Electric fireplaces are an excellent way to add ambiance to your home with the look and feel of a real fire. You will have warmth provided by the built-in electric heater and realistic flame effects that can range anywhere from softly glowing embers to a full-sized roaring fire. They can be much safer than a traditional wood or gas fireplace with no emissions or hot surfaces, and may include additional features such as crackling log sounds. It is easy to find an electric fireplace that fits your needs perfectly. Readily available choices resemble traditional wood-burning fireplaces, fireplace inserts, and wall-mount versions. They even come in media centers where you can beautifully display your TV. The only problem is deciding which size fireplace would be best for your wall size. Armed with a bit of knowledge of how to measure your room’s walls and space, it should be easy to find that ideal fireplace for your own home.
How much wall space is needed for fireplaces?
The size of your fireplace should suit the size of the room it is in. This is determined more by common sense than by any specific mathematical formula. For instance, a smaller fireplace will be lost when placed in a large room. It is just the opposite, with a large electric fireplace being put in a small space. All you will see is the fireplace. Everything else will be lost from view.
When considering how much wall space is needed for electric fireplaces, you need to think about the size of the wall you are placing your electric fireplace on and the size of the room. Small walls require small fireplaces, while large walls need something more substantial.
Don’t be fooled by small walls in large spaces. Open floor plans include one great room containing the living room, dining area, and kitchen. Small walls are often used to divide these areas within the great room. Placing a small fireplace on this dividing wall will look out of place compared to the entire room’s scale. You need a relatively large fireplace in a home with this type of open floor plan. The best solution would be to choose a different wall for the fireplace, one that can handle the size of fireplace you need.
How big of a fireplace do I need for under my TV?
These days, a very popular trend in home décor is to place the television over the electric fireplace. This makes one main focal point in the room rather than having the TV and fireplace competing for your attention. This option will look best if you make sure the fireplace is wider than the television. Linear fireplaces work nicely in this design because they are longer than tall. Keep in mind that as your TV size gets wider, the TV gets taller. Fireplaces can have a greater width without requiring any additional height.
Balance is essential when deciding how much wall space is needed for electric fireplaces. To keep the TV and fireplace balanced, you need to measure each one carefully. Televisions are measured diagonally from one corner to another. Electric fireplaces are measured across from side to side. So, a 55-inch television is 55 inches from the top corner to the bottom corner on the opposite side. This TV will look best above a fireplace that is 50 inches across from one side to the other.
Factoring in the heat
People typically want to use the fireplace heater as supplemental heat to their central HVAC system. The size of your room will tell you how many BTUs your fireplace will need to provide. The British Thermal Unit is how heat is measured.
Check your fireplace to see how much heat you can expect from it. Most fireplace models offer similar amounts of heat. For example, a 5,000 BTU heater can handle 400 to roughly 500 square feet of space, and they use a 120V connection to produce heat. A connection of 240V can power larger 8,000 BTU heaters. Many fireplaces will have a thermostat to help you keep your heat setting regulated.
The space needed for a freestanding electric fireplace
These types of fireplaces look like traditional wood-burning fireplaces. They include a surround made of wood, stone, or brick and a mantel that makes the piece beautiful and functional. Installation is simple for these plug-in units. Avoid using an extension cord. This is a safety hazard. Instead, hire an electrician to install an electrical outlet where you need it.
For these electric fireplaces to look their best, they need to be in proportion with their surroundings. Before making a final purchase, take note of the dimensions of each fireplace you are considering. Next, decide which wall you want to place it on. You can use painter’s tape to outline the exact shape of the fireplace in the exact spot you want to place it. Arrange your furniture around this outline, and step back to see how it all looks together. This can tell you how much wall space is needed for the electric fireplace. You should immediately be able to see if the fireplace seems way too big or is so small it is hardly noticeable.
Wall-mounted electric fireplace size
A wall mount electric fireplace is a popular option with a contemporary appearance. It provides a sleek look without wasting any floor space. Selecting the right one for your home will require you to make some important decisions.
Clearance requirements depend on how much wall space is needed for an electric fireplace in the living room. Requirements recommend keeping all combustible items at least three feet back from the fireplace. These items, like drapes and furnishings, also need to be 1-1/2 feet away from the fireplace along the wall.
Most linear models of electric fireplaces can use a depth of anywhere from 4.25 inches to 12 inches of depth. If the space in your wall is limited, it is best to know this before you start shopping for an electric fireplace.
Installation is much simpler for mounting the fireplace on the wall’s surface. How much wall space is needed for electric fireplaces becomes extremely important if you want to place a TV above it. You need ample room for both. The advantage of surface mounts is that you can reposition them easily without reconstructing the walls.
Wall unit heaters
Recessed fireplaces typically force the warm air out of a vent found on the face of the fireplace. Wall-mounted fireplaces use venting that pushes the air out of vents at either the top of the unit or the bottom.
If you plan to place a TV above the fireplace with a mounting bracket, ensure the warm air is expelled from the bottom to ensure the TV is safe from heat damage. Most electric fireplaces do include a heater, so it is essential to understand any complications this may create when determining the amount of space needed on your wall.
Don’t assume that a wall-mount fireplace can be inserted into the wall. These are two very different types of fireplaces. Most units are specifically designed for use either on the wall or in the wall. They are not interchangeable.
