Are you working with an interior designer to remodel your home and spice up your home decor? Are you building a new home and working with an architect or home builder? Either way, finding the perfect focal point for your living room is vital. While many homes choose to just make the main room of your house all about the TV, a much warmer and more inviting interior design element is a premium living room electric fireplace by a trusted brand.
Of course, when it comes to an electric fireplace, many people don’t even know where to begin. A lot of people think that a traditional fireplace that burns wood is perfectly fine. While some understand the dangers and problems of wood fireplaces, they fail to see how gas fireplaces aren’t actually the best alternative. Even for those who know they want an electric fireplace in their home, there are so many different types of electric fireplaces that it can be an overwhelming nightmare trying to pick the right one for you. That’s where this article comes in.
In this post, we are going to talk about the various benefits that electric fireplaces have over wood and gas fireplaces so that you are confident that an electric fireplace is the right choice for your home. We will explain the different types of modern electric fireplace designs and which you might want to go within different scenarios. Finally, we will give you the top five electric fireplaces with the best fireplace design for you to put in your home. We will also cover some good brands, as well as the modern fireplace with fire effects that genuinely look like a real flame. Let’s jump right into the article and help you pick out the perfect electric fireplace for your living space.
Here Is Everything That Will Be Covered In The Post That Follows:
- What Are The Common Types of Wood-Burning Fireplaces? – In this first section, we will explain the common types of fireplaces that burn wood as a fuel source. It’s important to know what types there are, so you know what the downsides of them will be.
- Why Are Wood Fireplaces Bad For Your Living Room? – While many people are beginning to see the downsides that come with wood fireplaces, some people just still aren’t aware of the many dangers and concerns that are involved with them. In this section, we will cover all of the problems that you can expect to face if you are using an existing fireplace that burns wood or is thinking about building a new one into your home.
- What Are The Common Gas Fireplace Types? – Slightly better than wood fireplaces are gas fireplaces. These are the different types of gas fireplaces that you can usually find available for your home in place of a wood fireplace.
- What Downsides Do Gas Fireplaces Have? – Although gas fireplaces are going to be a slightly better option than wood fireplaces, they will still result in quite a few problems that a lot of people aren’t aware of until they already have one in their home. If you were thinking about getting one of the different types of gas fireplaces in your home, this section will explain why that really isn’t a good idea and why you should look into a better alternative for your heating needs.
- What Are The Different Electric Fireplace Types? – There are many different electric fireplace types on the market and knowing what type is good for your home can be a bit of a headache to figure out. In this section, we will discuss all of the common electric fireplace types, which ones are likely going to be the best solution for you, and which ones you might want to consider avoiding altogether.
- Why Is a Living Room Electric Fireplace Better Than a Wood or Gas Fireplace? – If it wasn’t clear by now, electric fireplaces are a much better fireplace alternative to wood and gas fireplaces. This section will talk about all of the benefits and features that you can expect to enjoy in your home if you choose to get a fireplace that runs completely on electricity to warm your home.
- What Living Room Electric Fireplace Brands Are Better Than Generic Fireplaces Found on Amazon or Wayfair? – It’s easy to see generic fireplaces on Amazon that are on sale and think it might be a good idea. This section will explain exactly why you should avoid generic fireplaces completely and will cover some of the brands that are a little more trustworthy and reliable when it comes to a proper electric fireplace for the main room of your home. This will cover brands like Southern Enterprises and more.
- What Are The Top Five Electric Fireplaces For a Living Room? – In this section, we will give you a list of the exact top five electric fireplaces that you should consider for use in your living room. These fireplaces were handpicked to be the absolute top fireplaces when it comes to reliability, aesthetic quality, and realism. There are different types of fireplaces included depending on what you need for your home.
- What Brand of Fireplace Has The Most Realistic Flame Effect? – If it is important to you to have a fireplace with fire effects that look exactly like the real thing, this article is going to cover the brand that has the most realistic flames on the market and why you should claim one as the aesthetically pleasing central focus of your living room.
