Despite the rise in popularity, not everyone wants a fireplace inside of their home. Fireplaces need to be maintained and can take up a lot of space. It isn’t uncommon for homeowners to want to seal off their fireplace, but can you just cover your fireplace with drywall?
You can cover a fireplace with drywall with ease. This can be done with either screws or an adhesive to glue to drywall to your fireplace. A combination of both is recommended, as the screws can hold the drywall in place while the glue dries. You can also hire a professional to help with trickier steps, such as closing off the fireplace or hanging the drywall.
In this article, we will go over tips on how to hang drywall over a fireplace properly. Next, we will cover the potential cost implicated by the project. We will touch on important considerations to deliberate before taking on this project. And finally, we will briefly touch on alternative options to drywall.
How Can I Cover A Fireplace With Drywall
Drywall can be hung over the brick or masonry surface of a fireplace by using either glue, nails or screws, or a combination of those two methods. The purpose is to firmly secure the drywall to the masonry to ensure that it does not fall off or slide down.
- Glue: Otherwise called drywall adhesive, is one method to secure the measured and cut drywall to the fireplace masonry. This method reduces the amount of screws or anchors needed to hold the drywall to the masonry. On small areas, you may be able to avoid using screws altogether with the glue method. When you purchase your glue, make sure it is one that adheres to most construction material. Some glues do not adhere to brick, tile or marble.
- Masonry screws or anchors: You will almost certainly need some masonry screws to hold the drywall to the masonry. This method of hanging drywall is the most secure. When purchasing your materials, make sure to purchase masonry rated screws and not a regular wall or wood screw. It needs to be screwed into the mortar and regular screws are not created for this.
- Combination: A combination method of glue and screws means you will cut down the number of masonry screws required for the project. Additionally, the screws will help to hold the drywall in place while the glue dries.
Tips for starting this project:
- Measure and cut the drywall to fit the space. Before you cut, measure again.
- Before hanging the drywall, look into sealing off your fireplace. This is discussed in further detail below.
- Apply glue directly to the masonry, then press the drywall onto the glue.
- Install the masonry screws to the edges of the drywall.
How Much Does It Cost To Cover A Fireplace With Drywall?
The cost to cover a fireplace with drywall could cost approximately $380 up to $1100 (or more depending on the project’s scope). Each project has its own, individual needs but these priced estimates are based on generalizations of costs associated with covering a fireplace.
For these estimates, I used HomeAdvisor to search the average nationwide cost for this project. In the section where I break down the supplies and tools needed for the project, I used the average price of products found on online retailers.
A breakdown of all the costs
- Hanging and finishing drywall. HomeAdvisor suggests that the cost to hang and finish drywall ranges from $999 – $2889 for a 12ft by 12ft room. Of course, a fireplace is typically not as large as a room, so we will use their estimated cost by drywall panel, which is $60 – $90. Let’s assume you use two 4ft by 8ft panels. Your cost here is $120 – $180.
- Typical chimney repair. By chimney repair, we are estimating the potential cost associated with sealing off or securing the fireplace. HomeAdvisor suggests that this service typically costs $160 – $750. This may be as simple as sealing off the flue or additionally sealing the chimney cap and fireplace box. Seek a professional’s advice when sealing off your fireplace.
- Supplies: This project requires supplies for hanging and finishing the drywall (i.e. taping, mudding, texturing). Below is a list of estimated costs for materials for a total of $105.
- Drywall – $15 per 4ft by 8ft panel
- Screws – $10
- Masonry drill bits – $30
- Glue or drywall adhesive – $5 per tube
- Drywall tape – $3
- Drywall mud – $7
- Drywall texture – $15 per can
- Paint – $20 per gallon
Factors To Consider Before Covering Your Fireplace With Drywall
Some drawbacks to covering over your fireplace are a decrease in home value, risk of water damage, risk of pest damage, and potentially creating an awkward shape to the room. Before you embark on this home improvement project, consider the potential disadvantages.
Contact your realtor to assess the potential effect this project can have on your home’s value. Removing a fireplace or making it non-functional could reduce your home’s value.
Putting up drywall in front of your fireplace without taking measures to seal the chimney also means there is a potential risk of water, leaves, and pests being trapped inside the closed space of the fireplace.
Will this project include removing the hearth? If so, then you need to consider the added cost of re-flooring a section of the room. Will you be leaving the hearth? If so, this could leave an awkward portion of mismatched flooring.
Does the fireplace stick out further than the rest of the wall? By only covering the fireplace with new drywall, then you will have a portion of the wall that juts out into your room. Consider if this may look awkward in your space.
What Are Alternatives To Using Drywall To Cover A Fireplace?
An alternative to using drywall could be a simple sprucing up of the fireplace—without covering it completely. Perhaps, the space needs a little paint or new tile to freshen up the look. Secondly, you could also consider other materials to cover the fireplace to turn the area into an accent wall.
Ideas of materials to create an accent wall:
- Wood Paneling