Owning an electric fireplace as opposed to a wood-burning style doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any of the decorative elements of your home. Modern electric fireplaces, also known as faux fireplace or fake fireplace, can be installed and made to look just as beautiful as their wood-burning counterparts.
Many homeowners are skeptical when it comes to electric fireplaces. They are often considered tacky or not as natural-looking as a traditional-style fireplace. Thankfully, you can use many installation methods to make a faux fireplace look just as beautiful as a standard fireplace in your living room. Also, have a look at the in the market and you’ll see the many beauties of this modern home heater.
Accomplishing these cosmetic changes means certain factors must be taken into account. Let’s examine some of the best methods of making an electric fireplace look as authentic as possible.
Choosing the Best Model
The first step in the installation process is choosing one of the best electric fireplaces for you. There are several critical steps in selecting the suitable model for your home.
- Examine the area where you’re going to install the faux fireplace.
- Make a note of the area around where the fireplace is going.
- Match the color and design of the outlying area to the model of the fireplace. Choosing a uniform design that matches the room is important.
- Be sure to choose the right size. The size of the fireplace and border are going to factor into how natural the fireplace looks.
Your electric fireplace should look as natural as possible. There are models on the market now that have flames and logs that look just as realistic as a wood-burning fireplace. Don’t rush into making your purchase. Take your time and shop around. Other types you may want to have a look at are free standing electric fireplaces as well as wall and recessed mount electric fireplaces.
After selecting which model fireplace suits you best, the next step is to build the frame. The frame is essentially the most important part of your installation. This element will have a significant impact on how natural your fireplace looks.
Assuming you’ve decided where your fireplace will be installed, it’s time to determine how you want the frame built. The frame will make the fireplace the centerpiece of your room. There are a few simple steps to take to ensure the framing ends up being a smooth process.
- Try to ensure the electrical outlet sits behind the fireplace. You don’t want any wires showing after your install is done.
- You want to build a sturdy base for the fireplace and the frame. You want the base to stand out without being too gaudy. It has to be strong enough to support the fireplace and the frame.
- Make sure there is plenty of support on the back and bottom part of your frame. Some electric fireplaces can be quite heavy.
- Use plywood to cover the base of your fireplace. This ensures a stable structure to bolt the fireplace to.
- Cover the fireplace frame with plywood. This also ensures a base to drill screws and bolts into.
- Finally, you can design and add your mantel to the top of the fireplace. This adds to the beauty and natural element of the installation.
After finishing all the structural steps, you can begin the sanding and adding your wood-grain trim. Select a wood-grain trim that matches the rest of the room where your installation is.
“How To Build A Frame For An Electric Fireplace” is a guide does an excellent job of going into more detail on the installation and building of your frame.
There are a few other key elements to take into account regarding your installation. Make your home’s main heat source look authentic by following these fireplace ideas.
- Pay attention to the height of the fireplace. You want it to be centered.
- It’s important to decide whether you want a fireplace suite or insert. Choose what looks best for the room.
- Whenever possible, use the fireplace as the focal point and design the room around it.
- If it’s in the budget, use a professional installer to assist with your fireplace.
- Make sure you choose a model that has authentic, LED-style flames that flicker, to have the real flame effect.
- Pay attention to the sound that comes with the electric fireplace. You want compatible sound that a real fireplace make.
- Decorate and tile the fireplace to make it more vibrant.
We’ve shown you some of the essential things you can do to help your installation. Let’s take a look at some of the things you shouldn’t do when installing an electric fireplace.
- Don’t buy a cheap fireplace that lacks solid components.
- Don’t leave any area of the fireplace undecorated. This risks spoiling the magic of your installation.
- Don’t leave any electric cords visible after your installation is finished.
- Don’t add any unrealistic sounds to the mix.
- Don’t make the fireplace structure any shorter or smaller than it already is.
Using the above-linked guides and tips we have listed here will help ensure that your installation ends up beautiful in the end. Aside from the cosmetic and customization factors, let’s look at some other key points about faux fireplaces.
One of the main questions homeowners have is whether or not electric fireplaces are safe for use. Let’s examine a few key points about the safety of electric fireplaces.
Are Electric Fireplaces Safe?
