All Posts by Daron Campbell

Flush Mount Electric Fireplace: How to Choose & Install

Installing a flush mount electric fireplace involves a lot of work. For a handy DIY person, it can be a pretty simple job to take on but very challenging to a first-time Do-It-Yourself installer. Consider hiring a licensed technician to install the fireplace for you if not sure of how to go about it.

Flush Mount Electric Fireplace Installation Guide

Make sure to follow the guides for installation given in the manual that came with your flush electric fireplace. While the flush mount electric fireplace installation guides vary based on model and manufacturer, following the below simple and general steps and choosing tips will help you to successfully install your flush mount electric fireplace as well as be able to choose the best.

5 Steps on How to Install a Flush Mount Electric Fireplace

a wall-mount electric fireplace in a living room

Step 1: Designate the Right Location

Move a stud finder across the sheetrock to locate studs. The tool has a little magnet, so when it senses a nail, you have situated a stud. The next stud should be about 16 inches to the right or left. If the studs are spaced such that they don’t match the mounting brackets of your wall fireplace, use an anchor bolt to secure the mismatched end of the bracket. Never mount your wall fireplace to drywall.

Check to ensure that your electric outlet is located near and below the unit. With the power outlet located below the fireplace, it will not be blown by the rising warm air. You also want to cover close outlets with coverings that are non-flammable.

Step 2: Install Hardwire and Plugin Units

Choose between a hardwired and plugin unit. Then, install the selected one. Connect the hardwired unit directly into the electric wiring of your home. Hardwired units are hidden in the sheetrock, and due to the way they are installed, it’s hard to find loose connections. Only a licensed electrician can install these units for you.

You can fix the plugin units yourself. Plug the units straight into the wall outlets. Try and hide the wall outlets that look unsightly. Caution: Never connect your flush mount electric fireplace using extension cords.

Step 3: Open the Wall and Build a Frame

Cut open the sheetrock using a saw. Once you have cut open your wall, measure the dimensions of your fireplace using a tape. Then, build a frame in the opened-up wall based on the size of your frame that you measured.

Fit the fireplace unit inside the wall. After that, level the unit using shims. Using a leveler will help see that the frame unit is leveled. Once you do this, it’s time to mount the fireplace to the frame using brackets and screws. You want your house to look even more cosmetic with the fireplace mounted, and making sure that the frame unit sits straight is one of the most important steps in the entire process of installing your flush mount electric fireplace.

Step 4: Wiring

Using a wire stripper or a skinning knife, strip your wires about half an inch starting from the end. Fasten the electrical connections using twist-on wire connectors. Doing this will ensure your safety and good connections. Test your electrical connections before finishing everything up. Your flush mount electric fireplace is connected to the power. Turn it on and check all programs, and see whether or not they are functioning properly.

Step 5: Add the Finishing Touches

Once you finish working on the entire internal installation, it’s time to patch up the wall. With the trim piece of the unit, you can cover the empty area where the sheetrock and the fireplace meet. Make it your own. For a clean finish, make your wall come as close to the fireplace as possible.

Cover your flush mount electric fireplace with painters tape and plastic to protect it from getting the pain. Add some textures and paint the wall. Once the paint is dried, attach the trim pieces to cover the area where the fireplace and wall meet. You can now enjoy your fireplace.

Now that you know how to install your flush mount electric fireplace, it’s time to look at the best rated electric fireplaces to be able to choose the best.

Choose a Recessed Wall Flush Mount Electric Fireplace

1. Sydney Pebble Recessed 50-Inch Electric Fireplace

a Gibison Sydney Pebble electric fireplace

This fireplace can be used as mount wall or flush mount electric fireplace. It’s beautiful from edge to edge. It’s fan forced, meaning the heated air is pushed out and away from the wall heating your room perfectly. The fireplace is smokeless and has a timer to allow you to set time when the equipment will automatically shut off in case you forget to turn it off yourself.

2. Black Touchstone Sideline Recessed Electric Fireplace with Heat

a large flush mount electric fireplace

The fireplace offers a great combination of aesthetic and operational features. Its flame is produced by LED lighting; thus, it doesn’t produce smoke. This wall-mount fireplace comes with a remote, allowing the user to operate it anywhere within range. It’s perfect for heating large spaces, warming up to 400 square foot. This flush mount electric fireplace doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, only a simple cleaning occasionally. The LED can last for quite a long time.

3. Moda Flame Black Cynergy Pebbles Recessed Wall Mount Electric Fireplace

a Moda Flame wall-mount electric fireplace

This fireplace can blend seamlessly with any décor. It’s fumeless and smokeless. So, you don’t need any vent, but the indoor air is still so safe to breathe. This flush mount electric fireplace is simple to upkeep; you only need to do some dusting. It comes with three settings that allow you to control the flame using a remote. This means that you can use it even during the warmer months. It has a timer and produces fan-forced heat.

Benefits of Owning Electric Fireplaces

1. Electric Fireplaces Are Safe

The most significant issues people have with owning fireplaces involve safety. This is totally understandable when you look at the facts. Fireplaces an incredibly hot, and this makes them dangerous for children. Another barrier is that they give off toxic fumes to those who breathe in the fire.

If you are to switch over to electrically powered ones, you will no longer have to worry about children burning themselves on an open flame, or about your family being exposed to smoke. Electric fireplaces are created with programmed shut-off modes, so you don’t have to fear your house burning down because you left the fire on when you leave your home. Now electric fireplaces are no powerless forces, they do heat up an entire space. But the benefit of it is that they will remain cool enough to touch, which means you won’t have to think about the potential of your kids and pets getting hurt if they get too close. The fear of having an open hazard is gone, but you still have the luxury of a fireplace.

2. No Smoke Involved

Wood burning fireplaces let out cancer-causing fumes that are extremely dangerous into the air in your home. These fumes include carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. As you know, breathing in these fumes can be hazardous to everyone involved. Thankfully, electric fireplaces give off no fumes and do absolutely no harm to your family and pets.

Another aspect is catering to people who have allergies and breathing issues like asthma. Owning electric fireplaces means these people can be comfortable while also enjoying the warmth and beauty of a fireplace.

