Recessed vs. Wall Mount Electric Fireplaces

Recessed vs. Wall Mount Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces have quickly become a favorite among homeowners, offering the cozy warmth and visual appeal of a traditional fireplace without the mess and maintenance.

They are easy to install and use, making them a convenient addition to any home. The rising popularity of electric fireplaces is no surprise. With their sleek designs and user-friendly features, they provide an efficient way to add a touch of elegance and comfort to any room. 

Whether you want to create a relaxing ambiance or simply heat a space, electric fireplaces are a versatile choice. Among the various types of electric fireplaces, recessed and wall mount models stand out as top choices for modern homes.

Both options are perfect for adding a modern touch to your living space, and this guide will help you decide which one is right for you.

Table of Contents

A Quick Comparison of Recessed vs. Wall Mount

Feature

Recessed Electric Fireplaces

Wall Mount Electric Fireplaces

Installation

Installed within a wall cavity for a sleek, modern look, it requires cutting into the wall and electrical work, so professional installation is recommended

Mounted directly to the wall like a flat-screen TV, it's easy to install with basic tools. DIY-friendly, but professional installation is also available.

Aesthetic Appeal

Seamless integration with the wall for a minimalist design

Contemporary look, can be a focal point in any room

Room Size Compatibility

Ideal for small to large rooms, provides a clean look without floor space

Suitable for small to large rooms, flexible placement

Heating Requirements

High BTU output models for primary or supplemental heating

Models with sufficient BTU output for primary or supplemental heating

Flame Technology

Advanced flame technologies like Opti-Myst™, holographic flames

LED and multi-color flame effects

Thermostat Control

Programmable thermostats, remote control, smart home integration

Range from basic to advanced, remote and programmable options

Timers

Comprehensive timer settings, including eco-mode

Basic timers, programmable options on higher-end models

Maintenance

Occasional cleaning and inspection, access through the wall

Easy to access, regular dusting and electrical component checks

Longevity

Durable, high-quality materials, comprehensive warranties

Long-lasting with proper care, varying warranty and build quality

Manufacturer Support

Strong support, professional installation, good parts availability

Wide range of support options, reliable customer service

Customization

Change flame colors, add different media

Various styles and sizes to match personal taste

Pros and Cons of Recessed and Wall Mount

Recessed Electric Fireplaces

Dimplex 100" IgniteXL Linear Electric Fireplace

Pictured: Dimplex 100" IgniteXL Linear Electric Fireplace

Pros

Cons

Check Mark Sleek Appearance: Integrates seamlessly into the wall, providing a modern and elegant look.

Check Mark Space-Saving: Ideal for rooms with limited space as it doesn't protrude.

Check Mark Permanent Installation: Gives a built-in, custom feel that can add to the home’s value.

Check Mark Safety: Reduced risk of being accidentally knocked over since it is embedded into the wall.

Check Mark Clean Lines: No visible cords or brackets, contributing to a tidy appearance.

Cross mark Installation Complexity: Requires cutting into the wall and potentially dealing with electrical wiring, which may necessitate professional installation.

Cross mark Less Flexibility: Once installed, it cannot be easily moved to a different location.

Cross mark Higher Initial Cost: Often more expensive due to installation and the need for structural modifications.

Cross mark Maintenance Access: May be more difficult to access for repairs or maintenance compared to wall-mounted units.

Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplaces

Napoleon Entice 72" Wall Mount Electric Fireplace

Pictured: Napoleon Entice 72" Wall Mount Electric Fireplace

Pros

Cons

Check Mark Ease of Installation: Generally simpler to install as they can be mounted on the wall without the need for extensive modifications.

Check Mark Flexibility: Can be moved to different locations within the home if desired.

Check Mark Cost-Effective: Typically less expensive to install since they don't require cutting into walls.

Check Mark Variety: Available in many styles and sizes, offering flexibility in design choices.

Check Mark Accessibility: Easier to access for maintenance or repairs compared to recessed units.

Cross mark Protrusion: Sticks out from the wall, which can take up some space and may not look as seamless as recessed models.

Cross mark Aesthetic: May have visible cords and brackets unless additional steps are taken to conceal them.

Cross mark Stability: Although secure, there's a small risk of being knocked off the wall in high-traffic areas.

Cross mark Less Permanent: Doesn't provide the same built-in, custom feel as recessed units, which might affect perceived home value.

Understanding Electric Fireplaces

What is an Electric Fireplace?

An electric fireplace is a modern appliance that simulates the experience of a traditional fireplace without the need for wood-burning or gas.

