How to Block a Fireplace: Expert Tips and Tricks

To block a fireplace, firstly, ensure it is not in use and remove any debris. Secondly, insert an inflatable fireplace plug or install a metal damper.

Fireplaces are cozy and comforting, especially during cold winter nights. However, there may be times when you need to block your fireplace to conserve energy or prevent unwanted critters from entering your home. Whether your fireplace is unused or you want to temporarily block it, there are various methods to accomplish this task.

In this article, we will discuss different ways to block a fireplace efficiently and safely. We’ll explore the pros and cons of each method and how to select the right one for your needs. So, let’s dive into the various ways to block a fireplace!

How to Block a Fireplace: Expert Tips and Tricks


Finding The Right Materials

Fireplaces can be a lovely addition to any home. However, if you don’t use them or need to block them for safety reasons, there are a few things you should consider. One major decision is what materials to use. In this section, we’ll delve into the different materials you can use to block a fireplace, what to look for in these materials, and where to find them.

Explanation Of The Different Materials Used To Block A Fireplace

There are a few common materials that are often used to block fireplaces. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Plywood: This is a sturdy and affordable option that is often used to block fireplaces. It’s also easy to find and can be cut to fit the dimensions of your fireplace.
  • Foam board insulation: This lightweight and easy-to-install material is a great option if you’re looking for something that is easy to handle and won’t scratch the inside of your fireplace.
  • Fire-rated gypsum board: If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty option, fire-rated gypsum board might be your best bet. This material is rated to withstand high temperatures and is often used in fire-resistant construction.

What To Look For In A Material That Will Effectively Block A Fireplace

When it comes to choosing the right material to block your fireplace, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Fire resistance: Whether or not the material is rated to withstand high temperatures is very important. Make sure to choose a fire-resistant material if you plan on blocking your fireplace.
  • Durability: You want to choose a material that is sturdy enough to block the fireplace effectively, but also easy to work with and install.
  • Ease of installation: Depending on your skill level, you may want to choose a material that is easy to install and doesn’t require any complicated processes.

Where To Find The Right Materials For Blocking A Fireplace

Now that you know what materials to look for, where should you go to find them? Here are some options:

  • Local hardware stores: Your local hardware store should have a variety of fireplace-blocking materials available.
  • Online retailers: If you’re looking for more specific materials or a wider range of options, consider shopping online.
  • Specialty retailers: There are some retailers that specialize in fireplace materials, so it might be worth checking if there are any in your area.

Remember, safety is always the most important thing when it comes to blocking a fireplace. Make sure to choose appropriate materials and follow recommended safety guidelines.

Preparation And Safety

Preparing to block a fireplace requires some essential steps to ensure safety and efficiency. Before diving into the process, it is crucial to identify the safety precautions that need to be taken.

Safety Precautions That Need To Be Taken Before Blocking A Fireplace

Blocking a fireplace demands careful consideration of safety. Here are some precautionary measures to take before blocking a fireplace:

  • Turn off the gas supply or seal gas lines if you have a gas fireplace
  • Wear proper safety gear, such as gloves, goggles, and a mask to prevent inhalation of dust and debris
  • Ensure that the fireplace is entirely cool
  • Cover the surrounding area with drop cloths to avoid dirt and debris

Blocked fireplaces present both aesthetic and practical advantages. However, before working on your fireplace, it is essential to gather the necessary tools to work effectively and efficiently.

Tools Required For Blocking A Fireplace

The following tools will make the job of blocking a fireplace more manageable:

  • Measuring tape to take measurements of the fireplace dimensions
  • Hammer and chisel to remove any excess masonry or brickwork
  • Masonry saw to cut any bricks that require resizing
  • Trowel or masonry jointer to smoothen the surface
  • Mortar to block the fireplace

Before blocking your fireplace, it’s essential to clear out any debris and ash that may have accumulated over time.

Clearing Out The Fireplace Before Blocking

Cleaning out the fireplace is essential to prepare for blocking. Clearing out the fireplace involves:

  • Removing any old ash, dust, or debris with a fireplace shovel or broom
  • Cleaning the grates, grate bars and firebacks before removing the flue damper
  • Clearing out the chimney and flue to have a safe and clean working environment

Blocking a fireplace has many advantages like improving the room’s decor and making the room more energy-efficient. However, caution and focus on the safety are essential to achieve a perfect result. Now, you are ready to block your fireplace with these preparations and safety tips.

Stopping Smoke And Drafts

Fireplaces are the essential components of a cozy winter evening. However, they can cause trouble if they are not blocked correctly. If your fireplace is not appropriately blocked, it can let the smoke and cool air drafts inside. To stop this from happening, you need to follow some tips and methods.

In this post, we will discuss how to block a fireplace and specifically focus on ‘stopping smoke and drafts’.

Tips For Stopping Smoke And Drafts From Entering Your Home Through Your Fireplace

Stopping smoke and drafts from entering your home is not rocket science; it requires some simple but effective steps. Here are some tips to help:

  • The simplest tip to stop smoke and drafts is to use a chimney damper. It will close the chimney and stop smoke and draft from entering your home.
  • Install a top sealing damper to stop drafts and keep your home warm. It is installed at the top of your chimney and essentially seals it tightly, preventing cold air from entering your home.
  • A chimney cap can also be a good way to stop smoke and drafts from coming into your home. It prevents the rain, animals, and other debris from entering your chimney, enabling proper ventilation, preventing drafts, and keeping smoke outside.

