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Installation 101: How to Install an Electric Fireplace Insert in Wall

How to Install an Electric Fireplace Insert in Wall

Electric fireplaces provide homeowners with a way to have the look and feel of a real fireplace without the hassle involved with a traditional wood burning fireplace or a gas fireplace. Electric units don’t require any type of venting and are low maintenance. By using electricity as the energy source, there is no wood to cut and no need for a gas line. Best of all, with no real flame, it is much safer to use around small children.

When it comes to selecting the right electric fireplace for your home, you will find that you have many options available. You can buy a freestanding unit that looks like a traditional large electric fireplace complete with a lovely surround and beautiful mantel like those from Classicflame. There are also inserts available that you can slide into the opening of an existing fireplace, and there are built-in electric fireplaces that you can install directly into your wall.

Built-in electric fireplace inserts are ideal for renovations and new construction, but anyone can take advantage these affordable and economical options. With some simple structural modifications you can do it yourself. All that is required for installation is creating an open hole in the wall and some electrical work. If you have a basic understanding of carpentry skills, you should be able to do this easily without much trouble.

In This Post, You Will Learn the Following

  • Types of Inserts
  • Types of Heaters
  • What You Need for Installation
  • Proper Clearance
  • How to Install Electric Fireplace Insert in Wall
  • Magikflame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide

Types of Inserts

Fireplace inserts are an affordable, safe, and energy efficient alternative to a traditional wood or gas fireplace. There are three main types of electric fireplace inserts available. Each serves a slightly unique purpose, and the installation process is different for each so we will discuss how to install electric fireplace insert in wall later on.

Log Set Inserts

Log sets are the ideal way to repurpose your existing fireplace. These inserts require the lowest amount of effort when it comes to installation. You simply set it in the unused firebox of your current fireplace and plug it in. In order to hide the cord, you can hire a licensed electrician to install an outlet directly within the fireplace.

The insert consists of a 3D log with a base and rear projected flames. The flame effects are either projected onto a built-in back plate or the actual wall of your fireplace. Both will provide you with the look of realistic flames.

Your insert may include a fan forced heater capable of heating up to 400 square feet. This is perfect to use as a supplement to your main heating system. A remote control is provided for convenience.

Plug-In Inserts

Plug-in inserts like those from Dimplex require a fairly simple installation process. It is only slightly more complicated than a log set. The electric fireplace itself is rectangular or square, and it encompasses a fully enclosed box. It can be used in an existing fireplace, TV stand, or a cabinet. They plug into any standard outlet. For safety reasons, avoid using an extension cord. If you don’t have an outlet nearby, hire an electrician to install an outlet exactly where you need it.

Plug-in inserts feature a glass front that covers either a contemporary glass ember bed or a realistic log set. Supplemental heat is provided by a built-in heater. Heat is typically forced from the top of the unit. A fan forced heater will heat up to 400 square feet while an infrared heater can handle up to 1,000 square feet.[1]

Built-In Inserts

This electric fireplace insert requires a more complicated installation that we will discuss later on, but the reward for your hard work is the beautiful look of real flames and the ambiance of a real fire. Designed to be permanently placed in the wall as a focal point, it can be plugged into any standard wall outlet or hardwired into your home’s electric system. This is best done by a licensed electrician.

Read the installation instructions found in the owner’s manual carefully before installing. The information in this booklet is valuable when it comes to how to install electric fireplace insert in wall. A larger circuit capacity allows these units to produce more heat than other options can. A hardwired 110V 4,600 BTU heater can heat 400 square feet. A hardwired 220V BTU heater will heat 800 square feet.[2]

Just like the plug-in inserts, these are fully enclosed units with a glass front. The flame effect includes either a realistic log or contemporary glass ember bed.

