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Do Fake Electric Fireplace Mantels Look Tacky?

fake fireplace mantel

If you are looking to have a home makeover, you may have considered incorporating a faux fireplace into your home décor. You can discuss this option with your architect or interior designer. Alternatively, you could turn it into a DIY project- it is not complicated. Interior design websites have various fireplace ideas you can try out and free tutorials to go along with them.

In this post, you will learn:

  • About mantels
  • Do fake electric fireplace mantels look tacky?
  • Things to Consider when Getting an Electric Fireplace
  • What is the most realistic fake fireplace mantel to install?
  • What is the best way to install an electric fireplace insert?
  • What is an Electric Fireplace?
  • Electric Fireplace Technologies

About Electric Fireplace Mantels

It is impossible to talk about fireplaces without mentioning mantels. To make your faux fireplace more realistic, you will need a fireplace surround or mantel. Mantels serve as the centerpiece or focal point of the room, and you can customize them to your liking. Most electric fireplaces come complete with a faux mantel package that does not require an expert to install. There is a wide range of fake fireplace mantel varieties to pick from. You can either have a wood fireplace, a stone fireplace, or even a mixture of both. This is possible thanks to the faux brick for a brick fireplace, faux wood, and faux stone improvisations on the package.

Some mantels have even been incorporated with bookcases to give a more natural look. These faux fireplace mantels can be installed in twenty or thirty minutes. If you are a DIY enthusiast, you need not worry because the task does not call for an expert.

You can also choose to go for DIY projects by buying a freestanding electric stove and building the mantel yourself. You can use materials like marble, wood, granite, and basic stones for your mantel. The easiest and most versatile to build is a wood mantel. If you want a wood fireplace, you may want to use an MDF board. In addition to its strength, it is affordable, does not warp, and has a conveniently smooth finish, thus efficient for paneling.

You can also try out a pallet fireplace. You can make a stone mantel with a marble tile surface as the mantel shelf. A floating shelf is also something you may wish to explore. Take a look at this Bless’er house.

DIY faux fireplace tutorial for a start. DIY is, however, not for everyone. You need not worry if you want a custom-made mantel but can’t DIY. You can engage a professional home builder to do that and build you a wood mantel or any other mantel you’d like. Most of these will include a mantel shelf and mantel surround. A professional will ensure they give your home décor an upgrade.

Does a fake fireplace mantel look tacky?

Many people avoid a fake fireplace mantel because of fear that they may look tacky. This is a very understandable concern. Sometimes a fake electric fireplace mantel can stand out and look outright out of place.

However, you can avoid this by carrying out your research carefully before making a purchase. One basic thing to consider is that the mantel needs to blend very well into your wall. Wooden mantels are quite popular; they can easily be painted to match your décor.

According to the Fireplace Universe, before you purchase a faux fireplace mantel, you need to consider the following factors:

  • The size of the room you intend to use it in. This should help you pick a package that is neither too large nor too small.
  • The location of the fireplace. There are fireplaces specifically built for corners. Therefore, it is important to make a suitable choice.
  • The style and color of the mantel need to blend perfectly into the background to avoid a tacky look.
  • How realistic the flames are. Nothing spells tacky better than fireplace flames that look completely fake.
  • For your comfort, you may also look at the remote and thermostatic heat control options available.

To ensure that you maintain the natural look, pay attention to the moulding. If you take your time doing this, you don’t need to worry about the place looking tacky. The moulding ensures that your fireplace blends perfectly into the wall. In case you are having a difficult time figuring it out, there is no harm in consulting an interior designer who will help you in choosing and styling, thus giving you a beautiful mantel.

Faux electric fireplace mantels are very convenient because all you need to do is plug into the electrical outlet and get cozy.

Things to consider when getting an electric fireplace

The following are additional questions to consider when getting an electric fireplace:

What is your budget?

The price can vary depending on the flame aesthetic, heating, and control options you choose. Prepare your budget ahead of time to ensure you make the best purchasing decision possible.

Do you prefer a particular form of flame technology?

A mechanical device is your best bet if you’re looking for a low-cost electric fireplace. You should keep in mind, however, that these flames are the least practical. A water-based vapor fireplace or a gel fireplace is the best option if you want a more realistic flame. All in all, a holographic electric fireplace can have the most realistic fireplace experience.

