Many homeowners these days choose an interior decoration style that is more modern and minimalist. This also applies to the fireplace.
Traditional fireplaces tend to be bulky, take up a lot of room, and look too old-fashioned. However, many people are switching to electric fireplaces to change this. By switching to a top tier electric fireplace, you can have the ambiance, atmosphere, and warmth of a traditional fireplace that is wood burning, but without all of the problems and hassles that comes with them.
For a modern look, many electric fireplace owners choose to go with a fireplace that can be mounted on the wall like a flat-screen TV. This provides a fantastic focal point and ambiance for the family room or living room that you hang one in.
To further add to the sleek look, many of these wall mount fireplaces are recessed into the wall. The recessed look makes it sit almost flush, adding depth within the wall. A recessed electric fireplace is almost as easy to mount as a normal one, except you are installing it into the drywall itself. Many of these come with stainless steel housing.
If you are going to hang your first electric fireplace, you probably have some questions. How exactly do I install one? How high to hang electric fireplace? Do I need to keep the bottom of the fireplace clear? Do I need an installer, or can I do this myself?
We will cover all of these questions and more.
In this post, you will learn:
- Why People Are Getting Away From Wood and Gas Fireplaces – Here we will highlight the important reasons that people are getting away from traditional fireplaces and choosing an electric fireplace.
- Benefits of Electric Fireplaces – We cover all of the amazing benefits that electric fireplaces offer just in case you are on the fence about purchasing one.
- DIY Safety Tips – Before taking on any project, it’s important to follow some basic safety tips.
- Tools and Materials Needed To Hang an Electric Fireplace – We will list the tools and materials that you will likely need when hanging an electric fireplace.
- Choosing The Right Spot For Your New Fireplace – How to choose the right location for the electric fireplace you are planning to hang.
- Pre-Installation – What you need to do right before hanging your electric fireplace.
- How High To Hang Electric Fireplace? – Here we answer the important question: How high to hang electric fireplace? We also cover a few more tips when hanging.
- Step 1: Attach The Mounting Brackets To The Wall – How to make sure you hang your brackets properly so that your fireplace is secure.
- Step 2: Attach The Fireplace To The Mounting Brackets – How to hang the fireplace onto the brackets in the correct way.
- Step 3: Attach The Screen To The Fireplace – For fireplaces that have a removable screen, how to attach the screen that it comes with.
- How Do Electric Fireplaces Generate Heat? – A quick primer on how an electric fireplace works to make your house feel warm.
- How Do Electrical Fireplaces Generate Flame Visuals? – Here we cover the different ways that electric fireplace technology simulates fire and which technology is best.
- Why A MagikFlame Electric Fireplace Might Be Right For You – Here we highlight one of the best electric fireplaces that you can find on the market.
Why People Are Getting Away From Wood and Gas Fireplaces?
Fireplaces that warm your house by wood-burning are becoming less common. Many new homes aren’t even allowed to have a chimney and fireplace built into them due to regulation and newer building codes in the area. For people that already own a home that has a fireplace in it, many of them are choosing not to even use it.
A wood fireplace is one of the most expensive ways to warm your home. On top of this, they can be incredibly dangerous. Having a wood-burning fireplace is one of the leading causes of house fires. You also have to deal with possible smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning becoming a problem.
Wood fireplaces need tons of work, both while using it and regular maintenance. If you’re not constantly stoking the fire and putting more logs on, your fire will die down and your home will get cold. Every day, you have to clean all of the ash out of the firebox. If that wasn’t enough, you have to hire an expensive professional to come clean all of the soot out of your flue and chimney at least a couple of times per year.
While a gas fireplace might seem like a better option, it still has plenty of its own faults. First, you have to run gas lines to where the fireplace will be located. If you want naturally-colored flame, you have to also install ventilation. If you want to go with a ventless system, you have to use a gas that burns a blue flame color that looks completely artificial. You still have a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning due to an incomplete burn of any gas in your system. Even with proper ventilation there always seems to be a slight gassy smell when using these fireplaces.