Types of Heaters

When it comes to choosing an electric fireplace insert, you also have a heater to consider. While the type of heater won’t affect the installation process, you may not be happy unless you understand what to look for when purchasing your unit.[3]

Fan-Forced Heater

The fan-forced heater is traditional when it comes to an electric fireplace. Customers like that it can heat up to 400 Square feet of space. This makes it the ideal supplement to your existing heat system. It works by allowing a fan to force air over a set of heated coils. The air is warmed and dispersed into the room.

Infrared Heater

An infrared heater is able to warm larger areas up to 1,000 square feet. It heats similarly to the way the sun does. The infrared heat warms objects in the room in addition to the air. This process involves a copper heat exchanger, quartz infrared tubing, and a fan. These heaters are highly efficient, and they distribute heat evenly.

What You Will Need for Installation

We are focusing on the fireplace installation of electric inserts that are placed in the wall since those units require a little more effort than simply putting them in place and plugging them in such a you would do with a wallmount electric fireplace from companies like Dimplex.

There are certain building materials you will need to know when it comes to understanding how to install electric fireplace insert in wall. You need boards to frame the opening. These boards are typically made from softwoods such as spruce, pine, or fir. They come in sizes like 2×4, 2×6, and 2×8.[4] The existing frame work within your walls and the thickness of the wall will help you determine what is best. You also need dry wall materials to finish the area nicely. In addition to framing materials, you will need a non-combustible caulking.

The tools you need include a saw, hammer, Phillips screw driver, a tape measure, level, drill, and pliers. Don’t forget to have safety glasses and gloves on hand for your protection.

Your electric fireplace can be installed in your existing wall without worrying about the wall itself. No fireproofing is needed. These inserts stay cool to the touch and are specifically designed to be safely housed as a recessed electric fireplace.

Proper Clearance

While these inserts are made to safely be installed within the wall, there are certain clearance issues to consider. You will want the face of you electric fireplace to be three feet from anything in the room that is combustible. This would be items such as drapes, curtains, bedding, furniture, and paper. Other portions of the insert require zero-clearance. Check your owner’s manual for exact specifications.

How to Install Electric Fireplace Insert in Wall

The very first thing you need to do is check your fireplace to make sure it functions properly. You don’t want to wait until you sure it into the wall to discover there is a problem. If everything is in good working order, you can begin the installation.

Frame Your Wall

Check the owner’s manual for the size of opening that you will need. This measurement is typically 1/4 inch bigger than the dimensions of the firebox. Carefully measure your space and mark it precisely before beginning to cut into your wall. Have all electric turned off at the circuit box before you begin. Keep in mind the old saying about measuring twice and cutting once.

After opening up the space needed, your basic carpentry skills will be put to good use. The opening will need to be framed in order to safely support the weight of your insert.

Connect Power Supply

Many built-in electric fireplaces come with a cord that can easily be plugged into any standard electrical outlet installed within the opening in the wall. You could also remove the cord and have the unit hardwired into your home’s electric system. Most are hardwired ready for your convenience. You will want to hire a professional electrician for either of these jobs to ensure your safety and that the work meets all of your local codes.

Insert the Fireplace

This step is simple. All you need to do is lift the insert up into the fireplace opening you have prepared. It may require two people. Check to make sure it sits level.

Secure the Unit

Use the mounting screws to secure the unit to the studs in the wall. There will be holes in the unit for this purpose on the top and both sides.

Insert Media

Your fireplace insert will come with decorative media, fire glass, or decorative logs. These are put inside of the fireplace after it is mounted in place and securely attached. All that is left to do at this point is turn on your insert and enjoy the look and feel of other types of fireplaces that include a real flame.

Magikflame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide

Magikflame is a leading electric fireplace company that offers one of the most realistic flame effects available. In addition to beautiful pieces you can use as your entertainment center and freestanding units that feature an elegant fireplace with mantel, Magikflame provides you with efficient and affordable wall mount electric fireplace options. Installation is simple as no chimney or flue is required like you would need with a wood-burning fireplace. This is because no real flames are used. These units are low maintenance and provide improved air quality when compared with other types of fireplaces.