You need to remember as you weigh your options that even switching to other types of wood that are said to be better for your lungs and the atmosphere still add to deforestation and emit harmful smoke fumes. With electric fireplaces, the days of having your entire house filled with smoke fumes is a reality far far away. This new and innovative way of having a fireplace takes the opportunity for the smoke to fill the crevices of your home with a stench away altogether.

3. Good for the Earth

Compared to the life-sucking energy it takes to participate in wood burning in a traditional fireplace, an electric fireplace demands less energy to generate heat. It is very simple, really. With no wood, no gas, nothing to clean. This way of enjoying a fireplace is done with pure electricity.

4. The Options Are Endless

Electric fireplaces have a ton of varying styles that will satisfy even the pickiest buyer. They can be purchased in traditional, contemporary, and modern styles to match modern looks and architectural styles. These gems are so much more versatile than you can imagine. They are built to perform as decorative mantels and entertainment counsels, providing your family with extra storage in a stylish way.

If you need more reasons to love the many things that can be done, electric fireplace inserts can be placed in existing fireplaces. Wall mounted units, corner units, and compact units allow electric fireplaces to work in any space and any décor and can be moved around from room to room whenever you desire.

Electric fireplaces are also versatile in the sense that they can be put in locations that you would never think to put a fireplace traditionally, like a basement or garage. Electric fireplaces give the user to be complete control over the flame. Things like how brought the fire is, the speed of the flame, the darkness or lightness of the color, and many other aspects can be shifted depending on how many modes the electric fireplace you purchase has.

Putting It All Together

How much you’re going to enjoy your fireplace will be determined by the flush mount electric fireplace that you choose to purchase. A good choice and proper installation will go a long way to ensuring that your house is heated up and has a professional look. A professional can help you choose the best fireplace that suits your heating needs.

Image sources: 1, 2

Dimplex Optimyst Tech: Is it Worth Your Hard-Earned Cash?

Everyone loves a nice, warm fire, especially during the cold season. However, a traditional fireplace can be hard to maintain and get pricey in the long run. That’s where electric units come in. A worthy low-maintenance alternative to the real thing, fireplaces that run on electricity only require an outlet to work their magic. Moreover, the flames have gotten extremely realistic nowadays, to the point where the illusion can fool even a trained eye. Especially if you decide to go with a Dimplex Optimyst model.

These devices from Dimplex use the latest ultrasonic technology on the market to produce an incredibly lifelike wood-burning fire. As you might have guessed from the name, the units, which range from stoves to electric suites, use an ultra-fine mist of water that rises up through the logs or coals. The light reflects against the water, enabling the fireplace to produce a dazzling flame and smoke effect. In other words, red, orange and yellow lights illuminate the mist to simulate a fire that’s as close to the real thing as possible.

Does that sound like an appealing investment? Read on as we go through the pros and cons of purchasing a Dimplex Opti-myst product to help you figure out if it’s a good fit for you.

What kind of Dimplex products are available?

The Optimyst ultrasonic technology is featured in over 25 Dimplex designs, so it’s likely that you’ll find a model to catch your eye. There are five main categories of electric units to choose from:

  • Electric stoves – these freestanding units come with a rustic look and can add a vintage flair to any room of the house. Models generally feature opening doors, so you can admire the realistic flames in all their glory.
  • Inset fires – these types of electric units are meant to be incorporated into an existing fireplace. Or, you can get inventive and build your own unit (for example by using a cabinet). Either way, they are available with a choice of styles and finishes to make sure they will match your décor to a T.
  • Wall-mounted fires – if you’re a fan of more modern design trends, a wall-mounted fireplace is an elegant choice. They make for excellent statement pieces, adding both warmth and a healthy dose of opulence to your living room or study.
  • Electric baskets – these dashing electric units are great for adding to an existing fireplace, providing a relaxing ambiance for when you don’t feel like maintaining a real fire.
  • Electric suites – these models offer the whole package, so to speak, as they feature both the electric fire and the surrounding mantel, perfectly resembling a traditional fireplace.

Dimplex Optimyst Products: Functions and Controls

While there are multiple Dimplex products with the Optimyst tech to choose from, they all come with a suite of similar features.

1. Dimensions

Dimensions range, but the units are typically portable and easy to fit in any space. One of our favorite models, the Dimplex DLGM29 Opti-Myst Open Hearth Fireplace Insert, measures 14.8 x 28 x 12 inches. It weighs a little under 30 pounds and is available with an alabaster finish. Of course, electric suites will take up more space, so check the product’s measurements carefully before placing your order.

2. Voltage & Remote Control

There are no batteries required when using electric fireplaces. You simply have to plug them in and you’re good to go. They come with a remote control to easily adjust the settings and turn the unit on/off.

3. Water Tank

As mentioned, Dimplex Opti-myst electric fireplaces make use of mist to produce stunning three-dimensional flames, so a water tank is involved. When running constantly, the Optimyst tank will last for approximately 8-10 hours, so you will have to fill it out on a regular basis. Dimplex recommends that you use filtered water when possible.

4. Emissions

Dimplex units are a green choice – they’re 100% efficient, with no harmful particulates to worry about. They’re also a safe option for your home since no actual flames or emissions are involved. The smoke effect, though realistic, is perfectly harmless.

Pros and Cons of Dimplex Units

Dimplex Optimyst Units - Pros and Cons

As most fireplaces currently on the market, Dimplex units with the Optimyst patented ultrasonic technology come with pros and cons. We’ve listed them below to help you make a more informed purchasing decision.

Dimplex Optimyst Advantages

  • Products are 100 percent safe to use. No need to worry about flames or real smoke messing up your carpet or upholstery. Plus, there’s no need to pay for expensive chimney cleanings or deal with the ashes associated with real fire. It’s also really fun to put your hand on these cool misty “flames” and shock guests at get-togethers, as most units come with glass that is cool to the touch.
  • Units are generally portable and thus easy to move around. You can literally place one of these Dimplex devices anywhere you want – in foyers, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, or dining rooms.
  • If you’re worried about your carbon footprint, it’s good to know that these products are a green alternative, since no dangerous chemicals are involved. This is especially great news if you have kids or pets.
  • The flames are incredibly realistic. Most customers who enjoy these products recommend dimming the lights for a cozier atmosphere, but the fire and smoke effect will look gorgeous either way.