For all of these reasons, many people are choosing to go with a high end electric fireplace.
Benefits of Electric Fireplaces
High end electric fireplaces are easily one of the cheapest methods to heat your home. Especially if you have multiple fireplaces in different rooms of your house and set your home up to allow a zone heating system, where fireplaces are only running when those rooms are occupied. This is especially useful for large homes with a lot of sq. ft.
Because a high end electric fireplace is so cost-effective, many people see their fireplace as an investment in their home. If you spend more and get a quality fireplace, the savings on your heating bill will eventually more than cover the cost of the fireplace. It essentially pays for itself in the long run. Also, because these don’t require ventilation, no heat is lost like when you use a normal fireplace with a chimney.
Electric fireplaces don’t burn anything and are incredibly safe to use in your home. There is no added risk of a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning like one that burns wood or gas.
A plug-in electric fireplace is really easy to install. For many units, you set it in the spot you’ve chosen, and then plug it into your standard wall outlet. If you choose a wall mount fireplace, hanging it yourself is really simple. Unless you’re installing a large linear fireplace or need new electrical outlets installed, you shouldn’t even need a professional for help. Even with a wall mount linear fireplace, often the help of a friend or family member is enough to get the job done.
Electric fireplaces will sometimes have a remote control that it comes with so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your seat to turn it on or off, set the thermostat, or toggle additional features. Alternatively, some high end electric fireplaces use their own smartphone app instead of a remote control.
Styles of Electrical Fireplaces
There are four standard styles of electrical fireplaces commonly purchased for homes:
- Electric Fireplace Mantel – These are electric fireplaces that look the most like traditional fireplaces. They come with a fireplace unit and a mantel to house it. Because they come as separate pieces, you can choose what style mantel you want. Once in a while, you will see these as part of a larger entertainment center.
- Electric Fireplace Insert – This is an insert kit so that you can convert traditional fireplaces into one that runs on electricity. You simply install this electric fireplace directly into the opening in your traditional fireplace.
- Freestanding Electric Fireplace – These are basically space heating devices that are made to look somewhat like a fireplace. These are easily available on Amazon, but tend to be incredibly cheap and tacky.
- Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace – A wall mount electric fireplace is one that can be hung on the wall using a mounting bracket or multiple mounting brackets. A wall mount electric fireplace usually has a thinner profile, and most of the time it can be installed directly into the drywall for that partially or fully recessed look.
Out of these four types, the wall mount electric fireplace is the one that we will be focusing on most for this post. Chances are, you have recently purchased a wall mount electric fireplace or are planning to pick one up in the near future.
Now we will show you exactly what you need to do to hang one of these units yourself.
DIY Safety Tips
Before starting any home project, it’s important to exercise proper safety techniques. Wear gloves and proper eye protection at all times, especially if you use any kind of power tools during your project.
Some of the wall mount electric fireplaces can be quite large. Make sure to lead with your legs, not with your back. For particularly large units, like a Dimplex BLF50 or a Touchstone linear fireplace, get the help of a friend or family member to help you mount it. Not only will you be sparing yourself some potential back pain, but you will also be minimizing your chance of dropping your fireplace and damaging it during installation.
Tools and Materials Needed To Hang an Electric Fireplace
The materials you need to hang your new fireplace should be included with the wall mount electric fireplace that you purchase. This includes mounting brackets, screws, and more.
For tools, you will likely need the following:
- Tape Measurer – You will need to tape measurer to precisely measure where your brackets will go and how high off of the ground to place your fireplace.
- Stud Finder – Simply knocking on the wall to find the studs can result in a mistake. Stud finding devices can be picked up quite cheaply at your local hardwood store.
- Carpenter’s Level – You will need this to make sure you don’t end up with a crooked fireplace.
- Screwdrivers – You will need some basic screwdrivers. The type depends on the type of screws your fireplace mounting brackets use.