Touchstone Sideline Deluxe Gold 50 Recessed Smart Electric Fireplace

Pictured: Touchstone Sideline Deluxe Gold 50 Recessed Smart Electric Fireplace

How Electric Fireplaces Work

Electric fireplaces use advanced technology to create the illusion of real flames. Most models employ LED lighting and a combination of mirrors to reflect light in a pattern that mimics the flickering of a real fire.

Some models, typically seen in higher-end electric fireplaces, use LCD panels that show pre-recorded flame videos to mimic a fire. This technology is effective and energy-efficient, providing a realistic flame effect without actual combustion.

Recessed Electric Fireplaces

What is a Recessed Fireplace?

A recessed fireplace, also known as a built-in electric fireplace, is designed to be installed within a wall cavity. This type of fireplace offers a sleek, modern look that integrates seamlessly with the wall, providing a clean and unobtrusive aesthetic. Recessed fireplaces are perfect for those who want a sophisticated, minimalist design without sacrificing the ambiance and warmth of a traditional fireplace.

Modern Flames 100" Spectrum Slimline Wall Mount/Recessed Electric Fireplace

Pictured: Modern Flames 100" Spectrum Slimline Wall Mount/Recessed Electric Fireplace

Heating Capabilities, Cost, & Area Coverage

Type

Heating Capabilities (BTU)

Area Coverage (sq. ft.)

Initial Costs (USD)

Recessed Fireplaces

Up to 9,000

450+

$549 - $8,249

Recessed fireplaces offer substantial heating capabilities, providing up to 9,000 BTUs of warmth. This makes them an efficient choice for maintaining a comfortable temperature in medium-sized spaces.

With the ability to effectively heat areas up to 450 square feet, recessed fireplaces are ideal for living rooms, bedrooms, and other rooms where supplemental heating is needed. Their powerful heating performance, combined with a sleek, integrated design, ensures both functionality and aesthetic appeal in any home.

Initial Costs

Recessed electric fireplaces generally have a higher purchase price compared to wall-mounted models due to their design and installation requirements. Installation costs for recessed fireplaces can also be higher, as professional help may be needed for modifications to the wall structure or electrical system.

Long-Term Energy Consumption

Type

Watts per hour (W)

Cost per hour (USD)

Recessed Fireplace

750 - 2,500

$0.11 - $0.22

Many recessed electric fireplaces are energy-efficient, using LED technology and efficient heating elements to heat specific areas of your home, reducing the need for central heating. Operating costs are low, especially when using the flame effect without heat, costing as little as a few cents per hour in flame-only mode.

Potential Resale Value Impact

A well-installed recessed fireplace can increase the appeal of your home to potential buyers, particularly in modern or upscale markets. It adds a touch of luxury and modernity that can enhance the overall aesthetic and functionality of the living space.

Space Requirements

Touchstone Sideline Infinity 3-Sided 60" WiFi Enabled Recessed Electric Fireplace (Alexa/Google Compatible)

Pictured: Touchstone Sideline Infinity 3-Sided 60" WiFi Enabled Recessed Electric Fireplace (Alexa/Google Compatible)

Recessed fireplaces are ideal for small spaces because they don’t protrude into the room, saving valuable floor space. They can be seamlessly integrated into walls, cabinets, or media walls, offering a sleek and modern look without taking up additional space.

In larger rooms, recessed fireplaces can serve as a focal point or a complementary element. Their clean lines and unobtrusive design allow for flexibility in furniture arrangement and decor. They can also be installed at different heights to suit viewing preferences and room layout.

Design Integration

  • Modern: Recessed fireplaces fit seamlessly into modern interiors with their sleek lines and minimalistic design. They can be framed with various materials like glass, metal, or stone to enhance their contemporary appeal.

  • Classic: In classic or traditional interiors, recessed fireplaces can be incorporated with ornate surrounds or mantels to blend with the decor. They provide the elegance of a traditional fireplace with the convenience of modern technology.

  • Eclectic: For eclectic styles, recessed fireplaces offer versatility. They can be customized with unique frames or backdrops to match a diverse range of decor elements.

Recessed Fireplaces for Different Settings

Apartments

Napoleon Cineview 26" Built-in Electric Fireplace Insert

Pictured: Napoleon Cineview 26" Built-in Electric Fireplace Insert

  • Space-Saving: Ideal for apartments where space is at a premium. They don’t encroach on living areas and can be installed in compact spaces like under a TV or within a media wall.

  • Energy Efficiency: Perfect for heating small areas efficiently without the need for central heating, which can be beneficial for renters looking to save on energy bills.

