A media wall can be a great addition to your home. It’s a great way to house your TV and a fireplace along with storing other devices such as your entertainment systems while also adding an elegant touch to the décor in your living room or bedroom. The design possibilities are endless, but it can be daunting when you don’t know where to start.
Don’t worry! This handy guide will teach you everything you need to know about building a media wall that is personalized, unique, and aesthetically pleasing for any space.
1) Create an idea for the design
- Check Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration
2) Get the dimensions of the wall you want to use
- Firstly, get the right measurements of the TV you will be using
- Next, get the measurements of the fireplace that will be below the TV
- Purchase the right materials for the job (timber frame, MDF)
- Create a timber frame scale specification plan
- Chose the measurements for the stud wall and the MDF boarding
- Select MDF finish for the timber frame
3) If you have lighting, create a plan for how the lighting will display and be installed
4) Remove the old fireplace, if you have one
5) Start construction by building the timber frame
- Fix the base framework first and screw it against the wall
- Position the next section of the framework on top of the base – fireplace inset
- Check to see that the recess is designed correctly
- Insert the fireplace into the recess and drill it in place to the timber frame with the screw brackets along the top and along the bottom of the fireplace
- Construct the top frame from the top of the fireplace recess to the ceiling
- Drill the top framework to the wall and ceiling with wood screws
- Screw all sections in place against the wall with wood screws
6) If you have lighting, fit it around the desired alcoves around the TV or media wall
- Have an electrician install the lighting and outlets if you can’t do it
- Line up the wiring to hold within the frame
- Use LED lights for easy installation
- Check to see if they work before moving to the next step
7) Use the MDF panels to cover the timber frame
8) Paint the PDF panels with your desired colour/colours
- Use the MDF primer first and then use emulsion
What Is A Media Wall?
Media walls became popular in the late 2010s when they were available and affordable. Rather than using a bulky TV stand, many homeowners mounted their televisions on the wall above pre-existing fireplaces.
As time passed, homeowners decided to build a specific wall in their homes and dedicate it solely for the television and fireplace. This trend became more popular because many new-built houses don’t come with traditional fireplaces.
Homeowners can now incorporate a variety of media devices into their media walls, which means that they can create a media wall that is not only visually impressive but is also efficient. Also with the rise of efficient electric fires, these types of media walls have become increasingly more attractive.
How To Build A Media Wall With A Fireplace
Before you embark on the media wall project, you will want to do your research. Seek professional assistance, unless you are a DIY pro. We don’t want you to hurt yourself, or your property. If you’d rather let a pro handle it, that’s totally okay. Just remember that there are plenty of pros willing to work with clients who lack experience.
Knowing the process that goes into creating a media wall is important. You don’t want to hire the wrong person who doesn’t have the experience or the right equipment to complete a job properly. Questions like ‘How long have you been building media walls?’ and ‘What are the best materials to use for the wall framework?’ are good for finding out the basics for prospective builders/tradesmen.
The Wall Framework
Most homes use stud walls for their interior construction to house the TV and the fireplace. In general, a stud wall is made up of two-by-six wooden boards that are nailed or screwed together before they are covered in plasterboard. The boards have often painted a colour of your choice, although they can also come in a variety of neutral colours. The stud wall will not only be flush with the ceiling but will also protrude slightly from the wall just like a chimney breast or fireplace.
When building a stud wall, it’s important to first get the dimensions of the fireplace and TV. Remember that a media wall should have a depth of 20 to 24 inches to accommodate all the wiring, entertainment systems and fireplace so make sure to record that down. After you get the measurements, you’ll have to create recesses for the TV and fireplace. If you don’t measure up the dimensions, you will face some costly adjustments down the line.
The Extra Wall Features
It doesn’t matter what type of media wall you use as long as it offers plenty of options for personalising your home. You don’t need to limit yourself to a fireplace and television. You could design a recessed shelf with all your favourite DVDs, CDs and games or even create a space for family photos and paintings. You can check what designs have been created and personalised on Pinterest and Instagram.
Full-length media walls that stretch the whole length of the wall have started to become popular as more people want to incorporate more features in their media walls.
Media walls allow you to place your television and other entertainment equipment at a height that’s best for enjoying some TV, as well as hide the electronic cables that don’t need to be visible. The things that you’ll need to focus on to fix the TV in the media wall include:
- Size – A TV set needs to fit within the available shelf space if you’re planning to get one of these, and be sure to factor in a few extra inches to be on the safe side in case you get a bigger TV in the future.
- Weight – The last thing you’ll want is your TV tipping over and breaking your drywall. If you have a heavy TV, you’ll need to take this into consideration when planning your set up and add some backing to the recessed TV space.
- Mount – If your design has a shelf for the TV, you won’t need a mount and you may want to plan out the cable placement and outlet locations in the wall and back of the shelving. Otherwise, your TV cables might end up in a tangled mess of wires and electrical boxes in the background of the media wall design.
If you want a wall-mounted TV then you’ll need to purchase one that is designed for the TV’s weight and size. An experienced carpenter or contractor will be able to add additional backing to withstand the TV’s weight. You’ll need to plan out where the electrical cables will be hidden within the walls as you don’t want to see any loose cables behind and along the shelves.
Choosing Your Fireplace For Your Media Wall
Many people think the fireplace is the defining feature of the media wall as it can tie all the room decor together and will leave you relaxed when the colourful flames are displayed. But remember to ask yourself the following question when choosing your electric fireplace:
- Will it fit in the media wall? – While some fireplaces are designed to hang from the wall, others are designed to fit into a recess in the framework. If your looking for that sleek and clean finish then an inset fireplace would be best for you as it would fit flush in the wall.
- What is the heat output? – Fireplaces come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but one thing they have in common is that they all need heat to provide warmth. The heat needs to be distributed evenly across the room and not lost in the wall cavity. Inset fires that include a front heater are one way of providing this.
- What is the design of the fireplace? – Fireplaces aren’t just about the heat they produce, they can play an important role in your home by serving as focal points and adding style to your decor. They also serve to create the ambience you want. At the same time, you want a design that matches the decor around the media wall and the TV. You have to holistically think about the design elements of the whole media wall.
- How much clearance space should you leave for the fireplace? – Make sure to check the manufacturer’s guide for the fireplace to see how much space you need to leave around the fire. Luckily, electrical heaters don’t produce fire and they generate their heat forwards away from the walls. You do need to check the manufacturer guide just to see if you do need extra clearance space behind, above and below the fire.
How Much Does A Media Wall Cost
While there isn’t a clear, accurate number to put on a wall when you ask, “How much does it cost to have a media wall?”, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that expensive depending on how elaborate the big idea is.
There is a huge amount of variables that can affect the price of media wall projects. Some things to consider are the size of the room, the type of material used in the walls and if it’s a basic installation or a luxury media wall.
On average according to Checkatrade, a media wall in the UK costs around £2,000 – £4,000+ for installation and supplies. The cost of installing a fireplace wall depends on the specifications that you want. The average costs range from around £2,300 – £3500. Its recommended that you get information from your local area media wall specialists who can give an accurate breakdown and value of media walls with or without a fireplace.