How to Remodel a Fireplace to Add Built-in Bookshelves

Using a combination of visually appealing materials will upgrade any existing fireplace. Bookshelves ought to fit into wall sections on both sides of the firebox. Risk of fire or rising smoke makes storage of books higher than the mantel a nasty plan. You can, however, place art objects within the shelving space directly above the mantel. take care to pick out a concept that complements the room’s overall decor.


  1. Sketch the fireplace and surrounding areas on a sketchpad. arrange a general style, beside materials you plan to use. Use oak shelving with oak cabinet doors over shelving in the bottom of every bookcase section to hide muddle. arrange to install heavy crown molding at the ceiling level to allow the shelves a finished, professional look. Draw the planning on graph paper, therefore you can see a way to place the shelves in terms of distance between them.
  2. Figure out the most effective style for a mantel. Build the mantel to mix seamlessly with the bookshelves on either side of the most fireplace structure, as one alternative. get or construct a mantel that’s approximately twelve to fifteen inches in depth and no but two inches thick. Cut the mantel wood to tie-in with shelving, so the mantel seems to be a part of the bookshelf system. style a shorter mantel, if you would like, to fit across a 6-foot dimension about three feet higher than the firebox, as an example.
  3. Nail half-inch plywood sections against the walls on either aspect of the fireplace. Attach the plywood to wall studs. cowl the complete area of plywood on each side with smooth wood veneer cloth. Install four or 5 shelves on both sides of the fireplace and cover all-time low thirty inches with cabinet doors. Glue wood trim over the front fringe of every shelf for a finished look. Install heavy crown molding at the ceiling level of every bookshelf space on each side of the fireplace. Use crown molding to allow the shelves a unified look, very like cabinet space, versus wanting like single shelves simply hooked up to a wall.
  4. Glue a strip of wood molding on the highest surfaces of every shelf. Cut a part of wood trim the width of the shelf and glue it across the shelf about one inch from the outer edge. Install this molding as a small barrier to stay books or art objects from tumbling off the shelves.
  5. Cover the fireplace gap with glass doors created particularly for fireplaces. close the doors if you’ll burn wood versus using gas logs. Use the doors to stay wood smoke and ashes away from the books or art objects as much as potential.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install recessed light fixtures within the ceiling above every bookshelf space, if you wish.
  • Build the bookshelves from glass rather than wood, as another choice. Use thick glass with beveled edges that’s 3/8 inches thick, therefore the weight of books won’t break the shelves.