Pushing forward with great strides in modern home decor, electric fireplaces are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Homeowners are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of green technology and energy-efficient appliances. The modern living room is becoming a blend of traditional, nostalgic fireplace ambiance combined with the convenience of cutting-edge technology.
However, as more and more fireplace-lovers adopt this new technology as the main room’s focal point, several different questions are sure to pop up. How much weight can an electric fireplace mantel hold? Should a TV be placed on the fireplace mantel or should it be mounted on the wall? How difficult is it to even install electric fireplaces in the first place?
Finding the answers to these questions and more is easy with this helpful guide.
The Content of This Post Will Teach You The Following Things:
- Are Electric Fireplaces Really That Much Better Than Wood or Gas Fireplaces? – Wood-burning fireplace, gas fireplace, electric fireplace: which is best? There is a chance you still aren’t completely convinced that electric fireplaces are the top pick out of those three. In this section, we go over some of the finer points of why electric fireplaces knock these other fireplaces out of the park.
- How Much Weight Can An Electric Fireplace Mantel Hold? – You want to place some items onto your fireplace, but there is one question that is getting in your way: how much weight can an electric fireplace mantel hold anyway? We mull through a few different mantel options and what kind of weight they can theoretically hold and how the weight should be distributed.
- Should A TV Be Placed On The Fireplace Mantel Or Should It Be Mounted On The Wall? – Since electric fireplaces aren’t going to cause damage to your TV like a traditional fireplace, you need to know if it is okay to place your TV on the mantle, and just how large of a TV the fireplace can handle.
- Electric Fireplace Brand Comparison – If you haven’t yet picked up your electrical fireplace, you should do some research on what brand you should go with. Comparing different brands of fireplaces is what you will find in this section.
- Why Are MagikFlame Fireplaces A Good Choice To Go With? – Whether you are looking for a sturdy fireplace that can handle more weight or you are just looking for an ultra-realistic electrical fireplace, MagikFlame is definitely worth taking a look at.
- Can You Place Things On A Recessed Electric Fireplace? – You have decided to partially recess your fireplace. Because a portion of the top is still exposed, you want to know if it is okay to still place things on top. This section gives you some things to consider.
- Is It Possible To Build A Mantel For An Electric Fireplace? – Do you know how to work with your hands and enjoy woodworking? With an electric fireplace insert, you might be interested in this project.
Are Electric Fireplaces Really That Much Better Than Wood or Gas Fireplaces?
How much better a gas fireplace is compared to a wood fireplace is debatable. How much better electric fireplaces are compared to those others, isn’t. Within this section, we will give you the straight facts about why electric fireplaces are on a whole other level when compared to wood burning or gas.
There are a plethora of downsides with wood fireplaces. Here are some:
- Part Time Job – Keeping a fire going is a part time job, you can’t just enjoy yourself. After building the fire, you need to keep watch of it for safety. You also have to stoke the fire with additional logs regularly. If you need to leave the house, you have to extinguish the flames and start all over again when you get home.
- Always A Mess – Wood fireplaces are not glamorous. A pile of ash rests on the bottom of the firebox awaiting daily cleaning. It’s not just shoveling ash out of the firebox either. Two, maybe three times per year, you have to call an expensive professional to come sweep all of that extra soot from the flue.
- Inefficiency – Chimneys release smoke, but that’s not all. A good portion of heat is lost from the chimney as well. Because of this, burning wood will never be an efficient way to stay warm. That’s not all. To keep a roaring fire, you need a steady stream of oxygen. Many times, this requires cracking a window in the room. The cold breeze entering the room further stalls the efficiency of burning wood. Additionally, you are going to have to buy several large piles of wood to last a winter.
- Storage Issues – You need a place to store all of that wood. For some people with a large property, this isn’t an issue. For others, their property isn’t that large and every bit of space counts. Piles of wood can really cramp the exterior of your home.