Dimplex Optimyst Disadvantages

  • Some users complain that these products don’t look like a “roaring fire.” Even people who are pleased with their Dimplex Optimyst units admit that the flames aren’t as impressive as they expected, despite the realism. If you’re interested in creating the illusion of a really big fire, you would be better off looking elsewhere. However, if you’re just interested in a nice gentle dying ember to gaze at, Dimplex Opty-myst electric fireplaces should be a wise choice.
  • A few consumers have complained about the mist negatively affecting the metal firebox. The mist apparently causes this metal firebox to rust faster since the water tends to pool on the bottom of the tank. Not everyone has this problem, but it’s worth mentioning.
  • Dimplex Optimyst units tend to be quite expensive. Thanks to the many models available, you can probably find one to suit your budget, but prepare to pay more than the industry standard for these realistic flames.
  • The cords used in some products tend to stick out a bit. You might be required to find a clever way to hide these cables if you want to get as close to an “authentic” experience as possible.
  • Although these devices are supposed to be silent, there have been reports that you can hear a light gurgle from the water in the tank. Again, not everyone has this problem, but it’s something to think about.

Dimplex Optimyst FAQs

How often should I clean my Dimplex electric fireplace?

If you run it on a regular basis, it’s important to maintain your unit so that it will last you longer. Dimplex recommends that you clean your Optimyst fireplace every two weeks. That’s also how often you should change the water. The models are easy to spruce up – the sump unit, nozzle, and water bottle can be cleaned with washing up liquid and even go in the dishwasher. Always read the user manual carefully for more detailed instructions concerning each product.

Can I use scented water inside the fireplace?

No. However, you can invest in a Dimplex Aroma Diffuser if you’re looking to add more fragrance to your room.

How energy efficient are Dimplex Opti-myst units?

A Dimplex Opti-myst fire uses 212 watts when operating in flame-only mode. With the heating function on, it shouldn’t consume more than your average electric fireplace.

Bottom Line

Dimplex Optimyst units are currently some of the best and most popular electric fireplaces on the market. And for good reason. They’re fairly pricey; however, when you consider what you’d be spending on maintaining a traditional fireplace, a Dimplex Optimyst model might end up cheaper in the long run. The illusion of the dying ember is great, but the mist/smoke is what makes this product particularly charming.

Moreover, every Dimplex Opti-myst electric fireplace is convenient; you’ll literally be able to control it with a handheld remote. As mentioned above, these products are perfect for those with children running around the house. With a Dimplex Optimyst unit, there’s no more worrying about toxic smoke or accidental burns. They’re safe, efficient, and produce great artificial flames and a stunning smoke effect. Homeowners not interested in investing in a wood-burning fireplace, or even apartment dwellers, will find that, more often than not, these units perfectly fit their needs. And if not, the company has its own dedicated customer care division ready to handle any of your questions or complaints.

All in all, if you don’t mind the fact that this product was designed to give off a “dying ember” instead of a roaring fire and if you’re OK with cleaning up mist and re-filling the water tank every so often, this product offers a viable alternative to a traditional fireplace. If you have the money, it’s worth giving Dimplex Optimyst units a go. We guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Image sources: 1, 2

The Top 10 Best Stone Electric Fireplace Models Money Can Buy

More often than not, people choose to incorporate electric fireplaces into their homes for one simple reason: they are easier to maintain than traditional wood burners. But besides the supplemental heating, fireplaces that run on electricity can also serve a decorative function, especially if you’re willing to invest a little extra money into a unit with a stunning finish. Stone electric fireplaces, in particular, will fit right into a rustic room and instantly elevate the décor, making for a great statement piece.

That being said, it’s important to consider the features when shopping for a fireplace, not just the eye-grabbing design. We’ve gathered some of the best models on the market below to help you figure out which stone electric fireplace will work for both your needs and budget. 

10. JAMFLY Electric Fireplace Wall Mantel in Faux Stone

best stone electric fireplaces

This one from Jamfly comes in a beautiful rustic style, with realistic flame effects that complement its warm glow. With a multi-function touch screen as well as a remote control, this electric fireplace is also incredibly easy to control. Best of all, it comes with a limited one-year warranty! You can find it on Amazon, where it rates 4.5 out of 5 stars.

9. JAMFLY Wood Electric Fireplace Mantel Package

 JAMFLY 36'' Wood Electric Fireplace Mantel Package - stone electric fireplace

Another product from Jamfly, this stove offers a different look and slightly different capabilities. It's also about half the price. With a stylish and environmentally friendly design, this electric fireplace earns customer praise for its quiet effectiveness. Customers on Amazon are highly satisfied, rating it 4.6 out of 5 stars.

It has multiple flame types and visual settings, allowing you a good degree of customization. It also comes with two heating modes. One is 750 watts, and the other is 1500. Like the other option from Jamfly, it comes with a one year warranty.

8. 38-inch Electric Fireplace by Decor Flame

a beautiful living room with a stone electric fireplace

The Decor Flame 38-inch fireplace is a fantastic freestanding option. This stone electric fireplace has a top quality fan that evenly distributes heat throughout the room. You can also run it without the heat function if you ever want to enjoy the flames during the warmer months. The fireplace comes with a remote control that allows you to operate it from across the room for convenience. An overheat cut-off device ensures your family will be safe from any overheating.

7. The Faux Stone Electric Portable Fireplace Light by OK Lighting

an OK Lighting electric fireplace

OK Lighting offers this faux stone electric fireplace that has a heater control and a dazzling flame effect which brightens up any room. The fireplace mantel produces a soft glow that ensures a relaxing ambiance year-round. Moreover, it measures 29.5-inches wide so it can fit easily into any space. It’s also portable, which means that you can move it from room to room without too much hassle.

6. Southern Enterprises Rollins Convertible Corner Electric Media Fireplace

Top 10 Best Stone Electric Fireplaces to Consider Buying

Are you looking for more than just a fireplace? If so, this fireplace and media center from Southern Enterprises is a great one. This beautiful product is definitely a contender for the best stone electric fireplace.

The gorgeous design and ability to function as a media center make this electric fireplace a perfect centerpiece for your living room. Although it's a little on the spendy side, customers couldn't be more satisfied -- the average reviewer gives it a glowing 4.6 out of 5 stars.