What Are The Common Types of Wood Burning Fireplaces?
To properly understand why wood fireplaces are bad for your home, you need to also understand what types of wood fireplaces there are. Here are the most common types of wood fireplaces you will find:
- Open Hearth Fireplace – This is the most common type of wood fireplace. This fireplace has an opening so that you can build a fire, usually one some sort of grate. These may have a simple screen to set up and help with safety.
- Enclosed Fireplace – These are similar to open-hearth but the flames are completely enclosed, usually behind glass doors, and heat is blown into the room through vents. These are more efficient and safer than standard open-hearth fireplaces.
- Fireplace Insert – This is a wood fireplace insert to turn an open-hearth fireplace into one that is a completely enclosed fireplace. Don’t confuse these with electric inserts that turn wood fireplaces into electric fireplaces.
- Wood Fireplace Stove – You burn wood inside of these stoves and the stove itself radiates heat throughout a room. These have a venting pipe that leads out of the home and the top is able to be used for some basic cooking. These are usually just used in cabins or other rural homes.
- Fire Pit – These are outdoor fireplaces. While they can be a fun novelty, they aren’t practical as a primary heat source at your home and are usually just used for outdoor comfort during the colder months of the year.
Why Are Wood Fireplaces Bad For Your Living Room?
Most people understand that wood fireplaces are a bit more dangerous and have some issues. However, many people don’t understand the extent of these problems. Here are the common wood fireplace downsides:
- Fire Safety – Soot builds up inside of the chimney and it can easily lead to a house fire, which is why you have to have a professional cleaner sweep your chimney several times per year. The exposed flame inside of your home also can come into contact with flammable materials within your house.
- Harmful Emissions – Wood fireplaces produce both carbon monoxide and smoke that is dangerous to breathe in and can even be fatal. No matter how much of these harmful emissions escape out of the chimney, some will always find their way into your home.
- Hassle To Use – There is no denying that using wood fireplaces might as well be a part-time job whenever you are at home. You have to clean up the ash, split logs, build fires, stoke flames, and keep an eye on it at all times for safety.
- Heat Loss Problem – The chimney is great when it comes to allowing smoke to get out of your home. Unfortunately, tons of heat escapes as well. This makes wood fireplaces very heat inefficient. You have to burn a lot of wood in order for you to keep your home toasty.
- Smell – The smoke always leaves a strong smell in your home. This smell isn’t just in the air. It gets into the furniture and curtains, carpet and rugs, and even your clothes and your hair. Although you might get used to the smell, it will still be on you when you leave your home, and guests will get hit by the smell when they come to visit you.
- Stains – It isn’t uncommon for soot to build upon your interior wall above your fireplace. Even worse, over the years your walls will begin to yellow from your fireplace use, requiring you to repaint your home much more frequently.
- TV Damage – Wood fireplaces can’t have TVs placed above them. If you attempt to mount one above a fireplace, you will have smoke and heat completely destroying the TV’s internal electronics. This isn’t a type of damage that will usually be covered by TV warranties.
- Wood Storage – Since you will need a lot of wood to keep your home warm, you will need sufficient space to store all of your wood for winter, otherwise you will need frequent and costly wood deliveries.
- Expensive To Build – Although you can’t build a new wood fireplace in many regions of the US, if you can get approval to build one, it will be a huge construction project that will end up costing you quite a lot of money.
What Are The Common Gas Fireplace Types?
If you are looking for a cleaner and safer fireplace, gas fireplaces are definitely a good alternative. But they still have their issues. Here are the main fireplace types:
- Built-In Direct Vent Fireplaces – Some gas fireplaces use a gas that still requires ventilation, which is why you would need one of these direct vent types of fireplaces.
- Built-In Ventless Fireplace – Other gas fireplaces use a gas that doesn’t require any sort of ventilation, so they can be a ventless type.
