One of the most important factors to consider when making a fireplace purchase is installation. You might already know what type of installation to plan for because you have an existing fireplace you want to convert to electric. Or you might be wondering whether a wall-mounted unit might work better.

Let's take a closer look at the options so you can easily determine which is best for you: fireplace insert or wall-mounted fireplaces.

Defining "Fireplace Insert"

Fireplace inserts are designed to be installed into a wall, preexisting cabinetry, or a an existing fireplace. They come in three varieties: built-in, plug-in, and log sets.

Unlike all other types of electric fireplaces which simply slide into place, built-in units require you to create a hole in the wall in order to accommodate the exact dimensions of the unit. They often need to be hard-wired into electricity. Built-ins are the fireplace of choice for converting wood-burning or gas-burning to electric.

The installation of plug-in fireplace inserts can be fairly easy due to their plug-and-play nature. They do not need to be hardwired like built-ins, but can simply be plugged in. Plug-ins, like built-in do need to be inserted into a hole in the wall. It can be an existing fireplace that you convert or it can be specially built. 

Log set fireplace inserts have the same convenient plug-and-play nature but don't require a perfect fit like built-ins. They are designed to slide right into place in an existing wood fireplace opening, thus making them the easiest to install of all the insert units. However, they do require that you prep the opening by closing the flue and capping off any gas lines that are connected to the old fireplace.


Explore Our Top Rated Electric Fireplace Inserts


Define "Wall-Mounted Fireplaces"

Wall-mounted fireplaces, unlike, fireplace inserts, are mounted right on the wall. Just like hanging a picture, you "hang" a wall-mounted fireplace. You do not have to make any holes in the wall (except for screws). You do not have to worry about retrofitting.

The styles of wall-mounted fireplaces are varied. Many linear fireplaces are wall-mounted. The ability to place the fireplace anywhere on the wall accommodates different designs where the fireplace is up higher on the wall or even in places where traditional fireplaces could never go.


Fireplace Inserts vs. Wall Mounted Fireplaces 

Fireplace inserts and wall-mounted fireplaces deliver similar heat output, style, features, and require similar electricity. So what sets them apart?

The main aspect where fireplace inserts and wall mounted fireplaces differ is their guidelines for installation. Most fireplace inserts are designed to be mounted within a wall or cabinetry, ensuring they can be placed close to electronics and materials without any concern for safety or malfunction.

By contrast, wall mounted units often require a designated amount of space between the frame and other materials or electronics. This factor is a very important consideration when thinking about the layout of your room.

Need to Replace an Electric Fireplace Insert? Here's How

If you're looking to mount a large flat-screen television over the fireplace, you may need to consider a built-in unit instead of a wall mounted one.

Regardless of the type of electric fireplace you choose, it is always important to read the installation instructions thoroughly. Taking the time to read the guide will ensure that your product is installed correctly and ready to provide years of entertainment.

Learn more about the different types of electric fireplaces.

Which Electric Fireplace is Right for You?