- Danger Lurking – Wood fireplaces can feel like a ticking time bomb sometimes. You have to be diligent with your soot cleanup. That soot is combustible and is a frequent way house fires begin. You also need a very sturdy screen in front of your fireplace because logs on fire can easily slip and fall, rolling to your combustible rug or furniture. More than that, carbon monoxide buildup can become a serious risk when logs don’t burn completely and cleanly.
- Unwanted Smell – Going camping and smelling a campfire can be a great experience. Having that same smell in your home all of the time is the opposite of a great experience. You’re looking at a hard to get rid of the smoke smell infiltrating all of your furniture, your window curtains, and even your clothes.
- Forget The TV – Think again before hanging a TV over wood fireplaces. Both rising heat and smoke will completely destroy your TV internals in record time. The only question is whether that will happen before your TV screen is stained yellow from the smoke.
Now that you understand how bad a wood fireplace is for your house, you might be thinking, “That’s fine, I’ll just get one of those gas fireplaces.” Reconsider this. Gas fireplaces have plenty of problematic issues and annoyances of their own:
- Gas Line – Without fail, quality gas fireplaces have to have gas lines installed for them to work properly and hassle-free. You’re looking at a big home improvement undertaking when you choose gas as your fireplace fuel source.
- Unsatisfying Flames – Weak is not a word that you want to use when describing the flames of a fireplace in your home. However, this is exactly what you will be saying when you see the Bunsen burner-like flames barely streaming out.
- Awkward Colors – What color flame do you want? Do you want a neon orange, a dull yellow, or an unrealistic blue? For gas fireplaces, these are pretty much the only three options that you really have. None of them will produce a satisfying color that captures the real thing.
- Safety? – Sure, gas burns cleaner than a traditional wood fireplace. It’s still not a perfect burn. This means our old friend the dangerous carbon monoxide is still present and inviting himself into your home. Additionally, when flames are present, there is always the risk that something in your home can catch fire. All it takes is a small, unforeseen accident for sometime combustible around the fireplace to needlessly catch fire.
- Who Left The Stove On? – Cooking over a gas stove in the kitchen, one can expect a slight smell of gas for a few minutes. Nobody enjoys this smell, but it is easy to ignore for a few minutes while preparing a delicious meal. What isn’t easy to ignore is when that same smell subtly lingers in your home whenever your fireplace is going.
Obviously, electric fireplaces are starting to look like a better option. To hammer this home, let’s list just a few of their many benefits:
- Ventless Is Relentless – When you put electric fireplaces in your home, you don’t have to even think about venting. For this reason, you can put one of these in any room of your house without giving it a second thought. This completely opens up interior decorating possibilities. It also allows zone heating strategies with multiple fireplaces so you only use energy to heat the room you are currently occupying.
- Set and Forget – Other than a good dusting of the exterior of your fireplace from time to time, cleanup really isn’t a thing you need to concern yourself with regarding electric fireplaces. You also don’t need to regulate the temperature very often. It is easy to change the thermostat to a temperature that is best for you and let the fireplace do the rest.
- Great Investment – Don’t think of electric fireplaces as a purchase that will just cost you money. In the end, they are investments. Like solar panels and some other green technology you might get for your home, electric fireplaces can actually save you so much money on your heating bill that it covers the initial cost of the fireplace over time. After the savings have covered your initial cost, all of the additional savings from that point on are pure profit.
- Atmosphere Captured – It is true that if you hop on Amazon and order a generic, bargain electrical fireplace, it isn’t going to feel anywhere near the real thing. However, if you forego cheap Amazon fireplaces and invest your money into a high end fireplace, the atmosphere of a real fireplace can absolutely be captured. If you go with a fireplace that utilized hologram projection and auditory log crackles, you will forget your fireplace is even electric.