Do you need a source of heat?

Calculate the number of square feet you need to heat and choose between a fan coil or an infrared quartz heater. Coil-based systems use a small fan to heat smaller rooms 400-500 square feet. Infrared quartz electric fireplaces are a little more costly, but better for heating large spaces. These are strong supplementary heat sources for up to 1,000 square feet.

What kind of insulation are you looking for?

Do you want to be able to plug a fireplace into a wall and get it ready to use right away? If that’s the case, a wall-mounted, freestanding, or mantle kit with an insert is a nice choice. For a more permanent solution, you can create an insert directly into a wall to look like a built-in with professional installation.

Do you have a favorite style?

Do you prefer the look of a conventional or freestanding device or a standard fireplace’s clean and sleek appearance? There are a variety of contemporary frameless and wall-mounted electric fireplaces to choose from, as well as the more traditional wall mantel-type fireplace that appears to be built-in.

Are electric fireplaces safe?

Electric fireplaces are safe because they do not use real fire. There is, therefore, no risk of a stray spark causing great damage or inhaling harmful gases and smoke. They are the safest choice, especially if you have pets or children around. It is essential to follow all the guidelines to the letter because electricity can be harmful if not managed accordingly. For instance, you may need to unplug your system if you’re planning on being away for a long time.

What are the pros and cons?

One glaring disadvantage of electric fireplaces is the fact that they can only work when there is electricity. In case of a power outage during the cold season, this is very inconvenient. The pros, however, outweigh the cons. Electric fireplaces are easy to install, have low operating costs, are simple and safe to use, and they don’t produce any mess afterward. Moreover, you can install them in smaller ones that wouldn’t normally accommodate a fireplace. If you like, you can even install it into your bookshelf!

There is no need to worry about your electricity bill. According to MagikFlame, electric fireplaces use less power than full home heating systems.

fake fireplace mantel

What is the most realistic fake fireplace to install?

There are a variety of fake fireplaces available in the market today, and most of them can be easily purchased on Amazon.

Alternatively, you can visit your local big box or independent retailer. The available brands include Dimplex, Touchstone, and Amantii Fireplaces. However, the most realistic false fireplace to install is the MagikFlame HoloFlame Electric Insert. MagikFlame uses patented holographic technology. 

According to the MagikFlame story, the company was started in 2015. Their core mission was to create the most realistic electric fireplace. With MagikFlame, you get 30 ultra-realistic flames, crackling log sounds, and a 5200 BTU built-in heater.

To settle any doubts you may have, it is important to take a look at the MagikFlame reviews and make an informed decision. With regards to research, you can go through the MagikFlame electric fireplace buying guide for detailed information on everything to do with fake fireplaces.

While you’re at it, take a peek at MagikFlame’s payment plans and financing to find a plan that is easy on your pocket. Thanks to the advanced technology it uses, the MagikFlame electric fireplace tends to be expensive but is definitely worth every cent you will spend.

What is the best way to install an electric fireplace insert?

You can install an electric fireplace insert in several ways. Plug it into an outlet after installing it on the wall. Others are constructed with mantels that can be pushed against the wall. For a more modern look, some people tend to build built-in wall fireplaces.

For a personalized setup, ask your handyman how to make a structure for the best electric fireplace insert. The owner’s manual for most fireplace inserts includes drawings and diagrams with installation methods and specifications.

Indoor places such as kitchens, bedrooms, passageways, basements, cabins, mobile homes, and vessels are also worth considering for non-traditional installations. They are appropriate for both home and business settings.

Electric fireplaces can only be used indoors. However, if you need a fireplace for an outdoor patio or bathroom, you can search for electric fireplaces for use outdoors. There are many outdoor-rated electric fireplace models to choose from if you want to mount one outside or in a bathroom.

What is an electric fireplace?

An electric-fireplace is a heater that uses electrical elements to mimic the look and warmth of a traditional wood, coal, or gas fireplace. All without the usual hassle.

How does it work?

Electric fireplaces function by drawing in the cool air available in a room, heating it using a heating coil, and gently forcing it back into a room by use of a fan, hence creating the heating effect.

Are the flames real?