5. Southern Enterprises Media Electric Fireplace -- Faux Stone Front

Top 10 Best Stone Electric Fireplaces to Consider Buying

Southern Enterprises makes beautiful, stylish fireplaces, and so it's no surprise that more than one has appeared on our list.

This energy-efficient fireplace can quickly and quietly heat up to 400 square feet, according to the manufacturer. However, the one verified reviewer so far on Amazon confirms that this is a high-quality product, giving it a perfect rating of 5 out of 5 stars. It's stately and elegant, perfect for a study or living room.

One cool feature this fireplace has is hidden storage. This is a pretty useful thing to have, especially if you're looking to use a fireplace as part of a media center.

4. Dark Wood and Stone Fireplace by OK Lighting

a stone electric fireplace with dark wooden edges

The stone electric fireplace by OK Lighting is the ideal blend of darkness and light. The rich wood tones perfectly complement the stone color variance, ensuring a smooth and eye-grabbing finish. It measures 40.25-inches wide and offers an attractive glow from the realistic faux flames. This fireplace serves to create a cozy ambiance, but can also heat up a room to keep you warm and comfortable. It’s a heavy-weight unit, coming in at just over 100LBs. Remember that you might be eligible for free shipping, so it’s a good idea to check Amazon and see what delivery options are available to you.

3. Southern Enterprises Media Electric Fireplace -- Faux Granite Finish

Top 10 Best Stone Electric Fireplaces to Consider Buying

If you are looking for a little bit lighter style than the previous option, this one from Southern Enterprises might fit the bill instead. It has the same hidden storage feature and heating capabilities, but is in a warmer, more inviting style. Depending on your home decor, it may be more suitable. They are both of similar high-quality construction.

On Amazon, it gets a decent rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The lone reviewer praises the beauty of the piece, but also states that it shipped with some minor damage.

2. Plow & Hearth Electric Fireplace

best stone electric fireplaces

This efficient infrared quartz heater comes with a remote-control and features an automatic-off timer. The timer is adjustable from half an hour to nine hours. The fireplace mantle comes fully assembled, which means that you won’t have to do much once it’s there. It’s also a safe choice for households with children and/or pets. You should measure your space carefully before placing your order - the unit is 40 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and 40 inches high.

All in all, this freestanding fireplace is an efficient heater that offers several settings for flames, brightness, and speed. It can warm up a room of up to a thousand square feet, so it’s definitely a sturdy supplemental heating source during winter. You may be eligible for free shipping – remember to check Amazon to figure it out.

1. Fieldstone Pine and Stone Fireplace by Dimplex

a Fieldstone Pine and Stone electric fireplace

On the pricey side, this fireplace from Dimplex comes in as one of the more expensive options on our top ten list — but the unit more than meets customer expectations. This beautiful stone electric fireplace features an elegant wood mantle, as well as a life-like flame effect with inner glow logs molded from wood logs for a realistic look.

The Fieldstone model comes with a remote control that allows you to turn the heat on or off. Moreover, you can easily adjust the settings and flame instantly from anywhere in the room. This 55.5-inch fireplace has a 26-inch electric firebox and is able to operate with and without heat. In short, it’s a stylish and practical choice for any household.

Why Consider a Stone Electric Fireplace?

True, no electric fireplace mantle, regardless of how realistic, can match a real fire. However, a few come very close. Plus, the electric version does offer some serious perks. 

First off, an electric fireplace is low-maintenance. You don’t have to keep the fire going or clean the chimney – you plug it in and you’re good to go. They provide supplemental heat efficiently, but also ensure that snug ambiance we all crave during the cold season. Stone electric fireplaces are easy to assemble and some providers offer free shipping, so you might end up saving some cash in this department as well.

Finally, they’re safer than real flames, especially for households with kids, and work better in smaller spaces. All things worth considering when taking on a home improvement project that involves shopping for a supplemental heating source. 

Features to Look for in an Electric Fireplace

When looking for an electric fireplace, three main features should be on top of your priority list:

  • Safety – only purchase from trusted manufacturers and check the list of specifications carefully to make sure the unit will be safe. Prioritize fireplaces that come with a built-in safety shutoff and safe-to-touch glass.
  • Power – if you’re buying an electric fireplace mainly for its heating capabilities, look for one with a powerful heater. While some smaller fireplaces do a good job at heating an average-sized room, others (like #2 on our list), can warm up an even larger space.
  • Realistic flames – besides an appealing overall design, the electric fireplace should also come with flames that resemble the real deal. Some even offer extra features like backlighting, side lighting, and different color flames. When possible, look for video reviews online to see the fireplace in action to make sure it’s worth your hard-earned cash.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking for a reliable heating source or want to be able to enjoy the warm atmosphere associated with glowing flames, you’ll likely find something on our list of best stone electric fireplace models to meet your needs. Remember to pay attention to the list of features and measure your available space carefully to ensure the unit will fit right in. You’ll be relaxing by the faux fire in no time.

Here Are Some of the Most Realistic Electric Fireplace Options in 2019

An attractive alternative to wood and gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces offer convenience. They don’t require hook-up to gas lines or venting, produce zero mess, and are a statement piece certain to dazzle guests. At the same time, they add a special touch to any room to make it feel cozier. In this article, we’re going to start by touching upon the basics on what to look for when shopping for electric fireplaces. Then, we’ll look at the most realistic electric fireplace options currently on the market to find out how each one can benefit you.

What to look for when comparing the most realistic electric fireplace options

Obviously, if you’re keen on getting the most realistic electric fireplace on the market, how authentic the flames look should be on top of your list of priorities. However, there are a few additional features you might want to consider. Maybe you’re interested in learning more about safety, or simply eager to find a fireplace with a dazzling flame effect. Whichever the case, here are the most important factors to weigh when shopping for electric fireplaces.

Size

While some electric inserts are designed to fit into existing fireplaces, others can be mounted on a wall or stand on their own. Regardless of which option you’re after, always check the measurements of a potential purchase to make sure it will fit snugly into your available space.

