ideas to make this mantle idea work

Shannon01September 22, 2007

Ok. We have an inspiration for our fireplace surround. Since the wall is recessed we would like to build hidden shelves to house our tv/stereo components possibly on both sides, thus taking advantage of all that space.

We are pretty sure we need to make the mantle legs be on outside. It is the space between where the tile ends and the legs are that has stumped us. Because the tv is going to take up most of the space above the mantle we will have the shelves on the lower half with access to the upper area if you take the shelves out. There is an outlet up there that the tv will use so we want access to it of course.

I have included before, so you can see how the mantle will be long as the original, inspiration, so you can see what we want to do, current, so you can see the mess we made, and a drawing of what we think we want to do with the inspiration. I put question marks on the two areas by the legs that perplex me. Should I leave them flat, painted panels or should I trim them like the legs and mantle? These will somehow be the doors to access the shelves. The whole unit will be wood painted white.

I hope this is not a stupid question, but do I have to put down drywall then attach the wood panels or can the wood panels go directly onto the framing?

Any advise would really be appreciated. We built a custom surround for our old bigscreen floor tv in our other house but this just seems so much harder. Oh, the dotted line area at bottom of my drawing is where the hearth goes, not sure if we should make it just in front of fireplace or the whole distance.

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You have a very nice home.
You seem to be going for a symmetrical look to fit the dimensions of your tv, so I would go with the way that you have it set up now - tiling all sides of the two nooks with the same tile as the front and using them for your fire accessories.

I do not know enough about your question about the panneling or where you were going to put it to give you an answer but sheetrock might be a good idea just to give the surface treatment some backing.

Be sure to read the instructions from the manufacturer of your insert for clearances to flammable surfaces (I'm sure that you have but it can't hurt to double check). The hearth dimensions might also be affected by this but otherwise I would think that you should make it fairly large to complement the size of the mantle.

Hope this helps, good luck with your project!

Maybe you should try the remodeling forum for more opinions.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 2:33AM
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Thanks for the hint about the other forum, I was wondering which would have most hits.

At first I was not sure what you meant by tiling the nook. Actually that spot where I have the question marks is going to be shelves but will have a door covering it. My question is should that door be just plain white wood or should it have trim around it. The mantle legs will stick out and the doors and fireplace are flush to the wall. I was thinking plain looks good but may look bland, but if I put the trim on them they may look too busy.

I do think your idea of leaving the space open, tiling it all inside, then using that for the two accessories is actually an interesting idea that is certainly doable. Only problem is one side is narrower than the other due to the exhaust vent tube. It comes out on the right side of fireplace then up and out the back of wall. This makes the right side narrower than the left. By doing the doors on the outside, one will not see the difference until you actually open the door. But..... I could make the left side a little smaller to match the right, it is only about 2" smaller. Then I could do the openings like you suggested.

We were considering putting the audio, etc equipment in another room and get that infared remote system to turn stuff on. But that is just more money that I would rather not spend. I think I should keep the equipment behind the little doors, although your idea is really tempting.

Must present this to dh.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 12:37PM
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How about making the mantle legs a little wider? Make one of them hollow (Well, I guess they'll both be hollow.) and put shelves inside the leg to house the equipment. Hinge the front of the mantle leg. The front will be a door, but it won't look like a door. No one will know that it actually opens up.
I've seen this done with narrow legs and that's where people hide their fireplace tools.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 5:02AM
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