Trying to find a great heating solution for your new home or when you are choosing to remodel your existing home can be a bit of a difficult challenge. Of course, if you are building a home, you need to consult with your architect. Or, instead of an architect, you might be at a stage where you can speak directly with the home builder. If you are just spicing up the home decor in the place you already live, you probably need to consult with an interior designer or at least look up some interior design ideas online. Regardless, many homeowners want a heating solution that not only does a great job keeping a home warm but also has an aesthetically pleasing visual flair. So, what kind of heating solution do you go with? Some people have been looking at tabletop fireplaces and wondering if they are a viable alternative for your home to provide both warmth and an inviting ambiance. There are both benefits and problems that come with these of course. In this article, we’ll explore tabletop fireplaces, their different types, why they may or may not be right for you, and some other alternatives as well.
What You Will Learn In This Post:
- What Is a Tabletop Fireplace? – Defining exactly what we mean when we talk about tabletop fireplaces is an important first step, and that is exactly what this initial section in the post is going to do for you. This will give a broad overview of exactly what these fireplaces are.
- What Are The Different Tabletop Fireplace Types? – There are quite a few different types of tabletop fireplaces, and this section will cover them. From things like bioethanol to ones that might resemble more of a fire pit, we will cover these different fireplace types, which are suited for indoor use and which are for outdoor use.
- Why Do So Many Tabletop Fireplaces Use Bio Ethanol? – In this section, we are going to talk a bit more about tabletop fireplaces that use bio-ethanol fuel and why they are common for tabletop fireplaces.
- What Are Some Brands of Tabletop Fireplaces I Can Order On Amazon or Some Other Online Website? – There are many brands of indoor-outdoor tabletop fireplaces. Even if you want the top ethanol fireplace, you need to make sure you are buying from a trusted brand. This section will explore brands like Regal Flame and more.
- Is a Tabletop Fireplace a Viable Fireplace Solution? – In this important part of the article, we will talk about if tabletop fireplaces are actually a good solution for your home. We will cover the pros and the cons of tabletop fireplaces for your living room or even as an outdoor fire pit.
- Why Is an Electric Fireplace a Better Solution Than a Fireplace That Can Sit On a Tabletop or Other Fireplace Types? – We are going to discuss electric fireplaces and their benefits when it comes to having a visually stunning home heating solution.
- What Are The Different Types of Electric Fireplaces And What Types Should I Consider? – If you are thinking about electric fireplaces as a great solution for your home, it is important for you to be aware of the many different types and which types you should consider for use in your home. This section will explore these different types.
- Is It Okay To Buy Generic Electric Fireplaces On Amazon or Should I Only Buy a Brand Name Fireplace? – Even though some of the generic electric fireplaces on Amazon have some tempting prices, this section will explain why you might actually be disappointed by not buying from a trusted brand.
- When Purchasing Electric Fireplaces, Which Brand Should I Go With If I Want Powerful and Efficient Heating With Stunning Flame Effects? – Electric fireplaces that are powerful, efficient, and are able to look like a real flame are easily one of the best choices for your home. Because of this, this section will point out just how great MagikFlame fireplaces really are.
Tabletop fireplaces are pretty much what they sound like. These are small fireplaces that can be placed on a table. You can consider them an “anywhere fireplace” because a portable tabletop fireplace can often be put anywhere in your home as long as it is the type made for the indoors. Some are only for the outdoors like fire pit types, therefore they can’t be an anywhere fireplace. They tend to use different types of fuel sources. If it is indoors, they typically won’t be wood burning due to the need for ventilation. They will be a type that can be ventless and smokeless.
There are several types of tabletop fireplaces. All of the indoor types will use a fuel that doesn’t produce smoke or other harmful emissions. This will be something like bioethanol, gel fuel, and more. These are eco-friendly and clean-burning, so they can be the centerpiece on your coffee table or dining room table and you don’t have to worry about ventilation. Because wood-burning requires ventilation due to the harmful emissions, you usually won’t find these in a wood-burning type.
These units can vary wildly in style. Some can be a basic, small unit on a table with a glass cylinder placed around the open flame, with the top still open. Some can be stainless steel with a steel base, some can be wood with glass panels. Some can be outdoor propane versions like a fit pit with a fire bowl.
In an outdoor tabletop fireplace type like this, you might need gas lines ran to it. While indoor units will always be smokeless, it can vary more when it comes to outdoor units, as some can use fuel that produces smoke or other harmful emissions. For this reason, you would want to make sure they are in an open area for emissions to escape, especially with a tabletop fire pit. You wouldn’t want a small fire pit on a patio table with a low covering just above it where emissions can accumulate.