Design and flame effects

Electric fireplaces are accent pieces – they instantly catch the eye and add a touch of warmth to any space. In other words, they should be seamlessly integrated into your room’s décor. If you’re a lover of everything rustic (and your home stays testament to that), go for an electric fireplace with a traditional, classic look. On the other hand, if you prefer all things modern, a fireplace with a more urban design should do the trick.

On the same note, check the specifications carefully to determine whether the extra features are worth your cash. Some realistic electric fireplaces come with multiple flame effects, offering the user the option to choose how the faux fire will look. Check reviews to see what others are saying and whether they’re happy with their investment.

Sound

The most realistic electric fireplace won’t just perfectly replicate the burning logs, but also that soothing, crackling sound of burning wood. Again, it’s important to carefully go through the list of features and see if your top choices offer these perks. Also, if the electric fireplace comes with a heating function, the fan can get loud. Product reviews can help you figure out if that’s the case.

Safety

When it comes to realistic electric fireplaces, there are no dangerous emissions to cause worry. Also, regardless of how realistic the flames look, they don’t get hot. However, if your fireplace includes a heating function, the area directly near the heating element can get hot and pose a threat to children or pets. While shopping, keep an eye out for any advertised safety features – like safe-to-touch glass or a built-in safety shutoff switch.

Now that the basics are out of the way let’s go through some of the most realistic electric fireplaces on the market. This list is organized based on the approximate price of product, from lowest to highest, and takes into account the features and special effects.

1: Fire Sense Black Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace

This is one of the most realistic electric fireplace options currently available. It includes a small motor that runs what looks like flames.

Most realistic Electric Fireplace: Fire Sense Black

Sometimes, the motor does get excessively loud to the point where you can hear it from across the room, but that’s a minor problem considering the great price you’re paying for it.

The Fire Sense Black Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace does produce heat from the top part, but the heat rises to the ceiling fast. It can be a good heating source for small rooms where you might not otherwise have space for a bigger unit.

Features

  • It comes with a handy remote that lets you turn on the fireplace.
  • You can mount the fireplace wherever you want.
  • It has heat settings with different levels of comfort.
  • This fireplace features intuitive controls.

Pros

  • Simple controls.
  • Different heat settings based on need.
  • Mount the fireplace wherever you want.
  • The remote adds to your convenience.
  • Cheap fireplace with realistic looking flames.

Cons

  • The heater fan can get loud.

2: The Dimplex DFI2309

As a fireplace insert, the flames of the Dimplex DFI2309 look highly realistic, and you can remove its outer part if you want. The controls on the remote are minimal to ensure easy use. Plus, it comes with three heat settings - full heat, half heat, or flame only. You can enjoy it year-round.

Most Realistic Electric Fireplace: the Dimplex DFI2309

Features

  • A 1375-watt electric fireplace.
  • It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
  • The DFI2309 fireplace has a fan-forced heater.
  • It has a patented flame technology.

Pros

  • The flames look great.
  • The built-in heater distributes heat evenly.
  • Slick design look and cozy ambiance.
  • Happy middle-ground in terms of price.

Cons

  • Doesn’t throw much heat.

3: Dimplex DLGM29 Opti-Myst Open Hearth Fireplace

When it comes to realness, few fireplaces can compare to the Dimplex DLGM29 Opti-Myst

the Dimplex DLGM29 Opti-Myst Open Hearth Fireplace Insert with Faux Logs Bed, Alabaster model

Thanks to opti-myst technology, you’ll be able to enjoy an incredibly life-like, three-dimensional flame effect. Not only that, but the fireplace also creates an illusion of fire and smoke.

The Dimplex Opti-Myst lasts between 14 to 17 hours before you have to refill its water tank and comes with a glass front that remains cool to the touch. However, it doesn’t produce any heat – something to keep in mind if you’re looking for realistic electric fireplaces that can also warm up a room.

Features

  • It comes with an easy fill water tank
  • This electric fireplace has a one-year warranty.
  • You will receive a remote to turn the fireplace on or off.
  • It has life-like and patented 3-dimensional flame.

Pros

  • Realistic flames.
  • Remote control for convenience.
  • The green choice for a fireplace.
  • High safety level.

Cons

  • Gives off no actual heat.

4: 53.5″ Chambord Electric Fireplace

Likely one of the most elegant and most realistic electric fireplace options money can buy, this mahogany beauty has a stylish detailing with decorative carving and a black granite top.

Most realistic Electric Fireplace: the Chambord Electric Fireplace

A look in the firebox reveals 30 inches. The realism of the logs is mesmerizing, as the softly glowing embers perfectly mimic the real thing. There’s also a remote control included for easy use.

This energy efficient fireplace is safe and works well in almost any room, offering a classy finish. If you’re looking to save some cash, you’ll be pleased: you can operate this fireplace for pennies on the hour. Plus, because it doesn’t emit carbon monoxide or emissions from combustion, you have a solid green product. As a bonus, it comes with a three-year warranty.

Features

  • It has a 30-inch firebox.
  • This fireplace comes with a thermostat controlled fan-forced heater.
  • Can heat up to 1,000 sq. ft
  • You can turn the flame brightness up or down based on need.

Pros

  • Remote control for convenience.
  • Green choice.
  • Aesthetically pleasing 
  • The soft fiery glow looks very realistic.

Cons

  • It is quite expensive.

Shopping for the most realistic electric fireplace: Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to turn off the heat function, but not the flames?

With most electric fireplaces, yes. If they come with multiple heat settings, including no heat, so you can enjoy the coziness of a fire even during the warm season.

Can I use an electric fireplace as a sole heating source?

Usually no. There are realistic electric fireplaces on the more expensive side that can indeed warm up a space up to 1,000 square feet (like option #4 on our list), but most budget options should only be used as a supplemental heating source or to warm up a small room.

Is it OK if I plug the fireplace into a standard outlet?

Generally yes. However, if the fireplace comes with a powerful heating source, you may need the assistance of a skilled electrician to wire it directly into your home circuit. Always check the manufacturer specifications about powering up the fireplace.

Is there any danger of real fire when using an electric fireplace?