What Downsides Do Gas Fireplaces Have?
Here are the downsides of gas fireplaces:
- Flame Is Exposed – The flame of these fireplaces is still exposed to your home and can still come into contact with flammable materials.
- Carbon Monoxide – They don’t produce smoke, but they still produce carbon monoxide which can cause poisoning when inhaled.
- Ugly Flame Color – The flames of gas fireplaces don’t usually look right, and the artificial blue gas fireplaces look very tacky.
- Weak Flame – The flames are very weak and don’t quite flicker as wood fireplaces do.
- Costly Installation – Installing one requires gas lines to run, sometimes includes ventilation, and will certainly mean you need to hire a professional to take care of it for you.
What Are The Different Electric Fireplace Types?
There are so many different types of electric fireplaces that it can be troubling when trying to choose the right one for your home. Below are the different types that are commonly available. Some are perfect for a more traditional experience that feels like a real fireplace, some have a more modern design and feel to them, while some should be completely avoided due to their weak performance and tackiness. Here are the different electric fireplace types:
- Flat Wall Fireplace Mantel Package – If you want a fireplace that looks the most like the real thing, this is usually going to be your best bet. This is a fireplace and mantel package that is installed on the floor of your home, and up against a flat wall so that it looks like it is attached to a chimney outside of your home. Unlike a real wood fireplace that is typically located on a wall that is opposite of outdoor space, these electric mantel package fireplaces can be installed against any wall, even interior walls, allowing you much more freedom. Typically, these fireplaces have the mantel disconnected from the actual fireplace and you connect them during installation. This is because many manufacturers offer several different types of mantels with the same fireplace. The extra bonus for customers is that they can easily change to a completely different mantel year down the road if they choose to redecorate. This can be a different mantel from the same company or a third-party mantel that fits the fireplace dimensions without issues.
- Corner Fireplace – When it comes to functionality, these are no different than the mantel package fireplaces above. Often, the fireplace inside is the same exact fireplace technology if it comes from the same company. However, the housing of the fireplace with these is built so that is can easily fit within the corner of a room and face the center, at a clean, 45-degree angle. There are two reasons that you might want a corner fireplace rather than one for a flat wall. The first reason is that you might have limited space available in the room, and a corner electric fireplace takes up a bit less space and is more out of the way than the main wall. The second reason is that you might have a home with a more asymmetrical room layout where the corner of the room will actually make a better point of focus on a flat wall in the room.
- Electric Fireplace TV Stand – These are media consoles or entertainment centers with electric fireplaces built into the body of it. While these can be decent combinations that will help you save space by combining two different pieces of furniture into one main piece for your home, there can be some problems as well. First, the limited space means the fireplace technology itself might have some sacrifices made to it so it will perform worse than a dedicated electric fireplace. Second, the shelving and other features are extremely limited due to the fire fireplace taking up vital storage space. Finally, if you get one of these and it breaks or has problems, you will essentially be replacing two pieces instead of one, even if only one portion of it has a problem. Buy these with caution.
- Corner TV Stand Fireplace – These are the same as the TV stands with fireplaces built into them shown above except that it is built for a corner rather than being a typical rectangular design that goes against a wall. Unfortunately, a corner design for these fireplaces can suffer from even more issues due to even more limited space. If you want a TV stand in the corner that is also a fireplace, you’re actually better off getting a corner fireplace that isn’t a TV stand. You can still put a TV on top of them, but by not having the cabinets and shelving space, you can get a fireplace that is of a much higher quality. With streaming being the main form of entertainment for most people these days and modern TVs having streaming apps built into them, there isn’t much need for shelving and cabinetry anyway.