Detached Homes

Amantii Tru View Bespoke 45 3 Sided Indoor  Outdoor Electric Fireplace

Pictured: Amantii Tru View Bespoke 45 3 Sided Indoor  Outdoor Electric Fireplace

  • Flexible Placement: Can be installed in various rooms such as living rooms, bedrooms, or even bathrooms. They provide a stylish and efficient heating solution that can complement larger spaces.

  • Zonal Heating: Useful for zonal heating, allowing different parts of the house to be heated independently, which can be more energy-efficient and cost-effective.

Offices

Litedeer Latitude II 78" Vent-Free Seamless Push-In Electric Fireplace with Reflective Fire Glass (Luster Copper)

Pictured: Litedeer Latitude II 78" Vent-Free Seamless Push-In Electric Fireplace with Reflective Fire Glass (Luster Copper)

  • Professional Look: Adds a professional and sophisticated touch to office spaces. The clean design of recessed fireplaces fits well in reception areas, executive offices, or meeting rooms.

  • Comfort and Ambiance: Creates a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for clients and employees alike, enhancing the overall office environment.

Installation Steps

Tools We Will Be Using

  • Stud finder
  • Measuring tape
  • Drywall saw
  • Level
  • Electrical wiring and outlet
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Mounting brackets (usually included with the fireplace)

Procedure

1. Choose the Location: Select a suitable wall that can accommodate the dimensions and weight of the fireplace, ensuring there's access to an electrical outlet within the wall cavity.

2. Prepare the Wall: Use a stud finder to locate and mark the studs in the wall, and mark the area where the fireplace will be installed, ensuring it fits between the studs.

3. Cut the Opening: Carefully cut the drywall to create an opening for the fireplace, following the manufacturer's dimensions, and ensure the opening is clean and free of obstructions.

4. Install the Electrical Wiring: Turn off the power to the area where you’re working, install the electrical wiring ensuring it meets local codes and regulations, and connect the wiring to the designated power source.

5. Mount the Fireplace: Insert the fireplace into the wall opening and secure it to the studs using the provided mounting brackets and screws.

6. Finish the Installation: Attach any trim or finishing pieces to create a seamless look, restore the power, and test the fireplace to ensure it's working correctly.


    Can I Install Recessed Fireplaces Myself?

    Yes, you can. However, installing a recessed electric fireplace yourself can save you money and provide a sense of accomplishment. However, it requires time, basic DIY skills, and carries the risk of costly mistakes.

    On the other hand, professional installation ensures the job is done quickly and correctly, offering peace of mind and safety, but it comes with higher costs and the need to schedule an appointment.

    Wall Mount Electric Fireplaces

    What is a Wall Mount Fireplace?

    A wall mount fireplace is an electric fireplace designed to be attached directly to the wall, similar to a flat-screen TV. These fireplaces are versatile, easy to install, and can be a great addition to any room. They offer a contemporary look and can be a focal point in living rooms, bedrooms, or even bathrooms.

    Dimplex Sierra 72" Wall-Mount/Tabletop Linear Electric Fireplace

    Pictured: Dimplex Sierra 72" Wall-Mount/Tabletop Linear Electric Fireplace

    Heating Capabilities, Cost, & Area Coverage

    Type

    Heating Capabilities (BTU)

    Area Coverage (sq. ft.)

    Initial Costs (USD)

    Wall-Mounted Fireplaces

    Up to 10,000

    500+

    $299 - $9,999

    Initial Costs

    Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are generally more affordable than recessed models, with a wide range of prices to fit different budgets. Installation is typically straightforward and can often be done without professional help, reducing additional costs, as they usually only require mounting hardware and a standard electrical outlet.

    Long-Term Energy Consumption

    Type

    Watts per hour (W)

    Cost per hour (USD)

    Wall-Mounted Fireplace

    750 - 2,930

    $0.10 - $0.38

    Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are designed for energy efficiency, utilizing LED technology and efficient heating elements. They allow for targeted heating, potentially saving on overall energy costs. Operating costs are minimal, particularly when using the flame effect without heat, with costs as low as a few cents per hour in flame-only mode.

    Potential Resale Value Impact

    While wall-mounted fireplaces may not increase home value as significantly as recessed models, they still add aesthetic appeal and modern functionality. They are particularly attractive to buyers looking for stylish and low-maintenance heating options.

    Space Requirements

    Modern Flames 60" Challenger Wall Mount/Recessed Linear Electric Fireplace

    Pictured: Modern Flames 60" Challenger Wall Mount/Recessed Linear Electric Fireplace

    • Small Spaces: Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are excellent for small spaces because they are easy to install and do not occupy floor space. They can be mounted on any wall, providing warmth and ambiance without cluttering the room.