Not really, but better safe than sorry. Don’t keep the fireplace plugged in when not in use and keep it some distance (about 3 feet) away from pillows, blankets, or anything that can be in danger of catching fire. It’s also not recommended to leave the fireplace on overnight.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the most realistic electric fireplace options you will stumble upon when doing your research. They range from the budget conscious models to the extravagant, so there’s a good chance you’ll find one to fit your budget. Since they first came out, realistic electric fireplaces have come a long way as far as authenticity is concerned. They come as close to the real thing as possible, but minus the high maintenance usually associated with an actual fire. If you have any experience with the models listed above, feel free to sound off below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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The Key to Transforming Your House Into a Castle: The Ultimate Guide to Fireplace Decor

Tips For Transforming Your Mantel into Livingroom Art

fireplace

Image via Pexels: Fireplace

It's been said that the problem with today's society is that nobody drinks from the skulls of their enemies anymore. This is probably due to the fact that most people don't have a central fireplace to lounge around and hoist their ale brimming skull cups.

Back before there was television, people sat around in their living rooms and watched the fire greedily consume all the fuel that was thrown upon it. There were no cable bills, and no mention of the Kardashians, it was a glorious age.

These days people sit in climate conditioned rooms and stare at artificial screens rather than interact with each other. Many of the fireplaces of old have been sealed up, dismissed as a relic of another time.

That is a trend that must be reversed!

people staring on their phones

Image via Pexels: People staring on their phones

A fireplace is the kind of feature that adds tremendous value to any home. With the slip-shod construction of most modern furnaces, you'd be lucky to get one that lasts you five years before it fails, only to drop your house into an expensive deep freeze that bursts all your water pipes.

The plumbers and the furnace people are in league together. Their skulls adorn my mantel.

With a functional fireplace, you never have to worry about the decaying infrastructure of a diseased and dying society. All you need is wood to transform your house into a raging sauna. You control your destiny; you may use your strength to hew your existence from the formidable wilds.

sauna

Image via Pixabay: Sauna

Whether you are in the market for a house, or you are looking to improve your current residence, it is time to draw your attention to the potential glory of your fireplace mantel.

This article will help you unlock the raw beauty of the mantels of old, and perhaps you'll be inspired to toss that 65-inch television upon the grate and roar with laughter as it is consumed by flame.

flame

Image via Pexels: Flame

Congratulations, you have expelled all images of the Kardashians from your house for good.

What is a Fireplace Mantel?

A fireplace mantel is the hood that extends over your fireplace to catch the smoke and direct it out of your house. The word mantel can refer to the whole hood, or can specifically reference the mantel shelf.

another fireplace

Image via Pexels: Another fireplace

A raging fire has traditionally been a gathering place for the human animal, and there's a certain raw energy that is produced by staring for long hours into a fire.

If you live in a cold climate where the cost of your central heating is controlled by an evil corporate overlord, you are probably forced to endure the winter at a house temperature around fifty-seven degrees (or face bankruptcy).

thermostat

Image via Pixabay: Thermostat

A central fireplace, however, is capable of massive temperature outputs, and there's nothing better than curling up on a bearskin rug to bathe in the heat of burning wood.

All animals drift to the warmest place in their living environment. You even see cows or horses huddled together in fields in dips that protect them from the wind. Because of this tendency, the fireplace mantel will naturally draw your family to gather around it.

horses huddled

Image via Pexels: Horses huddled together

The attraction of the heat makes the mantelshelf the most revered space in your entire home. The shelf above the raging fire becomes something of an altar, and your ability to seize upon the natural prominence of that space will greatly contribute to your home enjoyment.

Fireplace Safety

Modern homes hide their furnaces in the basement as if they are ashamed of them, but a living room fireplace literally allows you to stare into the raging inferno that brings heat into your home.

house burning down

Image via Pexels: House burning down

A fireplace is beautiful, but it also performs a vital function, and it is a serious piece of equipment. Treat your fireplace with the same respect that you treat your basement furnace and have it regularly examined by a professional.

Dangers that can be caused by a fireplace are:

  • Popping embers
  • Creosote buildup
  • Smoke build-up
  • Backdrafting
something exploding

Image via Pixabay: Fire Explosion

Popping Embers

When wood burns, it sometimes pops, sending flaming embers a great distance from the fire itself. This is great when camping as nothing is funnier than when a friend catches an ember on his leg and goes sprinting and howling into the wilderness.

However, in your home, the embers are potentially launched onto your floor, walls, or furniture. In a best-case scenario, you are left with little scorch marks on your cushions. The worst-case scenario is something of a disaster.

fireplace with screen

Image via Pexels: Fireplace screen

If you have a beautiful polyurethane finished floor, a popping ember could potentially turn your house into a raging wall of fire. If that happens, try to grab your insurance policy and a bag of marshmallows on your way out because there's not a whole lot you can do.

Popping embers is the reason it's vitally important to have a screen in front of your fire. The screen blocks the embers and greatly reduces the chance of you and your whole family getting burned to death.

ember from logs

Image via Pexels: Embers popping off a log

Sure, it's a minor inconvenience to move the screen when adding wood, but it's less inconvenient than skin grafts.

In addition to a screen, it's good to install a tiled, fire-resistant space in front of your fireplace. The space a few feet in front of your mantel is the area most subject to be scorched by embers.

fireplace tiles

Image via Pexels: Tiles in front of fireplace

Creosote Buildup

Creosote is the mix of tar and ash that is left over when wood burns. As smoke goes up through your chimney, this stuff is allowed to collect over time. When a significant amount of creosote has built up in your chimney, you risk having a chimney fire.

Chimney fires can be catastrophic to your house and result in severe structural damage, or the complete loss of the home. If your fireplace is in regular use, have your chimney cleaned at least once a year.

chimney tops

Image via Pixabay: Chimney tops

Smoke Buildup

If your chimney isn't venting properly, it can lead to excess smoke being expelled into your living room. It is not good for you to breathe this smoke, so make sure that the ventilation system for your chimney is properly installed and in good working order.

chimney sweeps

Image via Pixabay: Chimney sweeps

Backdrafting

A raging fire consumes a lot of air, and if you have a fire in your fireplace, it might begin to pull the air from the rest of your house to feed itself. If that air is drawn in through the ventilation systems of your gas or oil burning furnace, you might be bringing Carbon Monoxide into the house.