Many homeowners question the safety of electric fireplaces. Are electric fireplaces safe to install in your home? The answer is yes. Electric fireplaces lack dangerous combustible fuels and don’t produce toxic gases like wood-burning fireplaces. This leads to less danger of fire and a much lower risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Electric fireplaces also operate at a much lower temperature than wood-burning fireplaces. This leads to a much lower chance of accidental fires around the area.
Regardless of how safe electric fireplaces are by design, you can still take several steps as a homeowner to eliminate accidents.
- Turn the fireplace off overnight. Before you go to bed, double-check that the flame is off on your fireplace.
- Be sure to only use the fireplace when the flames can be monitored.
- Clear the area around the fireplace. Make sure there is nothing flammable in close proximity to the fire.
- Even with an electric fireplace, you need to be sure to keep your chimney swept to avoid chimney fires.
- Keep children and pets away from the fireplace as often as possible.
- It’s never a bad idea to purchase a larger safety cage to install in front of the fireplace.
- Don’t keep any liquids close to the fireplace.
- Periodically check the electric outlet and wiring of your fireplace.
- Do not alter the electrical setup or any of the heating elements of your fireplace at all.
The Benefits of Owning an Electric Fireplace
Besides the cosmetic factors, there are several benefits to owning an electric fireplace. Let’s take a look at why installing an electric fireplace can be a good idea.
- Electric fireplaces are much more energy-efficient than their wood-burning counterparts.
- The cost to operate an electric fireplace  is much less than a wood-burning style fireplace.
- The install is much easier than a wood-burning fireplace and can be customized just as much as the alternative.
- With today’s technology, the flames and can are just as realistic as traditional fireplaces.
- Electric fireplaces don’t give off dangerous fumes that are hazardous to your family and pets.
- There isn’t as much heat emitted from electric fireplaces, leading to less risk of a fire.
- Typically electric fireplaces won’t lead to residue or black smut on your walls.
- They are much easier to change if you decide to go with a different style.
How Much Should I Spend On the Installation?
For many homeowners, purchasing and installing an electric fireplace is uncharted territory. It can be challenging to decide where to start or what the final price tag should be.
Keeping the installation as cost-effective as possible is very important. You never want to break the bank on any DIY project. This is one of the main reasons for opting for doing your installation.
Keep in mind that you always get what you pay for. With important elements like fireplaces, quality should also be at the forefront. Going with the cheapest option isn’t always the best.
We recommend always purchasing new equipment to ensure the safety, source, and longevity of your installation. You never know what second-hand items have been through, and anything flammable should always be properly inspected.
After purchasing the fireplace itself and all the components, including the framing, cages, electrical and sound components, you should be around the $900 mark on the low end. Opting into purchasing higher-end equipment and some extra decorating items may put you near $1,500. Anything less than $900 and over $1,500 should be a bit concerning, and you may want to rethink what you are purchasing.
This doesn’t include hiring a professional installer. Obviously, this will raise the cost significantly depending on what you actually have the installer do.
1. How Can I Make My Electric Fireplace Look Better?
Make the fireplace the centerpiece of your room. Pay close attention to the height and size of the fireplace. Take your time selecting a model and ensuring the frame is built to match the fireplace and surrounding area. Decorate the fireplace surround and mantel to add to the illusion. Make sure you hide any wiring and electrical outlets.
2. Can Electric Fireplaces Look Real?
Electric fireplaces can look very real. By paying close attention to the design and frame and selecting the proper model, many electric fireplaces can look just as real as wood-burning fireplaces. Whenever possible, seek the help of a professional installer to add to the authenticity.
3. How Do You Make An Electric Fireplace Look Real?
Whenever possible, build the room around the fireplace. Install the fireplace first, then add the additional touches to the room and decorations. Position the electrical outlet behind the fireplace, so it’s not visible after installation. Please choose a model with authentic LED style flames, and make sure it has realistic, compatible sound. Frame the area perfectly, and design a beautiful fireplace mantel to hang over the installation.
4. Do Electric Fireplaces Look Tacky?
Electric fireplaces only look tacky if the design is tacky. Don’t go overboard with decorating around the fireplace, but don’t be shy either. Make sure to decorate the whole area, so it’s not visibly noticeable that you’ve purchased a fireplace insert. Select a high-quality, authentic brand that matches the area around it.
We hope you thoroughly enjoyed our guide to selecting and installing an electric fireplace. With a little bit of extra care and attention to detail, you can have an electric fireplace that is just as authentic as a wood-burning style. Good luck with your install, and be sure to use safety and precaution!