4 Simple Steps to Convert One-Sided Fireplace to Two-Sided

A two-sided fireplace not only brings aesthetics to your home but also distributes the heat evenly. Therefore, a two-sided fireplace is far safer & beneficial than a one-sided fireplace insert due to its design that encloses the flame. 

Considering the benefits of having a double-sided modern fireplace in your living room or home, you have decided to get one. 

Right?

But remember, building a double sided electric fireplace or traditional fireplace costs a lot of bucks than a one-sided electric fireplace. Aside from this, if you have already had a fireplace in your home, then what should you do with the existing one? 

Now you may be thinking to convert one sided fireplace to two sided one. If the answer is yes, definitely, it’s a great idea! But the questions that may appear in your mind as well are-

  • Is it possible to make a double-sided fireplace insert from a one-sided one? 
  • If yes, how feasible and expensive could it be? 
  • What should I consider before converting my one-sided fireplace to a double-sided one? 

Don’t worry!

We will break down every question you have in your mind. So, let’s dig into this article from right here.

3 Things to Consider to Convert One Sided Fireplace to Two Sided

The following considerations will help you a lot when planning to make a two-sided fireplace. 

Your Existing Gas Fireplace is Vented or Ventless

The first and foremost thing you should consider is whether the existing one is a ventless fireplace or want to make it into a ventless gas fireplace. You shouldn’t proceed with the conversation if your existing fireplace is vented. 

Why? 

The flue of the vented fireplace wouldn’t deal with or handle the double-sided fire insert. 

Wall Support

It will be great to consider whether the wall can support the weight of the chimney or not. For example, if the wall you are going to cut out is a room divider and not a load-bearing wall, there will be a structural issue. 

In simple words, your double-sided fireplace can collapse any time if it doesn’t get the right support. 

Cost

The double-sided fireplace insert is completely a new concept in the firebox market. So, like other new products, the cost associated with it will be high.

When it comes to turning a single fireplace into a double, the expense will also be high. But how the amount of money you need to expend will depend on the project difficulties. 

However, the budget will fall between $2k-$3k or less. Though it takes a lot of money, it’s worth your investment. 

Is it Possible to Convert One Sided Fireplace to Two Sided?

The short answer is yes. However, the complexity of converting a one-side fire insert to a two-sided one depends on your existing firebox. 

How much labor it takes to convert a masonry fireplace to double-sided depends on the idea of cutting the damper and parge the chamber. And the cost associated with the workflow also depends on the complexity of the project. 

On the other hand, if you have a brick fireplace and make it double-sided, you can also do it. But it will be a challenging engineered job. In this case, hiring a qualified mason will be your best trait. 

4 Simple Steps To Convert One Sided Fireplace to Double Sided Fireplace

Here is a simple guideline to convert one sided fireplace to a two-sided one easily. If you follow the given 4 steps, hope, it will be effortless for you to convert your fireplace: So, let’s know the steps:

1. Preparation

First of all, you have to make sure everything is in a proper way. Preparing the other side of the fireplace would be the first thing you need to do. 

So, properly clean the side you want your fireplace to be converted. And make sure nothing gets in the way of the next steps. To Clean the wall, you have to take a dry cloth and just wipe it two or three times. 

After that, spray a bit of water on the part of the wall you want to use. This will help you in the next steps.

2. Taking The Measurements 

Get the perfect measurement of your fireplace. You just have to measure the height and the width of your fireplace. 

After taking the measurement, mark the wall on the other side. The measurement has to be as perfect as possible. Make sure the markings are clear. Use a permanent marker for this purpose.

3. Making The Opening in The Wall 

Cut the bricks according to the measurements. You can cut a particular portion of the wall without tearing down the whole wall.

Drill Holes in the Brick:

Draw a series of dots along the line you want to cut your brick. Then drill holes in the position of these dots.

You need to push a bit hard on the drill and give it a bit of a wiggle. Take your time and be patient. You need to vacuum the holes you drilled right after you are done.

Use a Chisel to Cut Out the Brick:

Take a chisel and a hammer to cut out the bricks. Here, the pre-drilled holes will come to use. Place your chisel between the holes and hammer the chisel. 

