With hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from, how do you know which electric fireplace is best for your project? Over the many years that we have been guiding customers to the perfect electric fireplace, we have developed a few questions to help them zero in on the right one.

What size do you need?

With electric fireplaces, the size of the burner does not determine the heat output. When we think about the right size for an electric fireplace, it’s all about aesthetics. We consider which one will look most balanced in the spot you want to install it. We start with the size of the wall and size of the room overall. A larger wall demands a larger fireplace. Likewise, a larger room demands a larger fireplace. Occasionally, clients will consider installing a small fireplace on a small wall within a larger room. This might be a section of the wall that falls between 2 windows or 2 doors, for example. Our suggestion is to try to find a larger spot to put the fireplace. Otherwise, the fireplace will look too small in the room, even though it may be the right size for that particular part of the wall.

Another very important factor to consider is whether or not there will be a TV above the fireplace. If so, the size of the TV must be balanced by the size of the fireplace. The fireplace should be at least as wide as the TV above. When figuring out how to match the fireplace to the TV size, remember that TV size is measured diagonally, while fireplace size is measured in actual width.  The actual width of a 65-inch TV is around 56 – 58 inches; a 60-inch fireplace is the minimum size to have below this TV size. You could step up to a 74-inch fireplace if wall space allows, for an even more balanced look. The new linear fireplace models are much shorter than the TVs, so we like a little extra width on the fireplace, to keep the TV above from looking top-heavy. Here is a rough guideline for matching TV size to minimum fireplace size:

  • 55-inch TV = 50-inch fireplace
  • 65-inch TV = 60-inch fireplace
  • 75-inch TV = 74-inch fireplace
Dimplex BLF7451
Dimplex BLF7451 is a linear electric fireplace with 240-volt capability

How much heat do you need?

As mentioned above, the heat output on an electric fireplace is not determined by the size of the unit. Each series has the same heater across all sizes. There are generally 2 levels of heat output for electric fireplaces: 5000 BTUs or 8000 BTUs. Most fireplaces fall into the 5000 BTU category; they operate on 120 volt current, with a maximum output of 1500 watts. This translates to 5000 BTUs of heat, or enough for an area of 400 – 500 square feet.  Some electric fireplaces may also be connected to 240 volts, with a maximum output of 2500 watts. This translates to 8000 – 8500 BTUs of heat, or enough for an area up to 1000 square feet.

An electric fireplace is extremely efficient at adding warmth to a room. Heat is pushed out the front of the unit, with a blower, and no heat is lost to venting or a chimney. However, they are not intended to be the sole source of heat in a space. They are excellent for zone heating, taking the chill off of a space. For example, if you have a room in the house that’s a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house, you can use an electric fireplace to warm it up, rather than turning up the furnace on the entire house. Zone heating with an electric fireplace allows you to keep your HVAC system at an energy-efficient setting, while also keeping the area you’re using at a comfortable temperature.

What other features do you like?

Electric fireplaces have tons of features, other than just flames and heat. Some of those features include:

  • Extra flame colours. Want to change from natural orange flames to blue or violet? Many electric fireplaces can do that, but not all. If you want this feature, be sure to confirm that it’s on the unit you want.
  • Coloured lighting below the ember bed, or from above the flames. Most electric fireplaces now have at least one series of accent lights in addition to the flames.
  • Variable flame speed or flame size. If you’re used to fast & flickering or slow & mesmerising, some electric fireplaces allow you to make adjustments to the flames to suit your preferences.
  • Worried about falling asleep in front of the fireplace and forgetting to turn it off? Many electric fireplaces have timers that allow you to set the shutoff time for up to 12 hours in the future.
  • Built-in thermostat. If you’re planning to use your electric fireplace for supplemental heat, it’s important that you are able to set a specific temperature on the heater. This way, the fireplace will turn the heater on and off to regulate the room temperature, much like your furnace does. Otherwise, the heater will run until you turn it off, at either a low (750 watts) or high (1500 watts) setting.
Napoleon Element NEFB36H-BS
Napoleon Element NEFB36H-BS is a 36-inch traditional electric fireplace insert

What style do you need?

Electric fireplace generally fall into two style categories: linear and traditional.

Linear fires are the long, lean ones. Newer models have minimal frames around the viewing area, but there are some styles that have bigger borders. Almost all of our linear fireplaces are designed to install flush into the wall, with depths ranging from 4 inches to 12 inches.There are also a few that can be installed on the surface of the wall, where it’s not possible or desirable to cut into the wall or build out a frame for the fireplace. Don’t assume that all linear fireplaces may be installed on the wall surface; many manufacturers don’t include any brackets that allow in-wall units to be mounted on the wall.

Linear fireplaces will come with a variety of interior media options, ranging from clear crystals to driftwood or birch logs, or combinations of both. Flames may be natural yellow/orange or multi-coloured. Generally, they offer a more contemporary look than traditional inserts.

Linear fireplaces have gained in popularity as more and more people mount their TVs above the fireplace. The range of sizes available in linear electric fireplaces (from 34 inches to 120 inches) means that there is a size that will balance any size of TV placed above.



Traditional fires are more square in shape. They are usually designed to mimic a wood-burning or gas fire, with logs in a grate. However, there are contemporary options that include crystals or driftwood and stones. Depths range from 8 to 16 inches, and these are definitely meant to be set into a wall or cabinet. Sizes range from 24 inches to 45 inches wide. Flames are usually natural yellow/orange, but there are some that have changing flames that include blue and violet, as well as accent lighting features that add colours from above or below the flames.


How much construction do you want to do?

Are you contemplating a DIY project, or are you hiring a renovator to create a fireplace feature for you? There is a wide range of installation options for electric fireplaces, including some that slide easily into a framed opening, and others that must be built in behind the wall finishes. Three-sided fireplaces fall into the latter category, for example. Which one you choose will be determined by the skill level of the person doing the work. Be sure to fully read and understand the installation requirements if you are doing your own project.


Another aspect of the installation is the electrical work that may be required. Although all electric fireplaces operate on 120 volts, and many may be plugged in, any fireplace with a heater (almost all electric fireplaces!) should have a dedicated circuit. If you don’t need heat from your fireplace, you may be able to get away without adding a dedicated circuit. But if you do plan to use the heater, then you need to have a licensed electrician run a dedicated line for your fireplace. A dedicated line runs straight to the electrical panel and has its own breaker. This is not the same as having an receptacle with nothing else plugged in. Confused? Call an electrician!

Amantii 2025-WM Cube Tru-View-XL
Amantii Cube 2025-WM may be installed as a free-standing unit or mounted on the wall, or built-in.

How long do you expect to be using it?

As with all products, electric fireplace quality ranges from Good to Better to Best, with a range of price points to match. Which one you choose will depend on how long you plan to have the fireplace. You may invest differently if you are fixing up a room to sell the house, compared to adding a focal point to your ‘forever’ home. If doing the latter, remember the saying ‘Buy once. Buy well.’

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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