How to Build an Italian Style Fireplace

Have you ever been to Italy, wondered how they build their romantic fireplaces? Find out how to build your own Italian style fireplace.


  1. 1
    Check if your chimney is good to connect to a fireplace. Usually a chimney with 20 centimeter (7.9 in) inner diameter is enough, if you have bigger inner diameter that is not a problem.
  2. 2
    Purchase bricks according to the size of the fireplace, we will build the whole fireplace in bricks, with an oak beam shoulder. Buy an oak beam 15x15 cm approx. 3 meter (9.8 ft) long. Plus we will need insulation material: calcium silicate boards, or equivalent heat resistant boards - we will make the upper cover of the chimney pipes also of this material -,flexible tile adhesive 1-2 bags, metal L profiles to make a frame for the upper chimney pipe covering. And of course we need a fireplace hearth with approx 10 KW power ( with this power you can heat up to 200 m3-s)
  3. 3
    Make the base of the fireplace:
    1. Make a base for the fireplace using the bricks (you can use old used bricks also, just make sure they resist to high temperature 200-600 Celsius)and the flexible tile adhesive. Important: leave a hole (min. 10x30 cm) under the fireplace hearth for the air to come in from underneath (this will cool down the fireplace hearth and carry the heat upwards). The base can take any form you want, but it has to be wider than the sides of the fireplace what we will build on the top of the base for design purposes.
    2. Now when the base is ready, place the fireplace insert (hearth) on the base, make sure you leave 5 centimeter (2.0 in) place between the wall and the back of the fireplace insert. Connect the fireplace insert to the chimney with stainless steel pipes with at least 0,8 mm wall thickness. Insulate the wall if needed (in case of not heat resistant walls)
    3. Build the side walls of the fireplace. Use the bricks and the tile adhesive, and leave 5–7 centimeter (2.0–2.8 in) space between the insert and the sidewalls. You can insulate sidewalls inside to make the fireplace last longer. The sidewalls have to come out from the wall until the sides of the fireplace insert, and there must be at least 2-3 mm space between the side of the fireplace hearth and the sidewalls. Never build or attach anything to the metal fireplace insert (except the steel pipes), otherwise the insert will brake and you will have to change it. When you built up the sidewalls until the level of the upper frame of the insert, you have to make trusses to hold the oak beam console. It has to go under the oak beam what we will place on the top of the sidewalls, at least 10 centimeter (3.9 in)-s. It can be of any form what you like. Place the oak beam on the top of the sidewalls and after you made a U form of the beam with the proper size. (the beam must lay on the top of the sidewall leaning out 5-7 cm-s) and fix it to the bricks with plastic adhesive material of any brand (used to seal water pipes). You can fasten the oak beam into the walls, sinking it 5 centimeter (2.0 in)-s into the wall.
  4. 4
    Now make the covering of the chimney connection pipes of the insulation boards (this will be built on the top of the oak beam, but not fixed to it). Cut out the proper form, make a frame of the metal L profiles, fasten the metal frame on the wall (not on the oak beam). Place the insulation board on the metal frame and fasten it with bolts to the frame. Be sure to make the connections of the boards properly not leaving space between them. Cover the boards with plaster mesh, then render it with décor mortar.
  5. 5
    Clean the base and the sidewalls, and your Italian style fireplace is ready to work and give you lots of joyful moments.


  • Be sure to choose the right fireplace insert to your chimney, ask the salesman for advice. Be sure to well insulate the oak beam.

Article Info

Categories: Candles Lamps and Fireplaces