Methods For Ensuring That Your Blocked Fireplace Is Airtight

Ensure that your blocked fireplace is airtight by following these methods:

  • Invest in a chimney balloon, as it’s a fantastic way to block off a chimney. It is an inflatable device that fills the space allowing you to stop smoke escaping and cold air entering into the home.
  • Use fire-resistant foam to fill the gaps around the edges of the chimney damper. This will prevent hot air from escaping and cold air from entering.
  • Use fiberglass insulation to pack the entire chimney cavity as it is water-resistant, fire-resistant, and has great insulation value. This method prevents any drafts and maximizes heat retention.

Importance Of Testing The Blockage For Any Gaps Or Leaks

It is crucial to test the blockage for any gaps and leaks to ensure proper insulation and prevent smoke and drafts. Here are some ways to test the blockages:

  • Light a smoke pellet, and then place it at the bottom of the fireplace to see if you can see smoke coming out from any gaps.
  • Light a candle and take it around the edges of the fireplace while it burns. If the flame starts flickering, it’s a sign of a draft somewhere, and you might have a leak.
  • Get a blower door test as this test will help you check any air sealing leaks used in construction.

Blocking a fireplace can be an easy process if you follow these tips and methods. Ensure that the blockage is airtight and test for any leaks to prevent smoke and drafts from entering your home. By following these steps, you can have a cozy winter evening without worrying about any fireplace related trouble.

Decorative Fireplace Blocking Techniques

Unique And Creative Ways To Block A Fireplace While Still Maintaining Its Decorative Appeal

A fireplace is an excellent focal point in any room. However, there are times when you may want to block it off temporarily or permanently. Perhaps you have small children who are highly curious or a pet that loves nothing more than curling up in front of the fire.

Luckily, there are many unique and creative ways to block your fireplace while still maintaining its decorative appeal.

  • Use a folding screen: By using a folding screen with a decorative design, you can still showcase the fireplace while keeping it blocked from access. This is an ideal solution for times when you’re hosting guests and want to maintain safety while still having the fireplace as a central element in the room.
  • Convert the space into a bookshelf: If the fireplace is not in use, then you may want to convert it into a bookshelf. You can install shelves inside the fireplace and use it to display your favorite books, decorative items, and family photos.
  • Replace the fire with candles: Candles are a great way to create ambiance and warmth in a room. If you want to maintain the illusion of an active fire while keeping the fireplace blocked, then use candles of various heights and colors to create a beautiful display.

Expert Tips On How To Make Your Blocked Fireplace A Focal Point In The Room

Blocking off a fireplace doesn’t mean it has to disappear altogether. With a bit of creativity, you can turn your blocked fireplace into a focal point in the room. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Install a mantle: Installing a mantle over a blocked fireplace is an excellent way to create a decorative focal point in your room.
  • Use candles: If you decide to use candles to add some decoration, then opt for various heights and colors to create a dramatic look.
  • Display artwork: Hanging a piece of artwork above your blocked fireplace is a smart way to create a focal point in the room while still maintaining the fireplace’s decorative appeal.
  • Use decorative logs: Decorative logs can be used to create an attractive display. Stack them in a creative way to showcase their unique texture and appearance.

Ideas For Repurposing A Blocked Fireplace To Serve A New Purpose

Perhaps you’ve decided to permanently block off your fireplace. That doesn’t mean it can’t still be a useful part of the room. Here are some ideas for repurposing a blocked fireplace to serve a new purpose:

  • Create a home bar: Installing a bar inside a blocked fireplace can be a fun and unique way to display your spirits and glassware.
  • Make it a storage space: If you’re short on storage space, converting a blocked fireplace into a storage space is a great solution. You can install shelves, cabinets, or use decorative bins to store items like books, toys, and other necessities.
  • Create a pet nook: If you have a pet, you can turn your blocked fireplace into a cozy and comfortable pet nook. Add a cushion, pillow, or blanket, and your pet will have a great place to relax and feel secure.
  • Use it for seasonal decoration: Although you may not use your blocked fireplace for its traditional use, it can still be an excellent location for seasonal decoration. For instance, you can use it to display halloween pumpkins, christmas decorations, or even spring flowers.

With these unique and creative techniques, you can safely block off your fireplace while still adopting new ideas to showcase its decorative appeal. By using these different methods, you can make your blocked fireplace into a new focal point in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Block A Fireplace

How Do I Block A Fireplace?

Blocking a fireplace can be done by using various materials like plasterboard, cement, or foam insulation boards. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult a professional if needed.

Why Block A Fireplace?

Blocking a fireplace can help prevent drafts and conserve energy, especially when not being used regularly. It can also improve safety by preventing the buildup of soot and debris in the chimney.

Can I Unblock A Fireplace?

Yes, you can unblock a fireplace if you have previously blocked it. However, you may need to clean the chimney and chimney flue before using it again, and it’s essential to ensure that there are no leftover materials blocking the chimney.

Is It Safe To Block A Fireplace?

Yes, it is safe to block a fireplace as long as it’s done correctly and using proper materials. However, it’s essential to consult a professional, especially if you plan to block a gas fireplace.

How Long Does It Take To Block A Fireplace?

The time required to block a fireplace depends on the methods and materials used, as well as the size and condition of the fireplace. On average, it can take a few hours to a day to block a fireplace.


Blocking a fireplace is a crucial step that should be taken to ensure safety and save energy costs. With the right tools and materials, you can block your fireplace yourself without spending a large sum of money. However, it is important to follow the proper guidelines to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Blocking a fireplace provides a variety of benefits, such as preventing drafty air from entering the home, reducing the amount of energy lost through the chimney, and keeping unwanted critters from entering your home. As you have seen from this guide, there are different methods available to block a fireplace, and each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

We hope this guide has helped you to make an informed decision on the best method suitable for your home and your budget. Remember to seek professional advice when you find yourself struggling. Stay safe, and happy blocking!

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