- Wall Mount Electric Fireplace – A wall-mounted electric fireplace is one that is securely mounted onto a wall, hanging above the floor, using specially designed mounting brackets that attach to the strong wooden studs behind the drywall of the home. A wall-mount electric fireplace is also commonly installed into a recessed wall for a more flush, modern look. A fireplace embedded in this way takes up less space and allows for much more accessibility, especially in smaller rooms with less space to walk around. These can also come in large linear fireplace designs that stretch very wide along entire sections of a wall. While they don’t necessarily look as traditional as a unit that sits on the floor with a proper mantel, they can be a decent combination of traditional effects with a modern design.
- Electric Fireplace Insert– If you have an old wood fireplace in your home and you want to make the move to electric fireplaces, these inserts are the perfect solution for you. These electric inserts go into the opening of a standard wood fireplace, or even some gas fireplaces. It then converts it into one that is completely electric, making it safer and more heat efficient. Not only can you use these inserts for fireplace conversions, but you can also use them if you want to use a third-party mantel for your fireplace rather than one offered by the manufacturer of your fireplace. If you are really adventurous and good with your hands, you can even build yourself a custom mantel to surround a fireplace insert.
- Freestanding Electric Fireplace Heater – A Freestanding fireplace is just a portable space heater with fire effects included. The problem with this is that you are trying to fit both the fire effects and the infrared quartz electric fireplace heater into the same small package. When you are limiting the size this much and trying to fit both fire effects and heating into one small area, both are going to suffer as a result. Because of this, these devices are worse at heating than a standard portable heater and they have very poor, retrofire effects as well. You should avoid purchasing one of these for your home if you care about proper heating or fire effects that look good. If you truly need an extra portable device, get a standard one rather than one that includes fire effects. Put it in a closet until it is needed, and use a regular electric fireplace as your primary heat source.
- Electric Stove – These are nothing more than electric fireplace that is designed for it to look like a wood stove that you’d typically find in extremely rural houses or log cabins. Unfortunately, unlike a real wood stove, these don’t typically allow you to do cooking on top of it, and it is usually just for aesthetics. In most cases, you are better off getting a standard mantel package or a corner fireplace instead of one of these electric stoves. The stoves can look very out of place and tacky in most situations.
Why Is a Living Room Electric Fireplace Better Than a Wood or Gas Fireplace?
Here are all of the amazing benefits that electric fireplace owners get to enjoy on a regular basis:
- No Added Fire Risk – One of the most important benefits of electric fireplaces is that they don’t actually burn anything. That means there is no flame to be exposed to your home, and no flammable soot building up inside of a chimney. With electric fireplaces, there is no added danger of a catastrophic house fire like there is with both wood and gas fireplaces.
- No Harmful Emissions – In addition to fire safety, there is also a lot more safety when it comes to your breathing. Since nothing is burned, no smoke or carbon monoxide is produced and released into your home. While you should still always have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, electric fireplaces won’t actually increase the risk of either of these, making them much better for your long-term health.
- No Staining or Smells – Another great benefit of the lack of smoke is that you don’t have to worry at all about any kind of weird stains on your walls or any lingering smells in your home like you have to worry about in fireplaces that burn wood, and to a lesser degree, fireplaces that burn gas.
- Using it is Easy – It couldn’t be any easier to use an electric fireplace. Once you turn it on and it is set to the temperature that you want in your home, you can completely ignore it and go about your day. When the temperature falls, it will work harder to warm your home. When the temperature is correct, it will much less to maintain the temperature and save you money on your electric bill.
- Easy Installing – The installation when it comes to an electric fireplace is almost effortless. When you get one, you simply have to choose the spot where you want it to go, set it down, and find a nearby standard 120-volt electrical outlet for you to plug it into. The only installations that might be slightly more involved are if you want one to be wall-mounted. Even those situations don’t typically require the help of a professional. You can usually do that yourself or with the help of a friend or family member. Even then, it won’t take long to accomplish the installation.
- Any Room – While electric fireplaces look amazing in the main room of your home, because they only need a standard wall outlet and don’t need any venting, they can easily be installed into any room that you have in your home. It is not uncommon for people to put them in their family room, their dining room, their bedroom, their office, their game room, and more. For most units, you can easily move it from one room to another if you change your mind about what room you would like your fireplace in.