30 Ultra-Realitic Flames

Magikflame uses state-of-the-art holographic technology to simulate a real fire with amazing results. Magikflame brings the illusion of an actual fire to your living room with 30 ultra-realistic flames that you can check out in their flame gallery.

The effect relies on video rather than mechanics to produce the flames. Images are projected on a log insert for realism. LED lighting is used in the process as well to give the appearance of smoldering embers in addition to the flickering flames.

The Heat

Your flames can operate with or without the heater. This makes Magikflame ideal for warmer climates or all-year operation. You don’t have to be satisfied with only enjoying the look of a real fire seasonally.

BTUs are a standard measurement for heat. The more BTUs the heater has, the larger the space is that it can warm. Magikflame fireplaces come with a built-in 5,200 BTU heater that is the perfect size to use as a supplement to your main heat source.

Cracklig Sounds

Your Magikflame fireplace will include ambient nature sounds. When paired with the flame effects, you can enjoy the cracking sounds of an actual fire for further realism. Authentic high-quality audio created from a sampling of real fires will give you the sound of logs cracking and popping.

Simple Controls

Magikflame fireplaces can be controlled from an app on your iPhone for added convenience. You no longer have to be right in front of the fireplace to change the settings. The app works from any room in the house. This is much easier to use than traditional remote controls.

The control panel on the unit is a back-lit LED touchscreen. This effortless feature is easy to use in dim lighting. No more squinting at a dark screen. The touchscreen is simple to navigate, and it includes intuitive operation.

Never Outdated

Your Magikflame wall mount electric fireplace automatically updates with new features, and the flame effects are free. You will never have to pay for an update for the life of the fireplace. Magikflame provides 100% satisfaction with all of their products. Magikflame reviews express that homeowners love how Magikflame is built in the USA. Payment plans and financing make these units quite affordable, and you can rely on their 24/7 customer support for help. Visit the photo idea gallery to see all of the fireplace options.

The Magikflame Story

Magikflame is a family-owned company that provides customers with the most realistic flame effects and efficient heat for an experience that rivals a real fire. It all started with a vision that Howard Birnbaum had while shopping at a Costco.

An avid entrepreneur and tech geek, Mr. Birnbaum spotted an electric fireplace while out on a shopping trip that he immediately liked the idea of. Unfortunately, when he took a closer look at the unit in the store, he was disappointed in the look of the flames. If he were to have an electric fireplace in his own home, he wanted more realism.

He worked in the film industry creating special effects for many of our top movies like Harry Potter, Starship Troopers, and The Matrix. He respected realism, and he set out to find a fireplace that looked more authentic. With no luck finding such a piece, he began designing his own fireplace. The solution was to use an actual video of a real fire rather than try to recreate the look mechanically. He paired up with a Florida company that worked on movie sets to help design the mantel and surround. The result was a success.

While Mr, Birnbaum originally just wanted to have an attractive fireplace for his personal use, it wasn’t long before others were asking him where they could buy one. The first sales were made available through Amazon, and customers loved the product.

While everyone was pleased with the fireplace, Mr.Birnbaum didn’t stop improving the unit. While visiting Disney, he rode on the Haunted Mansion and was instantly inspired by the ghosts that dance. He decided to try using holographic technology to produce flames, and the 2.0 Magikflame fireplace was born. His HoloFlame technology was patented in 2020.

In Conclusion

A wall mounted electric fireplace is a wonderful way to enjoy the look and feel of a real fire in your own home without the expense and maintenance other fireplaces require. Installation is easy with a few basic tools and some common carpentry skills.

1. https://www.electricfireplacesdirect.com/fireplace-insert-buyers-guide

2. https://www.electricfireplacesdirect.com/fireplace-insert-buyers-guide

3. https://fireplaceuniverse.com/electric-fireplace-heating-elements-guide/

4. https://www.ecohome.net/guides/2283/best-material-choices-for-wood-frame-construction/

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