For this reason, it's important to have Carbon Monoxide detectors throughout your house. Also, if you're restoring a fireplace that has not been in use for a while, make sure the inspector notes the compatibility of your fireplace and your existing, modern furnace.

smoke detector

Image via Pixabay: Smoke detector

Restoring or Refurbishing Your Fireplace Mantel

Now that we've established that you have a safe and functional fireplace, you may begin to consider ways to give your fireplace mantel a major facelift. As long as you don't interfere with any of the ventilation components of your fireplace, you can safely tile it.

There are a huge variety of tiles available with which you can restore your fireplace. Restoring a fireplace is a fairly large project, and you should make sure in advance that you pick a style that will fit your preference for the room's final decor.

Stone tile

​Image via Pixabay: Different Tile patterns

Virtually any large home improvement store will have a huge selection of tiles to go and choose from to refurbish your fireplace mantel. In addition to tiles that are available in stock at the store, most places will have access to special order tiles.

The experts at the store will assist you in recommending the perfect styles that will help bring your fireplace mantel design to life. Here is a very brief overview of the tile types that are available:

  • Stacked Stone
  • Round Stone
  • Colored Tile
  • Marble
men at lowes

Image via Pexels: Men Shopping in Hardware Store

Stacked Stone

A stacked stone look is very popular because it goes with virtually any room decor. The fireplace looks like it's made of flat stones that were stacked upon each other giving a unique and interesting appearance.

The various angles and random shapes and colors of a stacked stone fireplace is a very nice compliment to the dancing colors of a raging fire.

stand sandstone colored tiles

Image via Pexels: Stacked stone tile

Round Stone

The round stone look may be achieved in a variety of ways. You might use artificial stones with a flat side, or tiles which are composed of small stones glued to a mesh backing. If you've got a limitless amount of time, you could simply go and collect river rocks.

Round stone achieves a rustic settler look.

round stones

Image via Pexels: Photography of Stones

The smooth edges of a round stone fireplace are absolutely beautiful and soothing to look at. Once again, a round stone fireplace becomes a kind of universal room component that matches virtually any decor.

Colored Flat Tile

For a bit more of a modern look, you might want to consider colored flat tile. The options for colored flat tile are limitless, and there are additional style choices you can make by putting in tile patterns.

various colored tiles

Image via Pixabay: Various colored tiles

Colored flat tiles allow you to create a more subtle, sleek fireplace that doesn't dominate the room in quite the same fashion as the stone tile options.

Marble Fireplace

Nothing quite says elegance like marble, and there are a lot of ways to achieve a marble fireplace look. It can be done with tile, or with a custom designed fireplace facade that is built to order to accentuate your space.

marble fireplace

Image via Pexels: Marble fireplace

Marble is beautiful to look at, but it will probably prove to be costlier than the other options mentioned.

Hiring a Contractor Vs. Doing it Yourself

Tiling a fireplace isn't rocket science, but it is one of those jobs that has the potential to be a major disaster if you don't know what you're doing. Remember that your fireplace is essentially the heart of your home, and if you make a mistake, it will be in the most glaringly obvious place.

rocket ship

Image via Pexels: A rocket ship

The good news is that tiling is the type of job that you become an expert at after about a day's work. If you have never tiled before, you don't have to cross off the option.

Tiling involves working with quick set, and once you mix up your mud, the clock begins to tick. If you don't correctly place your tiles before the mix hardens, the only way to remove them is with a hammer and chisel.

a pallette of quick dry cement

CC0 Creative Commons by KVDP Image via Wikimedia

By watching a few YouTube videos, you should be able to learn the process for tiling. However, it's recommended that you do a practice run on something other than your fireplace mantel before you begin your major project.

It's worth spending a hundred dollars to tile up the dog house or something and make your mistakes there, instead of jumping right into the main project and making mistakes that you'll have to look at every single day. But if you're confident, then, by all means, go for it.

Woman in ared shirt checking her phone

Image via Pixabay

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Contractor

Contractor looking at plan

Image via ​Pexels: Contractor looking at plan

Pros

  • Will probably be done right
  • It saves you the trouble of doing it

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some contractors don't do good work
  • The contractor will be at your house for a long time
  • Have to schedule the job
alarm clock

Image via Pexels: Person pressing the two-bell in alarm clock

Sometimes hiring a contractor means you're basically adopting a stranger to come and live with you for a few months. Also, there's never any guarantee that the contractor will do good work, and you might be stuck with an expensive, slip-shod job.

However, if you get lucky, or you do the proper research and find the right individual, hiring a contractor can be a great way to get a beautiful, high-quality fireplace.

professional fireplace

Image via Pexels: Professional fireplace

If you're the type of person who can't hang a picture without smashing all of your fingers and both of your thumbs with the hammer, don't quit your day job as a neurosurgeon, and go ahead and hire that contractor.

Pros and Cons of Doing it Yourself

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Pros

  • Cheaper
  • You get the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself
  • You get to learn a skill
  • You can start whenever you want

Cons

  • It's a big job
  • It might turn out absolutely terrible
awful fireplace

Image via Pixabay: Awful fireplace

There is a tremendous satisfaction to be gained from doing a home improvement project. The cost of skilled labor is so high that you can basically buy the materials four or five times for the cost of hiring a pro to do the job.

Doing a prep job is a great way to make the final decision as to whether you want to take on the fireplace facelift project. Go tile the entryway to the laundry room or something and see how that goes. If it seems easy and you gain confidence, do the fireplace. If not, dial up a contractor.

telephone

Image via Pexels: Telephone

Styling the Mantel Shelf

Once the fireplace has been rejuvenated, you now have to consider the central piece: the mantel shelf. The mantel shelf will be the focal point of the fireplace room, so carefully consider the placement of items on the shelf and how they interact with whatever is hung on the chimney behind them.

mantel shelf

Image via Pixabay: Fireplace with mantel shelf

Just as there were many options for the look of the fireplace mantel, there are many options for the look of the mantel shelf. These looks include

  • Rustic Wood
  • Stainless Steel
  • Marble

Rustic Wood

rustic wood mantel shelf

Image via Pixabay: Rustic wood mantel shelf 

The rustic wood mantel is another universal mantel that fits well with any decor. The beautiful wood grains are a perfect compliment to stone fireplaces.

