How to Measure for a Fireplace Surround

When planning to choose a fireplace surround, it is crucial to have 5 dimensions relating to the box and the wall it is on to properly prepare to choose a surround.

  1. The width of the opening of the actual firebox or “hole” where the fire is set
    The boxes that are direct vent, the measurement of the actual recessed black metal and glass area is needed, whereby a wood burning firebox the actual width of the opening is needed. This opening is 36”

  1. The next two dimensions needed is the top of the opening of the box and the bottom of the opening of the box. 

    The first scenario measures from the floor to the top of the opening of the box at 31”. The measurement from the floor to the bottom of the opening of the box is 1”. The second scenario measures from the floor to the top of the opening of the box at 39 ½”. The measurement from the floor to the bottom of the opening of the box is 9 ¼”.

  1. The next two measurements will reveal how much wall space is available on each side of the box.
    Due to the fact some boxes are not precisely centered on the wall, it is best to measure each side separately and not the length of the entire wall. If the box is off centered it is important to acknowledge that prior to installing a surround that may really make the off centered fireplace more pronounced.


  1. The final dimension needed is the measurement from the floor to the ceiling if there is no crown molding or the floor to the bottom of the crown if there is crown molding.
    This helps determine the how much room is available for a wall treatment as well as reveals an acceptable height for a mantel shelf. If there is an 8’ ceiling, a 6’ high shelf would not look balanced and a 20’ ceiling may require a taller mantel to look substantial in a room with high ceilings. In this scenario, the measurement from the floor to the crown molding is 123”.


Other Factors to Consider


  1. If you have any outlets on the fireplace wall, measuring their location on the wall can prevent jobsite delays and problems with our products covering over the TV outlet or the plugs for lamps and accessories on your mantel.

  1. The location of the gas key is important if it is on the facing of the wall or on the return of a built out wall if you intend to wrap our product around an entire wall for a 3D design. The following are examples of 3D walls of various depths. The last one shows the gas key location to the right of the box and above the raised hearth.

  1. When considering a wall treatment above your mantel shelf, it is important to create a design that is aesthetically pleasing for the size of the room. All the following play a role in wall treatment designs:
    • Location of the box within the room
    • Height of the ceiling
    • Crown molding or not on the ceiling
    • Height of the mantel shelf
    • TV above or not
    • Wall built out in the room or flush
    • Standard hearth, raised hearth, no hearth
    • Wall size vs surround size
    • Windows, hallways, cabinets, doors near fireplace wall