When you think of electric fireplaces, do you only envision them as those hang-on-the-wall models that you see in box stores? You know, the ones that are quite shallow, with an electrical cord hanging down, and possibly a wide border around the viewing window? Maybe you’ve seen nicer ones that are properly installed in the wall, but are still quite shallow. For many years, electric fireplaces have been known for their ease of installation and their compact depth, both of which can be a real advantage over gas fireplaces. However, there is now a trend toward built-in electric fireplaces, as more and more options come onto the market.

What do we mean when we refer to a built-in electric fireplace? Generally, it means any electric fireplace that is installed IN the wall, rather than hanging ON the wall. Within the built-in category, we also like to talk about slide-in electric fireplaces, and in our store, we distinguish these from other built-in fireplaces. A slide-in electric fireplace goes into the framed wall opening after the wall coverings are completed, with a small border or flange around the opening edge. It can easily be pulled out of the wall for maintenance or service.

Modern Flames Challenger slide-in linear electric fireplace.

Other built-in electric fireplaces are put into the framed wall opening before the wall coverings are in place. These cannot be removed from the wall without breaking the wall coverings. All service and maintenance may be done by removing the front glass. While they are a bit more complex to install than a slide-in fireplace, there are many advantages of this type of built-in electric fireplace.

Below, we explain our Top 6 reasons to consider both types of built-in electric fireplaces to upgrade your home.

Amantii TRD-33-Bespoke built-in traditional fireplace

1. Built-in electric fireplaces look more realistic

It’s hard to believe that a fire that’s hanging on the wall, like a TV or a picture, could possibly be real. But when you build a fireplace into the wall, it immediately adds realism. After all, every other type of fireplace is built-in, whether it’s gas or wood-burning. By not limiting yourself to only those electric fireplaces that can hang on the wall, you open up lots of options for size, style and design. For example, if you prefer a more traditional fireplace, there are none that hang on the wall; all of these are meant to be built in to a wall or mantel, or inserted into an existing masonry fireplace.

2. They can be deeper

By opting to build in an electric fireplace, you have much more choice about the depth of the fireplace. While you may still opt to keep it to 4 or 6 inches deep, you can also consider going deeper. There are built-in electric fireplaces that range from 9-inches to 18-inches in depth. When you go deeper, there is space for larger, more life-size logs and other media kits. Extra depth also adds to the realism of the fire, as all other types of fireplaces are deeper than 4 or 6 inches.

3. There are frameless options

Slide-in electric fireplaces have a flange or border around the viewing area, to cover the edges of the wall opening and offer a neat finish. Occasionally, this flange is removable, but more often, it is  not. However, other types of built-in electric fireplaces often have borderless glass, or they come with a removable border trim. For some wall designs, this frameless option is very desirable, with wall coverings installed right up to the viewing window. It’s a look that suits minimalist and contemporary interiors.  More than any other type of fireplace, one with a frameless installation looks truly integrated with the wall.

4. They may be multi-sided

Many of today’s open-plan room designs are perfectly suited to multi-sided electric fireplaces, with glass on the front as well as the ends. These fireplaces are almost always built-in. With a built-in multi-sided electric fireplace, you always have the option to expose both ends, or just one end if an L-shaped fireplace is desired. Using a multi-sided electric fireplace in a room requires a very customized design. With both ends exposed, the size of the fireplace becomes the size of the wall. It also creates a peek-a-boo effect that can lighten the visual weight of the wall.

We are also noticing a trend toward installing multi-sided electric fireplaces with both ends blocked. This creates a deeper fireplace with a frameless installation. All multi-sided electric fires may be installed in this way.

Dimplex GBF1000-PRO Opti-myst Built-in Electric Fireplace

If you need a see-through electric fireplace, these are also built-in, as they are literally part of the dividing wall between 2 rooms. Some of these built-in see-through electric fires have glass on both sides, and others are open, with no glass. Either way, it’s a look that you can only achieve with a built-in fireplace.

5. They look more custom

As soon as you create a wall specifically for a built-in electric fireplace, that fireplace design appears purposeful. Built-in fireplaces have permanence and become part of the architecture of the room. Building a fireplace into a wall requires planning and design. You must make decisions about size, shape, and style, and these elements become part of the overall wall design. Wall coverings become integrated with the fireplace design, and no two built-in electric fireplaces are the same. By looking beyond electric fireplaces that hang on the wall, you will be able to choose from hundreds of different styles, shapes and sizes to create a wall that’s a unique reflection of your style.

6. They are TV-friendly

If an electric fireplace is designed to hang on the wall, the manufacturer may choose to have the heat blowing out the top, rather than the front. That means that you can’t safely hang a TV above the fireplace, because the electronics are at risk of being overheated. With a built-in electric fireplace, the heat must blow out the front of the fireplace. This means that it is not venting heat up onto the front of your TV.

Stylish Fireplaces knows that adding a fireplace to your home can be challenging. With an electric fireplace and their NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialists, it’s easy to create a space you’ll love to share with family and friends. Check out all the options and connect with their experts for help to find the perfect electric fireplace for you. You’ll live stylishly ever after. 

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