- Style Choices – Having a wide selection of fireplace types and styles to choose from is where electric fireplaces really succeed. You can get a fireplace that is freestanding like a space heater. You can get a wall-mounted fireplace. You can get a wall unit that rests on the ground instead of being wall-mounted. You can get a corner unit. You can have one built-in to the drywall. You can have one surrounded by bookcases or cabinetry on the side of the fireplace. You can put an electric fireplace insert into your old open hearth fireplace. You can get a fireplace that is inside of a TV stand. If you love DIY projects, you can even build your own wall mantel or mantel shelf around an electric fireplace insert. There are endless possibilities, and that isn’t even scratching the surface of the different mantel and mantel shelf architectural styles.
- Heat Production – Anyone who thinks electric fireplaces can’t produce good heat, have never been around a quality electric fireplace. With electric fireplaces that house an infrared quartz heating element, a good fireplace can provide more than enough supplemental heat for 1000 square feet. Does your home have a lot of square feet divided into several rooms? Get multiple fireplaces and only use them when in those rooms.
- Don’t Get Up – With the included smartphone app or remote control, you don’t have to get off the couch if you want to change the thermostat. With the app on your phone, you can even change the heat settings from another room so that it is already warming the room for you when you get there.
- Bells and Whistles – If you really go all out and get a luxury electric fireplace, you can expect it to come with all of the bells and whistles that other fireplaces can’t come close to matching. You can look forward to stunning flame effects, crisp sounds of crackling logs, unrivaled electric heating, and so much more.
- Simplified Installation – Pick a spot. Set your electrical fireplace there. Plug the fireplace directly into a 120 volt electrical socket. Don’t use an extension cord. Unless you are wall mounting or installing inside the wall, installation is that easy.
How Much Weight Can An Electric Fireplace Mantel Hold?
You have your electrical fireplace and want to set some items on top as decoration or just out of convenience. However, the question persists: how much weight can an electric fireplace mantel hold?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer that can be applied to all electric fireplaces. Instead, let’s talk about a few different types of these fireplaces and what that means for the weight they can hold. We’ll also give a few general tips when placing items on your fireplace. In the end, if you’re still unsure, contact the manufacturer of the fireplace to find out how much weight that specific unit can hold.
Here is a selection of electrical fireplace units and their weight considerations:
- Standard Wall Fireplace – These fireplaces usually stick out about 15 inches or so from the wall. They usually provide a decent weight allowance, especially near the left and right side above the legs. They should be a be able to handle a light to medium amount of weight depending on your specific model. It should be able to handle some decorations, a wi-fi router, or even a small flat-screen TV.
- Fireplace Corner Unit – These units are designed to sit in the corner. Usually, the triangle shape and wider foundation allows a more stable footing. This also contributes to them being able to handle a bit more weight compared to a standard wall model.
- Hanging Wall Mount Fireplace – If you have a hanging wall model, keep in mind that all of the weight rest on the wall brackets that are secured to studs within the wall. Considering that the fireplace itself will usually be over a hundred pounds, it isn’t wide to add too much additional weight. Some very light items may be okay, but don’t add anything heavy like a TV, large piece of art, urn, etc. It is unlikely that your warranty will cover a broken fireplace if it comes crashing down due to you placing heaving items on top of it.
- Fireplace Media Center – These media centers that also house a fireplace are designed with weight in mind. Depending on the size, you can probably fit a large TV, your movie collection, some books, and more.
Carefully read these additional tips when it comes to the weight your mantle can withstand:
- Tipping Over – When adding weight on top of the mantle, you are raising the center of gravity and making it all the more likely that the fireplace will dangerously tip over. Because of this, even fireplaces that are placed on the ground against the wall should be secured properly to the wall using mounts.
- Weight Disbursement and Balance – Adding more weight to one side of the fireplace will set it off balance and cause the leg or bracket of the mantle on that side to take the brunt of the weight. When adding anything of significant weight to the mantle top, either place it directly in the center or balance it with an equal amount of weight on the opposite side. This will evenly distribute the weight so the mantle can handle it better.