For indoor versions, like ones that would go on a dining table (dream about a dining room with an electric fireplace? Please, take a look at our electric fireplaces for the dining room), it is common to have a snuffer nearby. A snuffer, just like ones used for candles, allow you to easily put out the flame without the risk of burning your hand. This can be a portable bioethanol tabletop fireplace with glass over it, so you can just put out the flame from the top without the need to reach in with your hand or remove the glass.
Keep in mind that some ethanol burners and their fuel cans for a ventless bioethanol tabletop fireplace can have a short burn time and require frequent fuel changes if you use it a lot. While the burn time is increased with larger units with larger fuel capacity, those units will have less portability than a smaller, portable bioethanol fireplace.
Typically, this is due to the safety of the liquid fuel not producing harmful emissions when indoors. Outside in a patio covering will also benefit from the lack of emissions due to the small spaces where fresh air is minimal compared to open spaces in your backyard. While a high-quality fire pit table might put out some emissions, requiring them to be completely out in the open for full ventilation capability.
There are quite a few brands out there like Regal Flame or Dayna B that make decent tabletop fireplaces. Regal Flame is known for making ones with a nice ambience that is added in the room you place them due to their relaxing dancing flame and minimal fireplace housing.
Tabletop fireplaces can look beautiful, but they aren’t really made to properly warm a home beyond the space immediately next to it, and even then they make a weak heating device. The truth is, they are more of a novelty than anything else, and they shouldn’t be used as a primary heating source when it comes to the inside of your home. Instead, you should get something like a standard-sized fireplace that is electric, and if you still want a tabletop version, get one only for its aesthetic purposes.
For the outdoor area of your house, you will have more luck with tabletop fireplaces, but again, they are just a simple novelty when you are hanging out with friends or family in your backyard, and they should be considered a legitimate means of staying warm during a cold winter.
If you are trying to decide between tabletop fireplaces and electric fireplaces for your indoor home heating and aesthetic needs, you will always want to choose electric fireplaces as your primary unit.
Clearly, electric fireplaces are better than tabletop fireplaces due to their stronger ability to heat your home, the fact that they don’t need a fuel source, and how they are a stronger focal point for the room. That being said, what about regular fireplaces that burn wood or full-sized built-in fireplaces that use gas? The truth is, electric fireplaces are still a better choice in both of these situations and we will explain why. First, when it comes to wood fireplaces, there are these main types:
● Open Hearth Fireplace – These are the classic fireplaces where you build a fire on a grate within the firebox of these. They are usually part of a larger chimney with a flue for ventilation. These are commonly made of brick or stone.
● Enclosed Fireplace – The only real difference between these fireplaces and the open hearth style fireplaces is the fact that the front of them is enclosed to help them run a bit more heat efficiently and to protect the home from the exposed flames.
● Wood Fireplace Insert – These inserted units help convert open heart types into enclosed types.
● Wood Stove – These are the types of fireplaces you might find in an old log cabin in the woods are homes in very rural areas. They are a metal stove that sits away from the wall usually, with a venting pipe that leads to the roof. You burn wood inside of these stoves and the entire stove radiates heat all around it to warm a room. The reason it is considered a stove is that the top area is usually flat so that you can do some basic cooking on it, although temperature control can be difficult. You don’t usually find these in most modern homes.
● Outdoor Fire Pits – These are fireplaces in your backyard usually, either in the ground or on a raised table. They are a simple outdoor comfort, and not really intended as a serious way to keep you warm during the wintertime.
While wood fireplaces come with a lot of nostalgia and they seem to be the aesthetics that many people like, they come with quite a few strong downsides that make them something you really shouldn’t be using anymore if you value your time and safety. Here are some of the problems that you will frequently run into with these fireplaces:
● One of the main reasons they are actually banned in many regions when it comes to building a new one is the massive safety issues regarding a potential house fire that can affect both you and your neighbors. The flames that are exposed to your living room present a threat if any embers spark off and come into contact with something that is flammable. But the real unseen threat is the soot that accumulates within the flue and chimney over time. If you don’t have this cleaned out by a professional frequently, then when using your fireplace the flames can ignite this soot, causing a massive fire to swell up on the inside of your chimney. This isn’t something that can easily be extinguished yourself and you will need to call the fire department and home they can help you before it spreads to the rest of the house or that of your neighbors.
● A potential house fire isn’t the only thing that you need to consider when it comes to these fireplaces. The other major safety concern is the harmful emissions that they produce due to burning wood for heat. There are two primary emissions: smoke and carbon monoxide. While ventilation through the chimney certainly helps, no ventilation is perfect and some smoke and carbon monoxide will always manage to find their way into your home. Breathing these in can cause some severe health issues and can even be fatal in large enough amounts.
● Wood fireplaces are not easy to use and can be quite a hassle. Before you even build a fire every day you have to clean out all of that ash from within the firebox and you have to split logs if they aren’t already split. Once that is prepared, you then have to build your fire and wait for it to burn enough to produce significant heat for your home. After it is heating your home, you have to check on it regularly for safety as well as stoke the flames when the fire starts to die down.
