Electric fireplaces are a very versatile type of fireplaces and, unlike wood burning or gas fireplaces, can be placed in many locations around a home without the need to vent.
Electric fireplaces can be installed within existing open fireplaces, inside entertainment centers and even on walls, but can you put an electric fireplace inside a wall?
Built-in electric fireplaces can be installed within the walls of a home and are designed to be ventless, making built-in inserts perfect for use in walls. Certain wall mount electric fireplaces can also be fully recessed into a wall.
Not all electric fireplaces can be installed within a wall. Some require clearance out the back of the unit and so are more suited for other situations, while certain wall mount electric fireplaces can also give you the option to partially or fully recess them into a wall.
We’ve explained in more detail below what you’ll need to consider if putting an electric fireplace in the wall and which types of electric fireplace are best suited for in-wall installations.
Can You Put An Electric Fireplace In The Wall?
Electric fireplaces are different compared to wood burning or gas fireplaces because there’s no real fire. Instead, they simply need a source of electricity to work and so can be placed in many locations around a home that have a standard electrical outlet nearby.
As a result there are many different types of electric fireplace available to suit every situation.
We’ve explained the types of electric fireplace in more detail here but they can be found pre-installed inside TV stands, mantels, can be mounted on walls and installed within existing open fireplaces, or even found in bespoke entertainment centres.
Electric fireplaces can also be installed within walls.
The main type of electric fireplace designed for in-wall installations are built-in electric fireplace inserts.
Built-in electric fireplace inserts are complete units that include a metal surround with logs or ember beds inside to imitate the look of a real fire. They will also have a glass front in which to view the fire through.
The key feature with built-in inserts is that they are:
- Zero clearance
Being ventless allows them to be installed right up against the inside of a wall, without the need for clearance out the back of the unit that can be required for other types of electric fireplaces such as plug-in inserts.
Built-in electric fireplace inserts are also typically zero clearance meaning that they can be installed flush with surrounding materials to finish off the built-in look.
When installing an electric fireplace in a wall you’ll also need to consider how the electric fireplace will receive power. Electric fireplaces need a source of electricity in order for both the flames effects and heater to work.
Built-in inserts are more of a permanent solution compared to other types of electric fireplace and so typically need to be hard-wired into your home electrics when being installed. You’ll therefore need to provide an electrical supply to the back of the wall when installing an electric fireplace within a wall.
However, some built-in inserts can come with a plug-in kit (or can be bought as an optional extra) which would allow them to be plugged into an electrical outlet rather than being hard-wired, which may be more beneficial in certain situations.
When choosing an electric fireplace to put in a wall in your home you’ll need to consider what size electric fireplace will best fit the location.
Many electric fireplaces inserts can be found in linear form, meaning that they are much wide than they are tall. When looking for the right built-in electric fireplace for your home the size of the unit (in inches) typically denotes how wide the unit will be. For example a 34” insert will be no more than 34 inches wide.
For more information see our complete buyers guide to the best built-in electric fireplace inserts.
The other main types of electric fireplace inserts are plug-in inserts.
These work just like built-in electric fireplace inserts but the main difference is that the units come with a power cord and so need to be plugged into an electrical outlet rather than hard-wired in.
They also typically need a certain amount of clearance out the back of the unit and so this makes them more suitable for installations in existing open fireplaces rather than being put into a wall. A wood burning fireplace can be converted to electric by installing an electrical outlet in the firebox and installing a plug-in insert (more information about that here).
We also have a buyers guide for plug-in electric fireplace inserts.
Can A Wall Mount Electric Fireplace Be Built-In?
Wall mount electric fireplaces aren’t designed to be built-in like electric fireplace inserts but some can be partially recessed or fully recessed into a wall.
A wall mount electric fireplace is a type of electric fireplace that is designed to be installed on the surface of a wall.
The main benefits of a wall mount electric fireplace is that they can be installed on most walls in a home with a nearby electrical outlet to save on floor space, making them great for small homes or apartments. There is also no need for a part of the wall to be removed in order to install the fireplace.
As wall mount electric fireplaces can still be fairly large units in terms of depth some models give you the option of the being able to recess the unit into the wall so that it doesn’t stick out into the room as far.
The two common terms that dictate how far a wall mount electric fireplace can be built into a wall include:
- Partially recessed
- Fully recessed
A wall mount electric fireplace than can be partially recessed can be built slightly into a wall.
A wall mount electric fireplace that is able to be fully recessed means that the majority of the unit can be put into a wall without affecting the performance of the fireplace.
Wall mount electric fireplaces may still stick out slightly from a wall and so typically won’t be able to provide the same flush finish as when installing a built-in electric fireplace insert in a wall.
If you’re looking for an electric fireplace that has the ability to be surface mounted as well as recessed into a wall then a wall mount electric fireplace may be the best option for you.
We have a guide showing you the best wall mount electric fireplaces along with what you need to consider when buying one.
The video below provides an example of how to recess an electric fireplace into a wall.
There are types of electric fireplace available that are specifically designed to be put into a small space such as into a wall.
The main types of electric fireplace that are designed for in-wall installations include:
- Built-in electric fireplace inserts
- Partially or fully recessed wall mount electric fireplaces
Built-in inserts are more of a permanent solution and typically require hard-wiring into a home electrics, but can provide a flush fit with the surrounding wall and generally don’t require clearance out the back of the unit for ventilation.
Although wall mount electric fireplaces are designed to be installed on the surface of a wall some models can be partially recessed or fully recessed into a wall to provide a more built-in look.
Whatever type of electric fireplace is chosen an electrical supply must be supplied to the wall in order for the fireplace to work. Depending on the type and model, an electric fireplace can either be hard-wired in or plugged straight into a standard electrical outlet.