjust the stopper to fit snugly against the walls of the fireplace.
– If necessary, attach the stopper to the fireplace using adhesive tape.

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FAQs About Fireplace Covers

Q: Are fireplace covers safe?

A: Yes, fireplace covers are safe when used properly. They help to prevent drafts and cold air from coming into your home, reducing the risk of fire caused by stray embers.

Q: Can I still use my fireplace with a cover installed?

A: No, it’s not safe to use your fireplace with a cover installed. The cover can trap heat and sparks, creating a fire hazard. If you want to use your fireplace, remove the cover first.

Q: What should I do if I smell gas coming from the fireplace?

A: If you smell gas coming from your fireplace, turn off the gas supply immediately and call a professional to inspect your fireplace.

Q: Do draft stoppers work?

A: Yes, draft stoppers are highly effective in preventing drafts and cold air from entering your home. They are a cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency in your home.

Q: How often should I clean my fireplace cover?

A: The frequency of cleaning your fireplace cover depends on the material you use. If you use a cover board, you can clean it by wiping it down with a damp cloth every few months. Magnetic covers and draft stoppers should be removed and cleaned every six months.

Q: Can I install a cover over a gas or electric fireplace?

A: No, it’s not safe to install a cover over a gas or electric fireplace. These fireplaces require proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide buildup, and covering them can be a fire hazard.


Covering an unused fireplace is a practical and aesthetically pleasing way to improve energy efficiency in your home. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively cover your unused fireplace. When choosing the cover material, consider factors like cost, safety, and ease of use. If you have any additional questions about fireplace covers, consult a professional for advice.

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