This will easily break out the bricks. The whole will make the cut neat and clean.  

Chip Out the Mortar:

Now you need to loosen up the surrounding mortar. Mortars are crumbly. So it should be easy to chip it out using the chisel.

Take your time for this part. Finally, use a pry bar to pull out the loosened mortar.

Try to Slowly Remove the Brick by Hand:

So far you were breaking the bonds of the bricks and cleaning off the obstructions. As now they are gone, the bricks are free to move.

You have to use your hand now. Give the bricks some wiggle and the bricks should come out. We recommend you use your hands because it’s a delicate process. If you use a heavy tool here, the wall may crack. 

Pull out all the bricks of the surface you measured:

Repeat the brick removing method we just discussed. If half of the brick falls between the line, drill holes over the line on the brick. And after that, cut the brick in the same way you previously cut other bricks.

Pull out the bricks one by one. Once all the bricks are removed, immediately complete the next step.

Smooth out the corner of the frame:

Use a chisel to smooth out the rough corner of the frame. 

This part of the process can take about 10 minutes. Take your time and be patient. Too much pressure can make a crack on your wall. After the smoothening is done, vacuum out the opening you just build.

4. Giving It The Final Touch. 

Put up the glass sheet just like the old side of the fireplace. Or if it is decorated in any other way, arrange the new side in the same fashion. However, we recommend you to call a professional for this purpose.

And now you are done. 

If you properly follow our instructions, you will have a perfectly converted fireplace from your one sided one. But things may not go this way. It can be difficult for you to get a perfect transparent fireplace.

What happens in most cases is, the new side of the fireplace doesn’t actually match the decoration and the ambiance of the room.

In that case, the best option for you is to install a double-sided fireplace. It may sound like an expensive investment, but it’s actually cheaper than the other available options.

3 Great Benefits Of Having A Two Sided Fireplace

Two-sided fireplaces are quite popular nowadays. Most modern houses use a two-sided fireplace for its multi-purpose and low overall cost.

However, there are many more points that can make you consider installing a two-sided fireplace. Here take a look at their benefits-

Benefit 1: Heats Two Rooms Simultaneously

The name says about the most beneficial aspect of this fireplace. The double-sided fireplace can heat two rooms at the same time. With such fireplaces, more of the house can get warm without additional heating costs.

Benefit 2: Most Convenient Option For Large Rooms

The fireplace of a big room has to be huge and powerful in order to spread warmth throughout the room. Though even a large and powerful fireplace doesn’t effectively heat a huge room, it’s quite expensive to maintain.  

A two-sided fireplace solves this problem. Placing a two-sided fireplace in the middle of the room provides heat to both halves of the area. Its even distribution of heat covers the entire space perfectly.

Benefit 3: Cheaper Than The Alternatives

Installing a two-sided fireplace is cheaper than installing two fireplaces. A two-sided fireplace can be installed in the middle of the two rooms. This way the same fuel and energy will equally heat both sides. 

This reduces installation cost, maintenance cost, and fuel cost. It saves more space as well. Despite being so beneficial, there are some minor demerits as well. The main demerits of a two-sided fireplace are:

  • It needs perfect wall support
  • The decoration of the fireplace may not match on both side
  • Can be difficult to clean and maintain

3 Benefits Of Three Sided Fireplace

Three-sided fireplaces are the focus of attraction in most modern houses. In addition to its ability to evenly distribute perfect heat, it holds aesthetic appeal well. This makes it worth every penny.

However, there is more to it. 

Benefit 1: Even Distribution Of Heat

A perfectly installed three-sided fireplace can evenly heat up two full-sized rooms.

Where conventional fireplaces dissipate heat that is clustered in one area, a three-sided fireplace can perfectly heat up a large area. This makes it perfect for studio apartments.

Benefit 2: Unique Style

A three-sided fireplace can be the center of attraction in a modern home. The design gives an artistic vibe. It can be an abstract structure with unyielding conveniences. Well, any tasteful guest will be impressed by such installations.