    • Large Rooms: In larger rooms, wall-mounted fireplaces can serve as a stylish focal point. They are versatile and can be installed at eye level for optimal viewing, creating a cozy atmosphere in spacious living areas.

    Design Integration

    • Modern: Wall-mounted fireplaces fit seamlessly into modern interiors with their sleek and contemporary design. They are available in various finishes like black, stainless steel, and glass, enhancing the modern aesthetic.

    • Classic: In classic interiors, wall-mounted fireplaces can be framed with decorative surrounds or placed above a traditional mantel to blend with the decor. They offer a modern touch without overwhelming the traditional elements.

    • Eclectic: For eclectic styles, wall-mounted fireplaces provide flexibility. They can be paired with various decor elements and mounted in creative ways to match a diverse range of styles.

    Wall Mount Fireplaces for Different Settings

    Apartments

    Continental Linear 50" Wall Mount Electric Fireplace

    Pictured: Continental Linear 50" Wall Mount Electric Fireplace

    • Space-Saving: Perfect for apartments where floor space is limited. They can be mounted on any wall, freeing up valuable space for furniture and other decor.

    • Energy Efficiency: Ideal for heating specific areas efficiently, reducing the need for central heating. This is especially beneficial for renters who want to save on energy bills.

    Detached Homes

    Dimplex Winslow 36" Wall-Mounted/Tabletop Linear Electric Fireplace

    Pictured: Dimplex Winslow 36" Wall-Mounted/Tabletop Linear Electric Fireplace

    • Flexible Placement: Can be installed in any room, including living rooms, bedrooms, or bathrooms. They provide a stylish and efficient heating solution that complements larger spaces.

    • Zonal Heating: Useful for zonal heating, allowing different parts of the house to be heated independently, which can be more energy-efficient and cost-effective.

    Offices

    Amantii 72" Wall Mount/Flush Mount Electric Fireplace with Glass Surround

    Pictured: Amantii 72" Wall Mount/Flush Mount Electric Fireplace with Glass Surround

    • Professional Look: Adds a professional and sophisticated touch to office spaces. The clean and modern design of wall-mounted fireplaces fits well in reception areas, executive offices, or meeting rooms.

    • Comfort and Ambiance: Creates a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for clients and employees alike, enhancing the overall office environment.

    Installation Steps

    Tools We Will Be Using

    • Tape Measure
    • Level
    • Pencil
    • Drill
    • Screws and Anchors
    • Screwdriver
    • Stud Finder (optional but recommended)

    Procedure

    1. Choose the Location: Decide on the wall where you want to mount the fireplace, ensuring there is an electrical outlet nearby.

    2. Mark the Wall: Use a level to mark the desired height and position of the fireplace, and mark the locations for the mounting brackets or hanging points, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

    3. Install the Mounting Brackets: Drill holes at the marked locations, and attach the mounting brackets to the wall using screws and anchors, ensuring they are secure.

    4. Hang the Fireplace: Lift the fireplace and hang it on the mounting brackets, ensuring it is securely in place and level.

    5. Connect the Electrical Wiring: Plug the fireplace into the nearby electrical outlet. If the fireplace has an option for hardwiring, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect it to the home’s electrical system.

      Can I Install Wall Mount Fireplaces Myself?

      Yes, you can install wall mount fireplaces yourself. DIY installation is cheaper and lets you work at your own pace, but it can be challenging if you're not familiar with tools and there’s a risk of improper installation. Professional installation is safer and more reliable, but it costs more and requires scheduling.

      Choosing the Right Model

      Assessment of Needs

      Assessment of Needs

      Room Size

      For small rooms (up to 150 sq. ft.), recessed electric fireplaces are perfect because they provide a clean, built-in look without taking up any floor space. They blend seamlessly into the wall, making the room feel more spacious. Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are a great alternative if cutting into the wall is not an option. They are easy to install and can be placed at eye level for a cozy ambiance.

      In medium rooms (150-400 sq. ft.), recessed electric fireplaces offer efficient heating while maintaining a sleek and modern design. They can be installed flush with the wall, providing a streamlined appearance. Wall-mounted fireplaces in these spaces offer flexibility in placement and are simple to install, making them a versatile option for various room layouts.

      For large rooms (over 400 sq. ft.), recessed electric fireplaces can serve as a stunning focal point with models that have higher BTU ratings for effective heating. They not only provide warmth but also enhance the room's aesthetic appeal. If necessary, multiple wall-mounted units can be used to cover larger spaces, ensuring even heat distribution and creating a visually appealing setup.