- Material Consideration – Material quality will vary quite a bit between different brands and even models for specific brands. It becomes less of a concern to place anything of weight onto a mantle if you purchase a fireplace that uses sturdier materials that will reliably remain standing.
- Build Quality – Material quality makes a difference, but built quality does as well. You want to ensure that the company that makes your fireplace takes time to properly built the mantle in a way that it will hold together just fine under some weight.
Should A TV Be Placed On The Fireplace Mantel Or Should It Be Mounted On The Wall?
Electrical fireplaces are safe to have TVs above them unless the heat blower points directly up. However, can the TV be placed on the mantle, or does it need to be on the wall? This comes down to three specific variables:
- How large or heavy the TV is.
- How much weight the mantle can reliably hold.
- Is the fireplace wall mounted or on the floor?
Unless a fireplace is built into a media center, their main purpose isn’t to be the stand for a TV. Because of this, avoid TVs that are too heavy or extend past the width of the fireplace. Smaller TVs will be better.
Fireplace mantles aren’t all built equally. Build quality, material used, and fireplace design will all come into play regarding weight allowance.
If your fireplace is planted securely on the floor, it will likely be able to handle more weight than a fireplace that is mounted onto a living room wall.
If you have any doubts about the weight of your TV on the fireplace mantle, just be safe and mount the TV separately above the electrical fireplace.
Electric Fireplace Brand Comparison
By now it should be quite obvious that you should avoid generic brands of electrical fireplaces no matter how good of a price you see. What about other brands?
There are a selection of popular electrical fireplace brands you can choose from. Dimplex, Touchstone, Duraflame, and more. They each have their strengths and weaknesses and ways that they simulate the fire effects that make electric fireplaces so great. Some of these fireplaces are essentially TV screens that play a video of a roaring fire. Some of the other fireplaces use mechanical spinning contraptions that aren’t very convincing. While some even use a water vapor system where lights are reflected off of the vapor for a 3D illusion.
While some of these fireplaces are decent, none of them can compare to the realism and flame quality of a fireplace that uses hologram technology. The best hologram technology on the market is Holoflame technology, and the only fireplaces that use Holoflame technology are MagikFlame electric fireplaces.
Why Are MagikFlame Fireplaces A Good Choice To Go With?
Just to begin, MagikFlame has the already mentioned Holoflame technology that sets it apart from all of the other electrical fireplace competitions. The trick to this technology is that moving holograms of 3D flames and flickering embers are shown over a real log set that is inside the firebox of MagikFlame fireplaces. It’s not just one hologram pattern that the ultra-realistic visuals implement. Owners can change between the 30 flame effects that it can produce.
Interestingly, you can read the MagikFlame Story and find out all about how this technology came from the creator’s experience doing visual computer effects for blockbuster hits in the film industry.
What is a fireplace without the sound of the logs crackling as they burn? To further add to the experience, MagikFlame comes with many sounds to select between, including some calming nature sounds.
In the MagikFlame reviews, you can read about how many customers love the crackling log sounds and other features of MagikFlame fireplaces.
The ability to warm a home is the ultimate goal of any good electrical fireplace. MagikFlame has this department covered with a 5,200 BTU heater that is built right inside of it.
You can understand how MagikFlame is built to get these heaters inside, as well as more about their wonderful craftsmanship.
A helpful MagikFlame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide is available for people who are definitely interested in learning a lot more.
Can You Place Things On A Recessed Electric Fireplace?
This is highly dependent on how deep the fireplace is recessed into the wall. If it is completely recessed, of course nothing will be able to be placed on top. If it is only partially recessed, you can probably get away with a few small, light items on top.
Remember that if the recessed fireplace is mounted up off of the ground, little to nothing should be placed on top to keep from causing issues.
Is It Possible To Build A Mantel For An Electric Fireplace?
Yes, it is absolutely possible to build a mantel for electrical fireplaces. Before you build your mantel, make sure to check the dimensions of the fireplace insert so you build the mantel to the correct size.