Are you planning on setting up an electric fireplace at your home to make your indoor environment warm, cozy, and comfortable during the cold season but getting majorly confused about what to put under the fireplace and how to ensure you have set it accurately?
The general rule of thumb is to put a solid base under your electric fireplace unit. Also, the selected space should have proper insulation and ventilation to prevent overheating or further damage.
In this very article, I have decided to address and discuss everything one should be aware of before setting up their electric fireplace.
About Electric Fireplaces:
Electric fireplaces are the most popular modern fireplaces types for home use. An electric fireplace is mainly an electric heater and simply looks like any wood-burning or gas fireplace.
An electric fireplace can produce on average 4,000 BTUs of heat and is capable enough to warm up around 400-square-foot or 37-square-meter room.
Although electric fireplaces produce the same warmth and pleasing fire-like atmosphere, just like traditional fireplaces, electric fireplaces do not burn wood or fossil fuel like traditional ones.
Even these fireplaces do not release any generated gas or smoke, and no direct ventilation system or chimney is required for these fireplaces either. Homeowners can easily place their electric fireplaces wherever is convenient to put fireplaces.
One can set the electric fireplace inside the conventional fireplace if they are no longer interested in using it for traditional fires. You can even hang an electric fireplace on the wall or put over a freestanding model.
That’s why it is the perfect choice for using on condos and single-family homes.
Currently, four basic types of electric fireplaces are available-
- TV Stand/Mantel Electric Fireplaces
- Wall mount electric fireplaces
- Electric fireplace inserts
- Built-in electric fireplaces
If you are interested in learning more details about these electric fireplace types, The Guide to the 4 Types of Electric Fireplace can assist you.
How Does An Electric Fireplace Work?
An electric fireplace mainly works similarly to space heaters. An electric fireplace pulls in cool air and heats the air with a metal heating coil.
Then, the metal coil heats a blower motor or fan and forces heated air to spread into the room to make the atmosphere warmer. Even some electric fireplaces use infrared technology to directly heat larger rooms.
But how do the electric fireplaces produce realistic-looking flames?
Actually, it uses an LED bulb to make the flame portion, where that LED light bounces off a spinning silver refractor with 3D patterns and creates a randomly flickering flame simulation.
Some electric fireplace models are equipped with a device that makes crackling log noises whenever the refractor spins.
What To Put Under Electric Fireplace?
There is no doubt that electric fireplaces are a lot more simplistic to install and set compared to other fireplaces. An electric fireplace requires minimal setup times and no need to be continuously maintained to provide the heat output.
It only requires two main things– sufficient electrical supply and a suitable location to put it in place correctly.
Besides that, one of the most common concerns is what you can put under your electric fireplace and whether to put it directly on the floor, over the carpet, or raise it off the floor.
The best way to place your electric fireplace is to put it directly over tile or stone flooring that can smoothly spread the heat from your fireplace into the room. Remember to put it above any surface with proper airflow to prevent overheating.
One should not directly place the electric fireplace unit over the floor carpet because the heat coming from the fireplace can damage the carpet or upholstery under it, and the generated high humidity can create conditions where the mold will grow.
However, if you wish to set your electric heater or fireplace near your carpeting, either make sure your carpet has padding underneath or the floor is hardwood or stone.
While you are planning on setting up your electric fireplace, make sure you place it in a confined location, and that area has plenty of space around the fireplace to ensure enough ventilation and airflow circulation.
An electric fireplace should be placed on a flat and level fireproof hearth so that nothing can block its inlet or outlet located at its base. Also, ensure that it is placed within a low moisture environment.
Also, remember not to place any decorative item or furniture in front of your fireplace firebox unit to cover up or block ventilation holes.
If your electric fireplace is equipped with standing legs, make sure a minimum of 12 inches distance between its base and the floor. Some electric fireplace models even have bottom vents underneath, so be careful not to block underneath access.
How High Off the Floor Should You Put Your Electric Fireplace?
Fireplaces always look best when looking down at them and not up, whether it is the traditional one or the modern electric one.
If you plan on locating the electric fireplace in your living room, experts recommend keeping a distance about 40 to 42 inches off the floor.
So that you can achieve a comfortable distance from any seated position and enjoy the perfect visual effect of the fireplace at eye level.
But if you plan to set it in your bedroom, interior, as well as fireplace experts recommend using the wall mount electric fireplace and raising the insert even higher so that you can comfortably see the flames from the bed.
Remember not to raise the electric fireplace too high and keep windows and doors while measuring the raising height of your fireplace mantel to avoid crunching into the available area.
Now, if you are interested to know the easiest way to install an electric fireplace at your place, read How To Install an Electric Fireplace written by Mike Berner to learn the easy step-by-step procedures.
Are Electric Fireplaces Safer Than Other Fireplaces?
If you compare an electric fireplace with the traditional wood-burning or gas fireplaces, it is the safest option and even can eliminate many potential safety concerns, which are present with other types of fireplaces.
For instance, there is no need to maintain regular cleaning and inspection with an electric fireplace like any wood-burning or gas fireplace. Because an electric fireplace virtually requires no maintenance and venting technique or inspections.
That means no possible chances of releasing dangerous smoke or fumes to increase the carbon monoxide poisoning possibility and major human health risks.
Another major benefit of having an electric fireplace is that it does not produce or ignite any real fire and only creates a realistic flame-like look with 3D technology.
Therefore, no real risk of fire exposure, and even its unit is pretty cool than other fireplaces.
So, if you are concerned about the safety issues, be sure that electric fireplaces are the safest option for home use.
Nowadays, electric fireplaces are widely popular among most homeowners since these home fire appliances are capable of creating more realistic-looking flames as well as pretty safe and efficient for home use.
Still, new homeowners often get confused about what to put under the electric fireplace and wonder whether to put their electric fireplace high off from the floor or should directly place them over their floor carpet. Hopefully, this article was capable enough to answer all the related queries.