Electric fireplaces are here to stay for the foreseeable future, pushing forward with great strides in modern home décor. 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 focal point, several 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.
In this post, you will learn:
- Are Electric Fireplaces Really That Much Better Than Wood or Gas Fireplaces? – Still not entirely convinced that electric fireplaces are the best option? In this section, we go over some of the finer points of why electric fireplaces knock these others out of the park.
- How Much Weight Can An Electric Fireplace Mantel Hold? – You want to place some items on your fireplace. There is one getting in your way: how much weight can an electric fireplace mantel hold anyway? In this section, we’ll cover different mantel options, how much weight each can hold, and how to distribute the weight evenly.
- Should You Place A TV On The Fireplace Mantel Or Should You Mount It On The Wall? – Unlike traditional fireplaces, electric fireplaces won’t cause damage to your TV. You need to know if it is okay to place your TV on the mantel. And just how large of a TV the fireplace can handle.
- Electric Fireplace Brand Comparison – If you have not yet purchased your electric fireplace you should research 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? – Whether you are looking for a sturdy fireplace mantel that can handle more weight or you are just looking for an ultra-realistic electric 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. Can you 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?
It’s debatable whether a gas fireplace is better than a wood fireplace. In this section, we will give you the facts about why electric fireplaces are on a whole other level compared to wood burning or gas.
There are a plethora of downsides to 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 a fire, you need to keep watch for safety. You also have to stoke the fire with additional logs regularly. If you need to leave, you have to put it out 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 or three times per year, you have to call an expensive professional to come to sweep all extra soot from the flue.
- Inefficiency – Chimneys release smoke, but that’s not all, they also release a good amount of heat. 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 is entering the room further stalls the efficiency of burning wood. Additionally, you will have to buy several large piles of wood to last all winter.
- Storage Issues – You need a place to store all 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 sometimes feel like a ticking time bomb. 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 screen in front of your fireplace because logs can easily fall, rolling onto your rug Carbon monoxide build-up can become a serious risk when logs don’t burn thoroughly and cleanly.
- Unwanted Smell – Going camping and smelling a campfire can be a great experience. Having that same smell in your home all the time is the opposite of a great experience. You’re looking at a hard to get rid of the smoke smell infiltrating all 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 TVs internal components in record time.
Now that you understand how bad a wood fireplace is for your house, you might think, “That’s fine, I’ll just get one of those gas fireplaces.” Consider this; gas fireplaces have plenty of problematic issues and annoyances of their own:
- Gas Line – Without fail, quality gas fireplaces must have gas lines installed 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 you want to use when describing the flames of your fireplace. However, this is exactly what you will say 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 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 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 something combustible around the fireplace to catch fire needlessly.
- 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 even have to 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 provides numerous 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, clean-up 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 the best temperature 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 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 invest in a high-end fireplace, you can capture the atmosphere of a real fireplace. If you go with a fireplace with 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 freestanding fireplace 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 mounted directly on the wall. You can get a modern corner electric fireplace 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, which 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 has 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 go all out and get a luxury electric fireplace, you can expect it to come with all the bells and whistles those other fireplaces don’t come close to matching. You can look forward to stunning flame effects, crisp sounds of crackling logs, unrivaled electric heating, and much more.
- Simplified Installation – Pick a spot. Set your electric fireplace there. Plug the fireplace directly into a 120-volt electrical socket. Don’t use an extension cord. Installation is that easy unless you mount or install it inside the wall.
How much weight can an electric fireplace mantel hold?
You have your electric fireplace and want to set some items on top for decoration or convenience. However, the question persists: how much weight can an electric fireplace mantel hold?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer for all electric fireplace mantels. Instead, let’s talk about a few different types of electric 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 fireplace manufacturer to find out how much weight an electric fireplace mantel 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 able to handle light to medium amounts 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 – Designed to sit in the corner. Usually, the triangle shape and wider foundation allow a more stable footing. This also contributes to their handling a bit more weight than a standard wall model.
- Hanging Wall Mount Fireplace – Keep in mind that all the weight rests on the wall brackets 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, a large piece of art, an 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 – Designed with weight in mind. You can probably fit a large TV, your movie collection, some books, and more, depending on the size.
Additional tips when it comes to the weight your mantel can withstand:
- Tipping Over – When adding weight on top of the mantel, you raise the center of gravity and make it even more likely that the fireplace may tip over dangerously. Even fireplaces placed on the ground should be secured to the wall using mounting brackets.
- 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 mantel on that side to take the brunt of the weight. When adding anything of significant weight to the mantel 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 mantel can handle it better.
- Material Consideration – Material quality will vary quite a bit between different brands and even models. It becomes less of a concern to place anything of weight onto a mantel 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 mantel so that it will hold together under some weight.
Should you place a TV on the fireplace mantel or should you mount it on the wall?
Electric fireplaces are safe to have TVs above them unless the heat blower points directly up. However, should the TV be placed on the mantel, 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 Can an Electric Fireplace Mantel Hold
- Is the fireplace wall mounted or on the floor?
A fireplace’s main purpose is not to be a TV stand. Because of this, avoid TVs that are too heavy or extend past the width of the fireplace. Smaller TVs will be better.
Fireplace mantels aren’t all built equally. Build quality, the material used, and the fireplace design will all come into play regarding weight allowance.
If your fireplace is secured to the floor, it will likely be able to handle more weight than one that is wall mounted.
If you have any doubts about how much weight an electric fireplace mantel can hold with a TV, just be safe and mount the TV separately above the electric fireplace.
Electric fireplace brand comparison
By now, it should be quite obvious that you should avoid generic brands of electric fireplaces no matter how good of a price you see. What about other brands?
You can choose from a selection of popular electric fireplace brands: Dimplex, Touchstone, Duraflame, and more. They each have their strengths and weaknesses and how 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. Other fireplaces use mechanical spinning contraptions that aren’t very convincing. Some fireplaces even use a water vapor system where lights reflect off 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 begin, MagikFlame has the already mentioned HoloFlame technology that sets it apart from all the other electric fireplace competition. The trick to this technology; moving holograms of 3D flames and flickering embers projected 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.
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 from, including some calming nature sounds.
The ability to warm a home is the ultimate goal of any good electric fireplace. MagikFlame has this covered with a 5,200 BTU heater that is built right inside.
Can you place things on a recessed electric fireplace?
This highly depends on how deep the fireplace is recessed into the wall. If it is completely recessed, nothing can 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 off 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.