● Because of the ventilation needed with wood fireplaces, a lot of heat escapes through this ventilation as well, making these fireplaces very inefficient. You need to burn quite a lot of wood in order to make up for the added heat loss problem.
● It is impossible to escape the smell of smoke within your home when it comes to wood fireplaces.
● The smoke also presents a problem of staining all of your nearby walls and light-colored furniture and carpet over time, requiring frequent cleaning and repainting.
● If you were to decide to hang a TV above a wood fireplace, you’d be unhappy with the result. Both heat and smoke will destroy the internal electronics and your TV will need to be replaced out of your own pocket.
● You need plenty of space to store all of the wood to last you a winter.
● If you were thinking about building one onto your home, think again. They are usually impossible to get approved for in most areas, and even if you were approved, the cost of a construction project like this is very high.
Gas fireplaces have two things going for them compared to wood: they burn a bit cleaner and they can be a little more heat efficient in some cases. However, they still have their issues. Here are the main types:
● Direct Vented: This uses a gas that needs ventilation.
● Vent-Free: This uses a gas that doesn’t need ventilation.
Regardless of what you go with, you still have problems to consider:
● The exposed flame still presents a significant fire safety risk.
● They don’t produce smoke but some still release carbon monoxide.
● The flames are often ugly, especially ones with blue flames.
● The flames usually lack the flickering necessary to look realistic.
● Installing one is quite expensive and requires professional help.
While gas fireplaces are certainly a step in the right direction for most people, they still aren’t as good as electric fireplaces that have all of these benefits to look forward to:
● There’s no added chance of a house fire.
● They don’t produce any kind of harmful emissions.
● They don’t cause stains or smells due to smoke.
● They are very simple to operate.
● Installing them often just means plugging them into a wall outlet.
● You can put them in any room of your home.
● They are safe if you want to hang a TV above them.
● They are incredibly heat efficient and will help save money on your heating bill.
● You can set up supplemental zone heating for very large homes.
● They come with a remote control so you don’t have to get up.
● The fire effects can perfectly capture fireplace ambiance in high-end holographic models.
It’s important to know the different types that are out there, which might be a good solution for your specific needs, and which are not worth the trouble at all. Here are the different types of electric fireplaces:
Flat Wall Mantel Package – This is the most common type and the one that most resembles a traditional open-hearth fireplace for people that love that aesthetic. These are a fireplace and a mantel that you simply connect together during installation. The reason it is already connected for most models is that companies like to offer a variety of different mantels to their customers and the ability to change the mantel in the future if desired.
Corner Fireplace – A corner fireplace really isn’t much different than the mantel package listed just above. Of course, the main difference is that the housing of the fireplace is shaped so that it fits into a corner rather than against a flat wall like a traditional fireplace. These are good if you have limited space available and want something that takes up a bit less space in your home, or if you have a room layout that just works better with a focus on the corner rather than a standard flat wall layout.
TV Stand Fireplace – These are TV stands that have electric fireplaces built into the body of them. While this helps saves space by combining two things into one, you need to be careful when purchasing these. Because of the limited space, some brands may make sacrifices to the fireplace unit itself. This can result in poor-performing heating. Additionally, you need to keep in mind that there is less space for shelving and cabinets that are typically found in TV stands.
Corner TV Stand Fireplace – This is similar to the TV stand fireplace listed above, but it is again built for a corner rather than to be placed against a flat wall. While a standard corner fireplace typically performs just as well as a wall unit, this isn’t necessarily true for corner TV stands. This is because the limited space problem is even more of an issue for these corner units, so it is more likely these sacrifices will be made to the fireplace within it. There will also be even fewer cubby holes and other space for your media collection or additional devices that are normally plugged into a TV.
Wall Mount Fireplace – These units are pretty straightforward. Rather than being installed on the floor, they can be installed by hanging them on the wall, up off of the ground. They use special mounting brackets that attach the fireplace to the studs in the walls, allowing for the wall to properly hold the weight of the fireplace. It is also common for these units to be installed into a recessed wall for a very modern look. They can be installed so that the fireplace is completely flush with the wall, or they can only be partially recessed. This is dependent on your preferences and the wall that you are working with. These can be a standard fireplace width or a much wider linear fireplace width that spans an entire wall.
Fireplace Insert – If you are someone who has an old open-hearth fireplace or something similar, you can convert your wood fireplace into one that is electric with these inserts. In addition to this, you can use these in combination with third-party mantels if the fireplace you like doesn’t necessarily come with a mantel that you like from the same company. Also, these are perfect for people who are DIY inclined and want to build their own custom mantel around one of these inserts. They just need to double-check the dimensions before building for a proper fit.