Benefit 3: Safer Than Other Options

A three-sided fireplace is safer than the traditional options. Glass surrounding covers the three-sided fireplace. This makes it perfect for houses with children. The glass makes the fireplace look cool as well.

However, there are some points that can make you reconsider installing a three-sided fireplace. Here are some demerits to keep in your mind,

  • The style may not match with the environment of each three sides
  • You need the right wall support to install a three-sided fireplace
  • Three-sided fireplaces are quite expensive. Their total cost can range from $2000 to $3000

FAQs

Can I make my fireplace double-sided?

Yes, you can turn your single gas or electric fireplace insert into a double-sided one. It would be best if your existing firebox is ventless than a direct vent one.

How do I know if my fireplace is safe to use?

Inspect your fireplace often and make sure there is no sign of wear, gaps, and cracks. If you find those issues, fix them for safe use. Therefore, ensure there are no smoke stains. Ensure the chimney functions properly. If not, hire a professional to do the task for you. 

How much does it cost to install a double-sided fireplace?

The average cost of installing a double-sided fireplace falls between $1200-$6000. 

Are double-sided fireplaces efficient?

Double-sided stoves or fireplaces work great for heating a large room or multiple rooms at once. It evenly distributes the heat throughout your room to keep every inch of the home warm. 

Are Electric Fireplaces Safe?

Yes, an electric fireplace is safe because electric fireplaces don’t produce real flames, release any smoke or gas like the wood-burning fireplaces or different types of gas fireplaces or ethanol fireplaces. Well, the companies make such fireplaces by using combustion systems and claim that vented or ventless gas fireplaces, ethanol, and wood fireplace are eco-friendly and safe to use because of this technology.

But, only the electric fireplace generates heat artificially and turns off the heat and flame when requires. So, it’s safe to use. You can learn here details about electric fireplace safety.

Are multi sided fireplace fireplaces efficient as indoor fireplaces?

Yes, a double-sided or multi-sided fireplace is a better heat output solution as an indoor fireplace. A double-sided firebox can efficiently heat a larger room than a single-sided fireplace. 

Firepit or wood stove which one is better as an outdoor fireplace?

Both are better solutions as outdoor fireplace. The difference is when you love to spend your time in your garden or yard sitting by your fireplace, then a fire pit is a better option. But, when you are planning an outing, then a portable wood stove is the perfect solution for you. You can place it anywhere you like. 

Here, it’s mentionable that a wood stove can be the alternative to a fire pit also. You can effortlessly carry it, place the stove in your garden and sit around it to enjoy cozy winter evenings. 

Contemporary or traditional, which fireplace is better? 

The real difference between a modern contemporary fireplace & a traditional fireplace is the fireplace design, look, and style. The modern fireplace comes with a modern design while a traditional fireplace features a traditional design. 

But, in the case of benefits, both are the same. So, if you are fond of traditional looks, you can get the traditional one. While you like modern design, you can buy a modern fireplace with a mantel. Both will provide you the same heat output. 

Is see through fireplace called a double sided fireplace?

Yes, a 2 sided fireplace installation is also called the see-through fireplace. Because it allows a fantastic view from two different rooms like your dining room and bedroom through a glass door. That’s the reason, today, 2 or multisided fireplaces are the great fireplace ideas to many people.

Can I put gas logs in my fireplace?

Yes, you can install a gas log in your wood fireplace or gas insert fireplace. It may be a free-standing or wall-mounted fireplace. It doesn’t matter. Even, you can use a ventless or vented log. It’s your wish except in a few cases. 

Conclusion

From the above discussion, we learned that converting a one-sided firebox to a two-sided one is challenging. You can’t do it yourself if you have no professional skills and knowledge about it. 

In other words, you must hire a skilled professional to accomplish this task for you. The cost you need to spend will depend on the complexity of the project. 

For example, if your existing gas fireplace is ventless, turning it into a double-sided firebox will be simple. So, you don’t need to overpay a mason. On the other hand, turning a brick fireplace into a double-sided one will take a lot of money as it is too difficult. 

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