      Heating Requirements

      For a primary heating source, recessed electric fireplaces offer higher BTU output models for effective heating, while wall-mounted fireplaces require selecting models with sufficient BTU output for your room size.

      For supplemental heating, recessed fireplaces provide discreet and powerful additional warmth, and wall-mounted options are easy to install as an extra heat source.

      Aesthetic Preferences

      For modern and traditional styles, recessed electric fireplaces offer a sleek, modern look, while wall-mounted fireplaces can fit both modern and traditional décor.

      In terms of customization, recessed fireplaces usually let you change flame colors and add different media, while wall-mounted fireplaces come in many styles and sizes to match your taste.

      For ambiance, recessed fireplaces give a built-in, seamless look, while wall-mounted fireplaces stand out visually and can be moved easily if needed.

      Features to Consider

      Features to Consider

      Flame Technology Variations

      Recessed fireplaces feature advanced flame technologies like Opti-Myst™ and holographic flames, offering realistic flame effects with options for multi-color flames.

      On the other hand, wall-mounted fireplaces use LED and multi-color flame effects, which are slightly less realistic compared to some high-end recessed models but still visually appealing.

      Thermostat Control

      Recessed fireplaces often include programmable thermostats and remote control options, with some models featuring smart thermostats for integrated home automation.

      Wall-mounted fireplaces offer a range of thermostat options from basic to advanced, including remote and programmable features, with some models also providing smart thermostat capabilities.

      Timers

      Recessed fireplaces offer comprehensive timer settings, including programmable and eco-mode options, allowing precise control over operation times.

      Wall-mounted fireplaces have basic timers for easy set-and-forget convenience, with programmable options available on higher-end models.

      Practical Considerations

      Practical Considerations

      Maintenance

      Recessed fireplaces require occasional cleaning and inspection but are generally low maintenance, though accessing the unit through the wall may be necessary.

      Wall-mounted fireplaces are easy to access for cleaning and maintenance, needing regular dusting and checking of electrical components.

      Longevity

      Recessed fireplaces are durable and often backed by comprehensive warranties, built to last with high-quality materials and construction. Wall-mounted fireplaces can be long-lasting with proper care, though warranty and build quality vary by model and brand.

      Manufacturer Support

      Recessed fireplaces typically come with strong manufacturer support, including professional installation services and good availability of replacement parts and customer service. Wall-mounted fireplaces offer a wide range of support options, from DIY guides to professional help, with reliable customer service and parts availability that may vary by manufacturer.

      FAQs

      FAQs

      Are recessed fireplaces more energy-efficient than wall mount fireplaces?

      Both types are energy-efficient, especially when using LED technology. The efficiency depends on the specific model and usage patterns.

      Which type offers better heating capabilities?

      Both types offer models with high BTU output for effective heating. The choice depends on the specific model and its heating capacity.

      Are wall mount electric fireplaces movable after installation?

      Yes, wall mount electric fireplaces can be moved to different locations within the home if desired, offering more flexibility.

      Which type is better for a modern interior design?

      Recessed electric fireplaces provide a sleek, minimalist look that integrates seamlessly into modern interiors. Wall mount electric fireplaces also fit well in modern settings but are more versatile and can serve as a focal point.

      Can both types of electric fireplaces be used in apartments?

      Yes, both recessed and wall mount electric fireplaces can be used in apartments, but wall mount models are often preferred for their ease of installation and flexibility.

      Can both types of electric fireplaces be controlled remotely?

      Yes, both recessed and wall mount electric fireplaces offer remote control options, with many models featuring programmable thermostats and smart home integration.

      Conclusion

      Choosing between a recessed and a wall mount electric fireplace depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the characteristics of your living space.

      Recessed fireplaces offer a sleek, built-in look that can add value and elegance to your home, but they require more complex installation. Wall mount fireplaces, on the other hand, provide flexibility, ease of installation, and a contemporary aesthetic.

      Both options can enhance the ambiance and warmth of your home, offering various features to meet your heating and design requirements.

      Where Can I Buy Electric Fireplaces?

      Transform your home with a beautiful and efficient electric fireplace from US Fireplace Store. Explore our extensive selection of wall-mounted and recessed electric fireplaces, featuring everything from modern to classic designs.

      🔥 Shop Online Now and discover a wide range of recessed and wall mount options to enhance your home's ambiance.

      Need help choosing the right electric fireplace?

      Contact Our Experts TODAY! We're here to assist you in selecting, purchasing, and maintaining the perfect electric fireplace.

      Say goodbye to cold evenings and hello to a warm, inviting home with a recessed or wall mount electric fireplace from US Fireplace Store. Turn your living space into the cozy retreat you've always dreamed of.

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