- Electric Drill – This tool is technically optional, but it makes the entire process a lot easier.
Choosing The Right Spot For Your New Fireplace
You need to choose a spot in the room that has a clear open space on the wall. For aesthetic purposes, try to give it plenty of room so that it will be the main focal point on that wall.
You also want to make sure that it is a part of the room that will efficiently blow warm air. Usually this is close to the main seating area.
Lastly, you want to make sure that you place it somewhat near an electrical outlet so you can easily plug it in. You shouldn’t use an extension cord, so if you don’t have an electrical outlet next to the fireplace location, you can have an electrician install a new one for you.
Before you begin, make sure to clear all of the clutter away from your work space. You want a clear floor space so you can maneuver easily once you are hanging the fireplace on the mounts.
Neatly organize all of the parts and materials that you will be using, as well as your tools. This will make it easier once you begin.
How High To Hang Electric Fireplace?
How high to hang electric fireplace largely depends on the size of the fireplace, but it is also up to your personal preferences.
Most people tend to hang them so that their vertical center is slightly below eye level when standing. Of course this will make a difference depending on how tall you are. Slightly lower will usually be better so that less tall people can still easily enjoy the view of the fireplace.
However, you also don’t want to go too low, otherwise you might have just purchased a mantel unit instead of one that is wall mounted.
Step 1: Attach The Mounting Brackets To The Wall
It is important to check the instructions of the specific unit that you chose to go with and follow them. However, most electric fireplaces that hang on the wall will follow these three basic steps.
First, you need to attach the mounting brackets to the wall. These should be attached to the wood studs inside of the wall. If you attempt to attach these directly into drywall without attaching to the stud behind it, the weight of the fireplace will break the drywall and your fireplace will crash to the floor.
Make sure the brackets are perfectly level, and the fireplace will be the height that you want it at after the fireplace is placed on the brackets.
Step 2: Attach The Fireplace To The Mounting Brackets
Now that the brackets are properly attached to the wall, you can hang the fireplace onto the mounts. The way this is done will vary. Different models will have different ways they are hung.
Some fireplaces use a bottom mount that the fireplace rests on. You will also have holes on the back of the fireplace for the top bracket hooks to grab onto.
As you place the fireplace on the brackets, make sure that everything is still level. Usually the hooks can be finely adjusted for a perfect fit.
Step 3: Attach The Screen To The Fireplace
Some fireplaces need to have the screen installed at this point. Follow the instructions that came with your model to install the screen if yours doesn’t already come pre-installed.
Once the screen is on and secure, simply plug your fireplace into an outlet and turn it on. Congratulations, you have successfully mounted your fireplace!
How Do Electric Fireplaces Generate Heat?
Electric fireplaces produce heat via convection. Cool air from the room enters the fireplace, a heating coil warms the air inside of the fireplace, and then a blower sends the warm air gently back into the room.
How well an electric fireplace warms a room will be dependent on the brand and model. You can check out well the heater works. It will be measured as BTU, or British Thermal Units. The higher the BTU rating the fireplace has, the better it can warm your home.
How Do Electrical Fireplaces Generate Flame Visuals?
This depends on the brand and model. Cheap brands will use simple mechanical devices that reflect lights.
There are others that are slightly better like, Touchstone, Amantii, Dimplex, and more. These can look a little more realistic.
However, the most believable electric fireplaces on the market use hologram technology. Something like a MagikFlame electric fireplace uses their unique Holoflame technology to project a 3D hologram flame effect on a real log set that sits inside.
Why A MagikFlame Electric Fireplace Might Be Right For You?
MagikFlame electric fireplaces are easily the electric fireplaces with the most realism on the market. Their previously mentioned Holoflame technology produces 30 different flame and ember effects that look like a real flame.
They have a 5,200 BTU heater built into every single unit.
On top of all of this, their fireplaces produce realistic crackly log sounds to complete the fireplace atmosphere.
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