Rustic wood mantels come in all shapes, sizes, and thickness and create a great baseline for mantel place decoration.

Stainless Steel

fire in living room

Image via Pexels: Modern Fireplace  

A stainless steel mantel provides a great option for more of a modern look. Again, there are many thickness options which can help to create the overall effect you desire.

Before selecting your mantel, it is good to try a variety of options in a virtual design program. Sometimes a mantel that appears unattractive out of context in a catalog transforms into something absolutely stunning when you affix it to your fireplace.

Marble

Modern mable fireplace

Image via Pexels: Modern Mable Fireplace

The universal material of elegance, a marble mantel provides a splash of class to any fireplace. A marble mantel is the perfect finish to a marble fireplace, but it also looks fantastic on tile or stone.

There can be some complexities in affixing a marble mantel. Due to the cost of the item, installation of your marble mantel might better be left to a professional.

Affixing the Mantel Shelf

Some mantel shelves are easy and simply sit on legs that are placed on either side of the fireplace. With this model, the legs are affixed to the wall with stone adhesive, and then the mantel is set on top of them and also affixed.

A mantel shelf that sits on legs is very sturdy and can hold a tremendous amount of weight.

mantel shelf that sits on legs

Image via Pixabay: Mantel shelf that sits on legs 

Floating mantel shelves are affixed to the walls by drilling holes with a masonry bit. Once the holes have been drilled you insert lag bolts which extend outward and will be inserted into holes drilled in the mantel shelf.

Take note that a floating mantel shelf is very strong, but it will not withstand the weight that can be supported by a mantel shelf that is resting on legs. You don't want a mantel shelf that comes clattering to the ground the second somebody leans on it, so don't overload it.

driling into style

Image via Pexels: Drilling into style

The Mantel Shelf Arrangement

After all of the other work you've done to rejuvenate your fireplace decor, the mantel shelf arrangement will be a piece of cake. This is an external feature, so you can arrange and rearrange the decorations with ease.

Decorated mantel shelf

Image via Pexels: Decorated mantel shelf

Keep in mind, however, that the mantel shelf sits above the fire and is, therefore, an area of extreme temperature fluctuation. You often see oil paintings hung over fireplace mantels, but the heat and dry air is not a good environment to ensure the life of an expensive painting.

Mirrors make for a classic and interesting backdrop. Or perhaps you can hang the practice tile pattern you did in preparation for the fireplace tiling project.

Wooden fireplace mantel with mirror

CC4.0 by Chris Light image via Wikimedia

Plants are a nice option for a mantel shelf because they add a splash of appealing color to the overall scheme. However, the heat fluctuations might again prove to be detrimental to the life of the plants.

There's always the old favorite: hang your high powered firearms over the mantel.

Antique gun handles

Image via Pexels: Antique Guns 

Options for mantel shelf decorations include:

  • Vases
  • Framed pictures
  • Antique Clock
  • Mirror
  • Shells
  • Plants
  • Rusted antiques
Rusty antique on a mantel

Image via Pexels: Rusty antique on a mantel

Please, just don't put a television up there. You've done far too much work to make this awesome fireplace, and now you're going to ruin it by covering it up with an artificial box that only shows pictures of Kim Kardashian? Also, the heat just isn't good for a TV over time.

Symmetrical Vs. Non-Symmetrical Arrangements

apartment architecture fireplace

Image via ​Pexels: Apartment architecture fireplace

When planning out your mantel space, keep in mind various geometric arrangements. It can be convenient to give yourself a guideline of an imaginary shape and then place your items to outline the form of that shape.

In Leonardo Da Vinci's drawing of the 'Vitruvian Man,' you can see that the image of the man is set in a square that has a backdrop of a circle. Allow yourself invisible guidelines such as squares, circles, triangles, or rectangles to guide the placement of your mantel shelf objects.

vitruvian man

Image via Wikipedia.org:Vitruvian man

Some individuals prefer a perfectly symmetrical mantel shelf arrangement where every item that is placed on the left has a matching object on the right. A symmetrical arrangement is part of a classical style and is pleasing to the eye.

A nonsymmetrical arrangement plays with the concept of randomness, but might also be indicative of a less subtle pattern. For example, you might wish to experiment with an ascending type display with smaller objects gradually increasing in size from left to right.

living room

Image via Pixabay: mantel arrangement 

There are literally infinite choices for your mantel shelf display. Consider the overall look of your room along with the fireplace, and don't be afraid to change up the arrangements.

Holiday Decorations

As the leisure time gathering point of your house, the mantel is a great place for making festive declarations to celebrate various upcoming holidays. There's a reason we have the Christmas tradition of hanging stockings from the fireplace mantel.

Stringing lights for Christmas around the mantel is a fantastic way to add to your holiday cheer. You might wish to do a rabbit theme for easter, or a harvest arrangement to celebrate autumn.

halloween decor

Image via Pixabay: Harvest mantel arrangement 

It can be very rewarding to make artistic changes to your mantel shelf decor to help you set your mind to upcoming tasks and events. Rather than leaving a simple mark on a calendar to designate an imminent trip, why not create an artistic reminder out of found items on your fireplace mantel?

Your fireplace is the center of your home, and you have permission to change it to reflect your current mood or the mood of the season around you. Engaging with your fireplace mantel is a great form of personal expression, and it can help you relax and prepare your mind for the challenges ahead.

The Fireplace is the Heart of the Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

CC by-SA 3.0  by Ximonic Neuschwanstein Castle Image via Wikimedia

Sitting around and watching a fire with friends and family activates a primordial circuit in our mind that is both relaxing and rewarding. Modern life is filled with absurd stress and manic frenzy, but pouring yourself and watching a fire crackle banishes all that artificial stress to oblivion.

It has become fashionable to abandon the hearth in favor of other pursuits, but none of the replacements provide nearly the comfort and satisfaction of a well-considered fireplace decor.

If you have an old fireplace in your home that you only use to drop off your wallet and keys on the way to bed, I suggest you pause and take a few moments to consider how you might better utilize that space.

It could be that your fireplace is the key to nourishing a deeply rooted hunger that's been growing inside you without your knowledge. Don't think of it as a fireplace mantel, think of it as the trophy case for all the conquests of your life.