Think about whether or not you want to cut into the wall to install a recessed electric fireplace. If so, you will need to know how much depth you have in the wall to work with. You might have to build the wall out into the room to make it fit, and it could require hardwiring into your home’s electric system.
Surface-mounted fireplace will reach out into your room by roughly 4.25 inches to 6.5 inches. The advantage of surface mounts is that you can reposition them easily without reconstructing the walls.
Size considerations for electric fireplace entertainment centers
A media center with an electric fireplace built into the design is a highly functional piece that provides multiple needs. In just one component, you will have a place to set your TV, a place to store all of your electronics, and the look and feel of a real wood fireplace.
An electric fireplace entertainment center is actually a piece of furniture. It is relatively larger than just a fireplace. While it is pleasing to the eye and keeps the room less cluttered, keep in mind how much wall space is needed. These units tend to be wider than a typical fireplace, especially if it has shelves or cabinetry on the sides. You will be placing the TV on top of the unit, so factor in the height of the television and the TV stand together. This means you have to consider the width of your wall as well as the height from floor to ceiling.
When purchasing a white media center fireplace, you will need a little more wall space than for a fireplace alone. Invest in a quality piece. You will be looking at it every time you are watching the television.
In addition to measuring your wall and making sure the media center is in proportion with it, measure your TV and items like the cable box, DVD player, and gaming consoles. You want to make sure everything fits. The same rules apply for setting a TV on top as for hanging a TV above a fireplace when it comes to measurements.
Measuring for an electric fireplace insert
An electric fireplace insert is an item that is used to turn your existing fireplace into an electric one. It includes a fireplace heater and a flame effect to give the illusion of a real fire, but no gas lines or wood is needed. This means that you don’t have to worry about venting, and there is little to no maintenance required to keep it functioning properly.
Installation is easy. The insert simply slides into the existing firebox, where it can be plugged into a standard outlet or hardwired into the home’s electric system. While wall space isn’t a concern, you need to measure carefully to ensure you get an insert that will fit correctly inside the existing fireplace.
Measure the firebox exactly. Your insert needs to be the right size to fit correctly. Check with the manufacturer’s recommendations to see how much clearance might be required around the unit, and factor this in with the size of the opening as well.
Below, we give you a list of high-quality fireplaces. We have included at least one fireplace from each of the main types of electric fireplaces available. All of these makes and models can be found on Amazon.
This free-standing unit is housed in a wood surround and beautiful mantel, all in an Alpine white color. It includes realistic flames created by a video. The realism is further enhanced with a sound system that provides crackling and popping log sounds, just like you would find with an actual fire. Other sounds from nature are also available such as ocean waves and the sound of rain. A 5,200 BTU heater is the perfect size for larger rooms. Your smartphone or the touchscreen panel can control heat and flame effects. When it comes to wall space, this fireplace takes up an area of 43″W x 45″T inches.
These electric fireplace inserts use MagikFlame’s HoloFlame video technology to produce 30 ultra-realistic flame effects. The built-in 5,200 BTU heater can easily warm up to 1,000 square feet with an infrared quartz heating system. It includes a textured black finish that allows the unit to blend in with your existing fireplace without looking out of place. Settings are controlled by your favorite iOS device or the touchscreen panel. Other features include crackling log sounds, a sleep timer, volume control, and a radial dial for better heat adjustment. It fits any 32″T x 28″W x 12″D opening.
This farmhouse design with dark wood details includes shelf space across the top with room for a cable box, DVD player, or gaming console. Steel net doors cover cabinetry on each side which is ideal for storing movies, games, and other small items. This piece is perfect for TVs measuring up to 50 inches. This insert features the Dimplex signature flames and natural-looking logs for the appearance of an actual fire. It takes up a 56.13 x 33.25-inch space on the wall.
Wall mount Touchstone 80001
This is a lightweight fireplace that is 50 inches long. Finished in black onyx, it weighs 46 lbs. The heating vents are located at the top of the fireplace, and the heating element is the perfect size to use along with your central heating system as a supplement. Realistic flames are created with LED lights and come in five brightness levels. You will have your choice of logs or crystals to use in the fire bed. Tempered glass covers the front of the unit, and it includes an automatic shut-off timer.
This Touchstone fireplace requires in-wall installation. It will take up 60 x 21.5 inches on the wall. Heat vents are found on the front of the unit, and the heater includes two settings for added comfort. Five flame settings with three flame color effects are available for a more realistic experience. Choose from glowing embers up to a roaring fire. This fireplace should not be used under a television.
If you would like the realistic look of a large traditional fireplace in your own home without the hassle associated with gas or wood fireplaces, an electric fireplace is the perfect solution. These units include realistic flame effects and electric heaters to enjoy the look and feel of an actual fire.
Before purchasing a fireplace for your own home, consider the amount of space you have. Along with how big the room is, pay close attention to the size of the walls. The perfect fireplace will complement the walls rather than overpower them. You also don’t want to choose a fireplace that is so small that you can hardly notice it is in the room.
By carefully measuring the walls in your room and comparing these measurements to the fireplace’s dimensions, you can find one that is ideal for your home. The result is a piece that will look amazing and that you will enjoy for years to come.