An electric fireplace can serve as a piece of art in your home. You’ll want to prep the wall, possibly with stone or tile, to make it stand out. Depending on the format of the fireplace you buy, it can either be inset or flat-mounted.

Determine How to Treat the Wall

If you’re putting a permanent treatment on the wall, such as a faux stone or some form of tile, make sure that you are very certain of your fireplace placement. Cut a cardboard panel the same size as your wall mounted fireplace frame and tape it to the wall. Study it for a couple of days to make sure that you’re happy with the location.

Guarantee Air Flow

Whether flat mounted or inset, you’ll need space under the fireplace to draw air in, and space above it to send out warm air. Take care not to block either of those air access points, or you’ll either overheat the fireplace and cause it to shut down, or you’ll starve the unit and risk damaging the blower.

Don’t Set It Too High

Wall mounted fireplaces often have LED units that you can use just for display in the warmer months. However, as you also need this unit for heat, be careful not to set it too high. Heat rises, and if the unit is placed too far up the wall, the heat you’re trying to generate will need to be forced back down.

Many people mount a fireplace lower on the wall and mount a flat-screen television above it. Keeping the fireplace low is now critical, both for looks and to protect the television from too much heat. Additionally, you will probably want a mantel shelf above the fireplace. Your fireplace manufacturer should provide you with clearance data, but if not, make room for at least 12 inches of clearance between the fireplace and the shelf.

Locate Power Access

Your fireplace is obviously going to have a cord, and you’re probably not going to want it hanging out under the unit for all to see. Once you determine the location for your electric fireplace, you’re going to be able to put a hole in the wall behind it, and many people snake the cord behind the fireplace into a basement or crawlspace.

You can also create a bump-out for your fireplace. This is a wall that can run from floor to ceiling and be covered in tile or stone. To hide the cord in the bump-out.
  • build a 2×4 stud wall section where you want your fireplace to hang
  • cover it in suitable material where you can glue your stone or tile
  • leave or create a hole for the cord
  • drill a hole in the side of your bump-out
  • run the cord through the hole to the closest outlet
Create holes for the cord to pass through all the studs in the bump-out before you put up the backerboard, and test to make sure that the cord will clear the holes before you seal up the wall. The hole in the side of the bump-out and the cord run can be covered with a decorative cable or cord cover as the cord runs along the baseboard.

You can also purchase decorative covers for your wall-mounted fireplace cord, or install a paintable cover if you’re not allowed to open up the wall. Whatever method you use, make sure that your wall mounted fireplace cable will go directly to a 110 grounded outlet. Don’t use an extension cord for this unit.

Mount the Box

Once the wall is prepared, you’re ready to mount the fireplace box. Electric fireplaces are generally pretty easy to install, and your fireplace should come with brackets to hold the box in place – as well as a glass cover and fill material, such as rocks or crystals, to cover the bottom of the fireplace and highlight the LED display lights.

Take off everything you can before sitting and mounting the box. The glass cover and any fill material should be removed to lighten the weight of the unit. Mark the studs up and down the wall so you can easily see where the brackets go. Use a level to set your straight line for the bottom of the box, and if you’re working alone, screw a piece of 1×4 to the wall once you’ve set the level so you have something to rest the box on while you set the brackets for the top.
Electric Fireplace

If your walls are plaster, you may need to use slightly longer screws to make sure that you’ve actually hit stud instead of just getting a pretty good catch in the lathe. Do not use anchors or any other tool that will allow you to mount your fireplace in sheetrock or plaster alone; this mounting must be secure.

When the top brackets are set but not tightened, you can take down the fireplace, remove the 1×4 board and set your bottom brackets. Every manufacturer will be different, but your fireplace box will either have a flange or a lip where you can start the screws that will go into the studs and firmly affix the box to the wall. If you’re working with plaster and you need slightly longer screws, check to make sure you don’t need washers to avoid the risk of the screw head not filling the flange gap.

A Final Check

Before you mount the fireplace, carefully review your instructions. Look for any packaging materials in or around the unit that may be a hazard when heat is applied. When you’re sure there’s nothing flammable tucked inside the unit, go ahead and add the fill material in the bottom, then hang the glass. Your fireplace should have come with a remote, so you can play with colors and turn the heat on and off.

Run the blower and carefully check the perimeter of the fireplace. Make sure that the space below is allowing plenty of airflow and that the heat above isn’t impeded by an portion of the wall treatment. Do your best to keep kids and pets away from the unit, and never let anyone put another on the top of the unit.

Wall mounted electric fireplaces can be a beautiful way to add a space heater to a large or chilly room. You can run the lights at any time of the year, and many units offer the chance to change up the colors as the seasons change. Enjoy!