- TV Safe – If you want to mount a TV up above an electric fireplace, it is perfectly safe to do so. There is no smoke to damage the internals of a TV mounted above your fireplace, and any heat that the fireplace produces is typically blown out into the center of the room, rather than rising directly upwards into the TV.
- Heat Efficiency – Because of their infrared quartz heating devices and the fact that there is no ventilation to lose residual heat in the room, electric fireplaces are incredibly heat efficient. This is why they can quickly warm a home, maintain the heat temperature, and do all of this while using the least amount of electricity necessary, saving you a ton of your heating bill.
- Supplemental Zone Heating – For gigantic homes with a lot of square feet, more than a single fireplace can keep warm, you can actually save even more on your heating bill by getting a second or third fireplace and setting up zone heating. The way this works is you have fireplaces in different rooms, strategically placed throughout your home. You then only turn on those fireplaces with that zone of the house is being used by people. You leave the other fireplaces in unoccupied zones off and you keep doors closed between rooms. By doing this, you will be able to warm these smaller areas faster and keep them warm using much less electricity than if you were to try to warm your entire home all at once. This means you will save a lot on your heating bill, possibly more than a single fireplace in a smaller home. Of course, this will depend on the size of your zones and how many fireplaces you choose to get. While the cost of multiple fireplaces is higher upfront, the savings on your heating bill can eventually more than cover the cost of those additional fireplaces. If you were to get a fireplace on a payment plan, you can expect your heating savings to help make your fireplace payments right away.
- Remote Control – They typically come with some sort of remote or smartphone app so that you can easily change the heat settings of the thermostat without getting up from your seat. These remotes can also turn the fireplace on and off and change any fire effect settings that your fireplace might come with. Usually, the smartphone app is a better alternative compared to a standard remote.
- Flame Effect Captures Fireplace Ambiance – If you wisely choose to invest in an electric fireplace that uses realistic fire effects, like holographic flames offered by MagikFlame, you can expect to have a fireplace that truly captures both the ambiance and atmosphere that a real fireplace has, without any of the issues or problems that arise with wood fireplaces.
What Living Room Electric Fireplace Brands Are Better Than Generic Fireplaces Found on Amazon or Wayfair?
When it comes to getting a fireplace for your home, you don’t want to sell yourself short by getting a generic fireplace, no matter how enticing the cheap pricing is. The truth is that a generic fireplace will end up costing you a lot more in the long run. When it comes to generic fireplaces, they tend to have very poor heating devices inside of them that can’t properly warm your home. This means that they will be working at the top capacity and still leaving your home colder than it should be. This makes it very heat inefficient. Not only will this quickly rack up a large electric bill, but the fireplace will break down and stop working due to the punishment it is taking from constantly trying to work so hard without any results. It will only be a year or so before it requires repairs or replacement.
On top of the poor heating performance, the fire effects of these units are usually bad. At worst, they are basic spinning mechanical devices in them with LED lights reflecting off of them. At best, they have an LED flame that looks a little better but is still too flat and 2D. It is important to take your time to find a quality electric fireplace that is reliable, has a powerful and efficient heater, looks great in your home, and has realistic fire effects.
Some decent brands are companies like Southern Enterprises, Duraflame, Touchstone, Dimplex, and more. However, if you want a reliable, premium electric fireplace with realistic 3D holographic flames, you need to focus your attention on MagikFlame electric fireplaces.
Keep in mind that several fireplace brands tend to focus on certain types, styles, materials, and more. Some make good stainless steel fireplaces, some make ones with beautiful solid wood with a white finish, some make ones that are a darker espresso color, and so on. Find an electric fireplace that you trust and get one of their mantel packages if the mantels fit the design choices in your home. However, if they don’t have a mantel that you prefer, it is better to get their insert and purchase a third-party mantel for it, rather than get a fireplace from an inferior company just because you like their mantel style more. You may end up regretting that purchase once it is in your home, but you won’t regret a high-quality fireplace insert from a better company since you can easily change the mantel at your leisure.