The flames you see in an electric fireplace are not real. This illusion is created using an electric motor and a rotating shaft with mirrors that reflect light from an LED bulb. Good LED bulbs can last a long time while consuming little energy. In water-based fireplaces, the flame is created by lights and mist.

Do electric fireplaces produce heat?

Electric fireplaces aim to act like conventional fireplaces, so they produce heat. The only difference is that this heat can be regulated and, in some cases, even turned off. You should be able to figure out how many BTUs you need to keep your space warm based on its size, insulation, and surrounding temperatures.

If you don’t need the heat but would love the ambiance, you can purchase electric fireplaces that don’t produce any.

How far does the heat go?

Depending on the type of electric heater your fireplace is built with, it should be able to heat a room up to 1,000 square feet. There are two types of electric heaters: Fan-forced coil-based heaters and infrared quartz heaters. Coil-based heaters are efficient for a small room of between 400-500 square feet, while infrared quartz heaters are suitable for large spaces of up to 1,000 square feet. Additionally, electric fireplace mantel packages are made to heat large spaces compared to free-standing electric stoves.

Is there a need for a chimney or venting?

Electric fireplaces do not need a chimney or venting because they neither produce fire nor smoke. This makes them very convenient for people with allergies or those who just want to aid in emitting fewer pollutants into the air.

How do I control an electric fireplace?

The most basic way to control an electric fireplace is by using the built-in panel of buttons on the front. The more convenient way is using a remote control. You will, however, need to be directly in front of the fireplace to do this. With technological advancement, there are now fireplaces that you can operate using a touchscreen similar to a smartphone screen. Some have Bluetooth connectivity. This makes it possible for you to control them with your smartphone phone.

Electric fireplace technologies

You may still be wondering what faux fireplace is most suitable for your home. In this section, we will shed some light on the various types of fireplace technologies available today.


The most common type is the mechanical electric fireplace. It operates using an electric motor that rotates a cylinder with reflective tabs. The tabs, in turn, reflect colored LED lights to create a flame-like appearance. Thanks to the LED lights, these fireplaces will give you a variety of flame colors. Mechanical electric fireplaces are generally inexpensive but look fake. If you are aiming for a natural look, this option is not for you.


Water-based fireplaces, use an ultrasonic fogger to create a water mist. They then employ halogen bulbs to create an orange color on the mist, giving off a look of fire. The bulbs also produce heat. This is the most realistic-looking option. However, it is quite expensive and requires you to have a constant water supply. When the water goes out, the flames die down.


Gel-fuel-based is another type of faux fireplace. This is not entirely fake because it uses alcohol-based gel to produce fire. The only difference is that you do not need wood to keep it going. The upside is that it looks real because it is real. The downside is that it is potentially harmful. You will constantly be refilling the gel fuel.


The last type is the holographic electric fireplace. This technology uses video unlike the others, which use mechanics to bring out a fire-like look. Holographic technology comes with a wide range of visuals and even sound effects to go along. If you want a wood fireplace or a gas fireplace look, you get exactly that- but without the fire. This is considered the most realistic of all the options but is very expensive. So if your budget is tight, you may want to put a pin on it for now.

These technologies are used to build different types of faux fireplaces. Some standalone models come with a mantel and a heater. Some models can be mounted or built into walls or furniture. Additionally, a fireplace insert can be placed inside a pre-existing firebox. This makes the firebox very convenient.

Bottom line

Unlike when it all started, the faux fireplace mantel is a trend that is quickly catching on. You can confidently get one for your living room or main bedroom and experience the coziness that comes with it. You will most certainly love it. As technology advances, we will continue to get options that appear more real, therefore making faux fireplaces a norm.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to ensure accuracy, there may be errors, omissions, or discrepancies. The author and publisher make no warranties about the accuracy, reliability, or suitability of the information contained herein.

Product specifications and features are subject to change without notice and may vary from actual products available. Readers should consult the manufacturer or retailer directly for the most up-to-date information, installation requirements, safety guidelines, and warranty details.

The author and publisher shall not be liable for any loss, damage, or inconvenience caused by reliance on this information. The use of any information provided is at the reader’s own risk.

Please note that some links may be affiliate links, and we may earn a commission from purchases made through these links. This does not impact our editorial content or recommendations.

For questions or concerns, please contact the manufacturer or retailer directly.

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