Pimp my fireplace...or help sorting this mess!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by norfbech, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. norfbech

    norfbech
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    Hi folks,

    Received my first plasma telly (are they still called 'tellys'? :) ) yesterday and managed to bravely hoist it upon my bare brick fireplace (great movie...).
    Decided against false wall/plastered and snug fitting and went for the industrial creative look (easy to achieve).
    In the alcove below (which I raised last year so it's higher than the floor) I'm going to add my undernourished AV kit comprising of:
    Sky Box
    DVD player
    Gamecube....um, that's it for the moment.

    However I'll soon be adding a 5:1 system (perhaps starting as seperates - amp and 2 speakers and building as I go along).

    As you'll see from the pic below, it's rather haphazard at the moment - no fancy hiding of the cables/wires behind stud wall I'm afraid.
    So...I'm wondering how I'm best to achieve this. On the left of the pic underneath the shelves, you'll see two beanbags - these are currently hiding all the extension plugs and sat/aerial feeds (which I had to buy extension's for today due to the new panel being too far from the points).
    Have considered building a false bottom (either wood or MDF) which fits just under the bottom shelf to hide said cables from view - this shape - [

    The cables from the TV over the fireplace is a little more tricky - has anybody trunked cables on brickwork before? Down and across the skirting along the fireplace to the false bottom is one thought.

    Also considered getting hold of some glass shelf brackets (as per my old tv cabinet) and fixing these to the brick in the alcove, than adding a glass shelf (made up from a local glass merchant) just over half way (just so I could fit a sub woofer for the eventuall 5:1 system).

    Please let me know your thoughts/idea's...I know it's merely a mini project considering some of the home cinema masterpieces shown around here, but I'll love it all the same :)

    [​IMG]

    Cheers.
     
  2. Nick 156

    Nick 156
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    If you are determined to retain the exposed bricks, personally, I'd try and remove some of the pointing between the bricks, and insert the glass shelf into the void. This would enable you to not need the brackets, and could allow for one shelf per component. I wouldn't try and mount the sub within the fireplace either, as you may find it booms, creating an overblown bass effect which would damnage the overall sound. If you have the depth within the fireplace, I'd also try and install some trunking behind the glass shelves, so the cables aren't on view.
    Don't consider this as merely a mini project, it's your living room, and therefore is as important as anyone else's :thumbsup:
    Good luck, and keep the pictures coming!
    Cheers
    Nick
     
  3. mark.carline

    mark.carline
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    in my view (and we all have different tastes) brick fireplaces went out with Spandau Ballet.

    Dont under estimate what a good wet wall plasterer can do for the look of your fireplace / finished project.

    I would have another look at some of the other projects in this forum and pick the one you like the look of the finished pictures - Then just copy it !
     
  4. norfbech

    norfbech
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    None of you like it do you... :(

    Ha ha...no I'm going to keep it...I took down the plaster as it was getting foar too suburban, and it's commented on as a 'feature'. Nu Industrial Chic or something! Spandau Ballet...bit before my time :)

    Ironically we've just had the plasterers in (one job I didn't fancy having a go at...smooth polished finish is an art form).
    Saying that, I have the opportunity of building a false wall around the plasma bracket and having a snug fit (and not having to touch the bracket - it's rock solid in that lintel).

    Nick - that's a great idea...I'll check to see whether the opposing bricks tally with each other. I did actually spend 12 solid hours removing the old pointing - a royal pain it was, so hopefully I've removed just enough to slot them in.
    Had a look at some trunking the other day...from what I saw in b & q it all looks a little unpleasant :(

    Thanks for the advice folks.
     
  5. mikelj

    mikelj
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    Have a look at D-Line trunking - www*************com
     
  6. vinster_2001

    vinster_2001
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    You can hire an SDS drill from HSS Hire Shops (I did) for about £35, they have various diameter drills from 10mm to HUGE that you can use to run mains/speaker cabling through from the side of the fireplace. I used a 25mm diameter drill that now has has a mains lead, sky+ telephone lead & antenna feed x 2, co-ax out to sub, speaker cables, LAN cable etc with a little room to spare, go large! If you do go for it make sure you measure the gap you have from the edge of the fireplace to the nearest wall, the SDS drill and drill bit is VERY long, I had just enough room!

    I got some D-line trunking from Maplins, £15 per 1.5m if memory serves, self-adhesive backing but it can be screwed to the brickwork just as easily.

    I left some room at the back of the glass shelf and ran two pieces of trunking (one vertical and one horizontal) down from the telly (a fine word, by the way) to the floor, I cut strips out of the trunking facia to bring cables out at each shelf level.

    Even the missus was happy....
     
