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One Room Challenge Week 3: Framing Around An Old Fireplace

by - Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Week 3 of the Spring 2020 One Room Challenge is here and we've moved on to the messiest part of our basement remodel.

If you're new to Rambling Renovators, welcome! My name is  Jennifer. I'm an e-Designer and social media strategist and I've been writing this blog since 2007. I live with my husband and daughter in Toronto, Canada in a centre-plan, colonial style house that we've infused with the fresh traditional style we love. We DIY all our renovations and have a fondness for architectural details, built-ins, and classic decor. 

Click over to catch up on: Week 1 (basement layout options) and Week 2 (coastal basement design plan). 

On my Instagram stories, I shared that the newly extended wall was framed in and drywalled. Time to move our attention to the next big issue: framing the fireplace.



Framing Around A Fireplace

As I mentioned, our plan was to update this old fireplace by refacing this fireplace with shiplap and tile. Since we're using the existing fireplace unit, we first needed to determine if we could move the unit forward to sit in front of the new tile. We had the fireplace serviced and cleaned a few weeks ago and the technician confirmed that we had about 4" to play with. Yes, first hurdle cleared!

Once we knew we could only move the unit forward a few inches, we could determine the design of the fireplace. For the upper portion, we could frame a new wall and clad this in shiplap. For the bottom half, the tile would need to be recessed from the shiplap frame and sit as close to the existing stone as possible, so that we could use the old fireplace insert. We would install cement board behind the tile as code requires non-combustible materials around the opening.



Here you can see the simple wood framing construction. The studs were nailed into the ceiling joists, marked by the green tape. The horizontal piece of wood at the top was temporary, so we could start to figure out spacing for the shiplap, sample piece in the upper right corner.

Once the wood framing was up, things moved along quickly. We were able to get the electrician in before everything completely shut down to put in a new plug behind the TV and install boxes for new sconces along the back wall.

How To Hide Cable Wires Above A Fireplace

For the rest of the TV cables, we came up with a solution to run them through the wall. We could only do this because we were essentially starting from scratch, with new framing. If you have an existing fireplace, here's one solution I found that uses the addition of a mantel board to hide wiring.

Using plumbing pipes, we created a chase that runs from behind the TV to bottom right of the fireplace. We'll have a media unit to the right of the fireplace where we can store the cable box, gaming station etc.



Here's my clever idea on how to feed the cables through the pipe. I ran a piece of floral with a jingle bell at the end through the tube. Once the TV is in place, we tie the opposite end of the floral wire which sits behind the TV around the cable cords and pull them through. I'll also pull through another wire the same time we pull the cables so that we'll have extra wire for future use if needed. Fingers crossed this works because there will be no way to fish those cables once the shiplap is up! After the fact, I found this handy product - fish tape - which does the same thing as the floral wire.

Fireplace Tile Options

Next step will be to install the shiplap and then the tile. I was excited to work with The Tile Shop as they carry many beautiful tile options. I wasn't quite sure what look I wanted so here you can see the different samples I considered:


We'll be using the tile on both the fireplace and the backsplash of the kitchenette so I wanted something that would work in both applications.

I could go one of two ways: either earthy and organic with the saturated ceramic tiles from the Color Market line, or something with a more rough hewn, hand glazed kind of look, mostly from the Annie Selke Artisanal collection. Ultimately, I chose the Retro Perla ceramic subway tile. I thought the textured face and uneven edges would juxtapose nicely with the straight, crisp lines of the shiplap.

We've got a few more items checked off our checklist but still a long way to go. Now head over to the other Featured Designers and see how their projects are coming along.


A Glass of Bovino | Beginning in the Middle | Beth Diana Smith | Clark + Aldine | Coco & Jack
Deeply Southern Home| Design Maze | Dwell by Cheryl | Erika Ward | Home Made by Carmona
House of Hipsters | Hunted Interior | Kandrac & Kole | Kate Pearce | Katrina Blair | Liz Kamarul
Veneer Designs | Rambling Renovators | Renovation Husbands | Studio Plumb | Media BH&G





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