What Are The Top Five Electric Fireplaces For a Living Room?
When it comes to electric fireplaces, even if you know a lot about types and brands, it can still be hard to choose. For that reason, here are the hand-selected top fire electric fireplaces that you should get for your home. Choosing one of these five electric fireplaces means you will not regret your purchase and you will be confident that your fireplace will last for years to come. Here are the top five fireplaces:
- Trinity Fireplace Mantel Package – This beautiful and luxurious grand fireplace looks amazing in any home with its gorgeous, solid white mantel. The mantel itself features modern clean shapes and lines that do the talking, rather than being too busy with a lot of ornate details.
- Morpheus Small Fireplace Mantel Package – This fireplace is very similar to the Trinity listed above, however, it is a slightly more compact mantel style if you have a little less room to work with but you still want a standard type of fireplace to go against a flat wall.
- Churchill Corner Fireplace: The Churchill is another fireplace that features beautiful and timeless solid white housing, however, it is designed with the corner of a room in mind to save space or if your room layout makes the corner a better point of focus.
- Smith Fireplace Mantel Package: If you love the Trinity but want something in a darker wood to fit your particular home design choices, this fireplace is perfect. It features a beautiful black walnut mantel with a rich grain and texture.
- MagikFlame Fireplace Insert: These inserts pack in everything that is great about MagikFlame fireplaces without the mantel. This is perfect if you want to convert your existing wood fireplace into one that is electric. You can also use this if you want to use it with a third-party mantel that better fits your decorating style, or if you want to build a custom mantel yourself.
What Brand of Fireplace Has The Most Realistic Flame Effect?
If you have been reading this far, it is probably no surprise that MagikFlame fireplaces clearly have the most realistic flames that you can get in an electric fireplace for your home. However, that isn’t all that you get with these amazing fireplaces. Here is everything that MagikFlame customers love about MagikFlame electric fireplaces:
- 30 Different 3D Holographic Flickering Modern Flames – The firebox of a MagikFlame fireplace features a real, physical log set over a glowing ember bed. When you turn your fireplace on, the exclusive Holoflame technology works its magic. 3D holographic flames that move and flicker are projected onto the physical log set inside. This makes it one of the most realistic electric fireplaces on the market and people visiting your home will likely not even realize it is an electric fireplace at all. To set the mood to your exact preference, you can easily choose between 30 different styles of these flames at the simple push of a button.
- Crackling Log Sounds – To add even more depth to the realism of MagikFlame fireplaces, they also have an audio enhancement by playing crackling log sounds that accompany the beautiful visual effects. Hearing the snaps and crackles of the flames and sparking embers elevates the warm and inviting atmosphere even further. In addition to the sounds of crackling logs, you can choose to play different nature sounds to further add to a relaxing mood.
- 5,200 BTU Infrared Heater – In every MagikFlame fireplace is a heater that is both powerful and efficient. This fireplace can easily warm an area of up to 1,000 sq. ft. This will usually be able to warm a condo, an apartment, or a small to medium-sized home with no problem with a single MagikFlame fireplace. If you have a home that has more square feet, such as a very large home with many different rooms, you can benefit even more by getting a second MagikFlame fireplace and setting up zone heating which was previously discussed in this article.
- Smartphone App Control – The problem with your normal remotes is that they require you to change the batteries frequently, you get them mixed up with your other remotes, or they fall into the cracks of your couch and you have trouble finding them. With MagikFlame fireplaces, they come with an incredibly intuitive and simple-to-use smartphone app. This app has large, graphic buttons so that you can easily turn your fireplace on or off from any room within your house. This means you can turn on your fireplace before you leave your bedroom in the morning, or turn it off after you are already warmly tucked into your bed. You can also change the temperature, cycle through the flame effects, control the audio effects, and much more.