Freestanding Fireplace Heater – Of course, several of the fireplaces listed in this section can be classified as ones that are free-standing. However, this time we are specifically talking about portable space heaters with a fireplace aesthetic design. While a portable heater can be great for a little extra heat in small spaces, these fireplace versions tend to have issues. Because so much is packed within such a small space, you are going to have problems with both the heating ability of the unit and the visual effects. The units themselves tend to look tacky and cheap, while the heating ability isn’t quite as good as your standard space heater. You should usually avoid these, even as a supplemental heating device. If you need something in addition to one of the normal electric fireplaces, just go with a small, standard portable heating device instead of one that tries to squeeze fire effects into the already small unit.
Fireplace Stove – These are nothing more than electric fireplaces that are trying to imitate the look of a traditional wood stove. While people’s personal preferences are entirely their own, you typically don’t find these being used in any kind of modern homes. Even homes that want a more rustic farmhouse aesthetic are better off getting a standard fireplace with a nice wood mantel.
Unfortunately, generic electric fireplaces only have one benefit: their cheap prices. Beyond that, they are almost useless. Even their cheap prices tend to be a bit of an illusion because of the higher cost associated with them in the long run. When you get a generic fireplace in your home, typically, the heater inside will be less powerful, and much less efficient. This means you will have a fireplace working as hard as it can, and leaving your home temperature less than desirable. On top of this, you will have a huge electric bill that will make the cheap price of the fireplace far from worth it. Beyond this, these units tend to break and have problems much more frequently than trusted brand names. This means you will either have to pay for repairs only a year or two after buying them, or you will have to replace them entirely.
On the opposite side, if you were to spend just a little bit more and invest in a premium fireplace, you will have one that can warm home with ease, while keeping your electric bill as low as possible compared to the generic brand alternatives. On top of this, you will have a fireplace that is much more pleasing to look at and will last you significantly longer than a generic fireplace ever will. In the long run, you will actually end up paying more for a generic fireplace, regardless of the slightly larger initial cost of deluxe electric fireplaces.
If you are interested in something that will last a long time, can heat your home properly and efficiently, and has fire effects that look like the real thing, you should definitely be looking at a proper brand name like MagikFlame.
If you are looking at electric fireplaces, you really don’t need to look further than MagikFlame fireplaces. Here are the reasons they are widely considered one of the best electric fireplaces on the market today:
30 Ultra-realistic Holographic 3D Projected Flames – There aren’t really any electric fireplaces on the market that can properly compete with the Holoflame technology that is inside of every MagikFlame fireplace. Within the firebox of these units is a physical log set that rests on a beautiful ember bed. When the fireplace is turned on, realistic, flickering flames are 3D projected onto the logs, making the flames look as if they were the real thing. There are 30 different flame styles that you are able to easily cycle between. This allows you to find a flame style that perfectly fits the mood you are going for on any given day.
Blissful Crackling Log Sounds – If the visual flames weren’t enough, MagikFlame fireplaces also have an amazing audio component in the form of crackling log sounds. As you see the fire move, you can also hear the crackling logs, just like you would if this were a real fireplace that burns wood. In addition to the crackling sounds, you can also choose to play relaxing nature sounds if you want to.
5,200 BTU Infrared Heater – The 5,200 BTU infrared heater is the sweet spot when it comes to heating ability with electric fireplaces. It is powerful enough to easily keep an area of 1,000 square feet warm, enough for most homes, but it does so efficiently, making sure you are paying the least amount necessary for your home heating bill.
Smartphone App Controller – Instead of a boring remote that comes with most electric fireplaces, you can control your MagikFlame with their wonderful app that can be installed on your smartphone or tablet. This will allow you to easily turn your fireplace off or on from anywhere within your house. With the large, graphic buttons that are easy to understand, you can also easily set the temperature to your preference, change through the different flame effect settings, control the audio enhancement, and more.
If MagikFlame electric fireplaces are sounding like they are going to be the right fit for your home and you want to learn more about them, please check out some of the helpful resources located below:
- MagikFlame Story: The story of how MagikFlame electric fireplaces came to be with a little help from a background working on special effects for big blockbuster Hollywood movies.
- MagikFlame Reviews: Find out for yourself exactly how MagikFlame customers feel about their purchase with these helpful testimonials.
- MagikFlame Best Fireplace Buying Guide: Discover more about electric fireplaces in general and why you should get one for your house.
- How MagikFlame Is Built: You can’t deny the craftsmanship and quality that goes into MagikFlame fireplaces after you learn how they are built for yourself.
- Payment Plans and Financing: There is no need to wait for your MagikFlame fireplace, you can order one today due to their effortless payment plans.
- MagikFlame Warranty: MagikFlame has a great full warranty to back up their commitment to their customers’ satisfaction