How to Install an Electric Fireplace for Your Living Room

The invention of an electric fireplace has made the use of fireplaces easier as users neither have to burn real wood nor stand fumes from the usual fireplace.

After considering the different brands of electric fireplace and reading the best electric fireplace reviews, you may want to install an electric fireplace in your living room.

There are different types of electric fireplaces, but in this article, we will be focusing on how to install an electric fireplace implant and how to install a built-in electric fireplace.

Installation process of an electric fireplace insert

Two types of electric fireplace inserts exist; namely: logs and fireboxes.

First off, there must be an existing masonry fireplace. This way, with some basic knowledge in carpentry, you can do the installation by yourself.

However, most of the time, you will need a licensed electrician to assist you in installing a power outlet in your already existing fireplace opening.

Clearance requirements to look out for before installation

  • 2″ from the top of the insert frame to a mantel board above it
  • 3/8″ from the top of the firebox to a combustible or non-combustible material
  • No minimum clearance to the floor.
  • 1″ from the back and sides of the insert to the walls around it.

Steps for installation

1. Place a cover plate over your chimney

In a bid to prevent water from entering via the chimney, it is best to place a cover plate on your chimney prior to installation of the electric insert. This is especially important if the chimney does not have a rain cap.

2. Totally seal the damper after closing it

To avoid loss of heat and drafts, close up and seal your masonry fireplace’s to prevent loss of heat and drafts.

3. Fix the power outlet for your fireplace.

Instead of using the power outlets of the house, keep your fireplace free of free of cords and wires by fixing a power outlet inside your fireplace. It is best that a licensed electrician does the task.

4. Slide the firebox into your fireplace

Insert the new firebox into the opening of your fireplace. Ensure it fits in perfectly by adjusting it. Adjust the screws of the insert. Adjust any irregularities too.

 5. Fix the trim or the frame

The trim or the frame covers the gaps between the walls and the insert of the fireplace opening, so you have to fix it.

Note that the steps may be different because of differences in the brand of your electric insert. Prior to installation, you have to check and ensure your insert works properly by plugging it in a checking its light and heat.

How to install a built-in electric fireplace

Installation of built-in electric fireplaces is usually the go-to process in a situation where it’s a newly constructed home or one undergoing renovation. This because they call for some structural changes in the house. Commonly, these changes involve making a wall opening as well as some electrical wiring.

With basic carpentry and electrical skill, this is a process that can be handled by the home owner. However, hiring a licensed electrician is highly recommended. 

Materials needed

  • Building Materials: Caulking (non-combustible), Framing and Wall Finishing
  • Tools: Drill, Phillips Screwdriver, Pliers, Hammer, Saw, Measuring Tape, Level, and Gloves.

No fireproofing is needed for this process as every electric fireplace can be fixed on combustible surfaces.

Clearance requirements

  • The front portion of the fireplace must be 3 feet away from combustible materials (such as drapes, curtains, furniture, paper and bedding)
  • Other portions of the fireplace have clearances to combustibles which range from 2 feet to as little as1/4 inches. The product manual may however give more specific clearances.

Steps for installation

Prior to installation, routinely check to see if the fireplace is in perfect condition by plugging it and checking the functions of all its components.

1. Frame the wall.

Usually, the wall measurement is 1/4″ larger than the dimensions of the firebox. Your installation manual will confirm its dimension. Regular wooden studs and drywall are perfect.

2. Connect to power supply

The bulk of built-in electric fireplaces already come with a cord that can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet that can be installed inside the opening (if your local code permits). Hiring a licensed electrician for this process is recommended.

3. Fix the fireplace in the opening.

Basically, this involves lifting the fireplace and inserting it into the opening and leveling it. You may need an extra hand for this task.

4. Firmly hold the fireplace to the wall using screws.

Push in the screws using the holes on the top or on both sides of the unit right into the wall studs.

5. Add the decorative media.

Your fireplace usually has decorative logs, fire glass or other decorative media. Use it following the fixing of the fireplace to the wall. Note that the arrangement of the decorative media can still be changed following installation.

6. Install the front glass panel.

Give the fireplace a finish by installing the front glass panel. 

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