  7. norfbech

    norfbech
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    Mike and Vinster - thanks very much for the replys (thought this thread had been consigned to rubble!).
    Just what I'm after...Vinster - couldn't work out from the post whether or not you had a bare brick fireplace or whether you had plastered/false walled around it - don't suppose you have any photey's to post?
    Nick 156 had a good idea re slotting the glass shelf into the pointing...unfortunately the bricks inside the fireplace aren't straight - I'll have to pick some glass shelf brackets up from the DIY store (leaving a gap at the back for trunking).
    D-Line trunking it is then...:thumbsup:
    I've just constructed a wooden box at the bottom of the shelves as per the pic - this is to tidy away the mess of cables/plug extensions etc...I'll probably wood stain it to match the skirting boards which should make it fairly uniform....but I had thought about drilling through the side, but gave it up as 'silly thinking' - your suggestion has re-invigorated that idea...it's nearly 2 foot wide mind???
     
  8. norfbech

    norfbech
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    Sorry, misread you before - there's an alcove next to the fireplace and it's around 1.75 metres....the actual fireplace is nearly 2 foot wide - do you reckon I'll get a long enough drill for this? Any effect on the structure of the fireplace bearing in mind I'm drilling (I've really taken to this idea now :thumbsup: )? Just leaves the back of the fireplace and the side for trunking...speaker cable (when I eventually pick up a 5:1 system) I'll probably tack into the mortar on the bricks.

    I'll try and post a pic of my very slight update since the last pic.
     
  9. vinster_2001

    vinster_2001
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    I'll try and get a pic to post too! The drills are easily long enough, I went through a chimney breast same as yours. I had the lounge completely re-plastered a while ago and got them to do the alcove as well. I used 1" long angle brackets with the vertical and horizontal slots to allow for slight adjustments. Getting four brackets completely level is not easy, surprised myself and only had to put two of them at an angle. Get a laser spirit level with a splitter to give a horizontal beam if you do! Also, you can get little silicone jobbies (same things you get on kitchen cabinet doors to stop them banging) to protect the glass on the brick or brackets. Got mine from Homebase. Proper glass backets are horrendously expensive, 'bout £30 a shelf as you need four!

    Actually, will definitely post some pics so you have some idea of what I'm talking about!
     
  10. norfbech

    norfbech
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    If you could Vinster - that would be most helpful.
    Doubt I can currently fork out for a fancy laser level at the moment...such a huge queue of objects and desires hammering the wallet and purse.
    Can't quite picture the brackets you used so a photey would be great.
    I've seen a few brackets for glass shelves in b & q (I'll try my cheaper DIY store also). Did you go to a glass merchant for the shelf (again usually works out cheaper).

    Many thanks.
     
  11. digigal

    digigal
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    I'd hang an nice people of expensive material to hide all the cables, etc. But, then again, I'm a female... :)
     
  12. norfbech

    norfbech
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    I've got a couple of tea towels...would they do the trick :)
     
  13. vinster_2001

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    Hi norfbech,

    Laser level - £25-ish from Homebase (again)
    Brackets - £1.50 per 2 pack
    Glass cut to size from glass merchant & rounded/polished edges - £15 ea.

    The main picture shows the (almost) finished result, bit of cable tidying to do behing the Sky+ box but as this will only happen with a shorter scart lead I may just live with it. Also, brackets (you can just make out the silicon grommet jobbie on the top) are yet to be painted to blend in.

    Although you can't see it very well the sub is next to the laptop bag under the table to the left of the fireplace and in the far left corner is a speaker. All the cabling goes through that 25mm hole through the wall. There was JUST enough space to drill in from the left-hand side. Doing this again I'd have picked the 40mm drill.

    I made some templates from card to take to the merchant as each shelf was a different size. The plasterer must has been to the pub for lunch and each shelf got smaller widthiwse from top to bottom and shallower from bottom to top!

    Hope this gives you some great ideas. (not about tea towels though hopefully!)
     

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  14. norfbech

    norfbech
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    Cheers Vinster - that's really helpful...pretty much what I want to do, although my fireplace prefers to go 'au natural'.

    I was actually going to settle for just one glass shelf, but looking at your set up I may plump for 2 or even 3. 40mm you say? Sounds about right that...some of the power leads are quite chunky - 40mm hole ok to drill into a fireplace (I'm perhaps over thinking on the structural front)?
    How much space did you leave at the back of the shelves i.e. what's the distance from the back of the shelf to the back of the fireplace...couple of inches to fit in the trunking (can't work out if you used trunking in the end?)/

    Some of the bricks I'm attaching the brackets to are not level but I'm sure I'll get around this...just thinking how I could get around this without a laser level (I have done in the past, but it's a bit of a pain).

    I've made a box for the power cables/extension leads and varnished/stained it the same colour as the skirting...it's looking a lot tidier already. Still want to retain a little of that 'post industrial' look mind...I think I'd be happier living in loft space...but I don't have loft space money :(

    I'll post a pic of the updates as and when (plasters all dry, time to paint and add coving and other cosmetic 'business').

    Cheers.

    [EDIT] Couldn't see your pics whilst I was replying - spotted the trunking!!
     
  15. Ruudfood

    Ruudfood
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    This is exactly what I am going to try to do. Not sure I'm brave enough to tackle it myself but really wanted some ideas on how it would be achieved before I call any installers. Still in the process of planning my setup but at least I know what I had in mind is easily achievable :)
     

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