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Are Electric Fireplaces Tacky?

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

Nowadays, more and more homes are not being built with fireplaces installed, with some areas of the US even banning the installation of open fireplaces in new builds. However, just because your home doesn’t have a real open fireplace doesn’t mean you can’t have a fireplace at all. 

An electric fireplace will allow you to achieve the cozy feel of a real fireplace in your living space even if you don’t have a chimney installed into your home. 

One thing that puts people off from buying and installing an electric fireplace though is because they’re worried that they’ll look tacky in their home.

So Are Electric Fireplaces Tacky?

It depends on which one you buy. If you opt for the cheapest one you come across then yes there is a good chance it’ll look fake and cheap, but if you invest some money into a quality one then the flames can even look real and still create a warm and cozy environment that a real fireplace would in your home. 

What Makes An Electric Fireplace Look Tacky?

When electric fireplaces were first released, they were made within fake-looking 2D flame displays that looked pretty obvious to the eye that it wasn't real.

Those days are now gone and manufacturers are using new technology to create 3D flame displays on their electric fireplaces that look almost real unless you go up close. 

The flames would look completely unnatural and look more like a television display rather than a real wood-burning fireplace.

Nowadays, electric fireplaces have incorporated real-looking flames, coal and wood additions to the display, crackling fire sounds, and even different settings to create the vibe that you want. 

The Benefits Of An Electric Fireplace

Despite not looking as real as a gas/wood burning fireplace, an electric fireplace comes with many benefits.

They’re easy to install and can be done so by simply placing the unit where you want and plugging it into an outlet to operate, whereas other fireplaces will require you to have construction done to your home so you can have a fireplace or vent built-in to allow the emissions to be released outside of your home.

Electric fireplaces are a safer alternative to wood burning/gas fireplaces as they don’t actually burn anything so reduce the risk of starting a house fire and also they don’t release harmful carbon monoxide emissions which can poison and potentially kill you. 

An electric fireplace is easy and safe to operate and can be done so from a remote control or even a smartphone, which means you won’t even have to move from the couch to turn it on and off. Whereas with other fireplaces, you’ll have to manually light and then put out the fire each time you want it on.

Electric fireplaces are also very cost-efficient as they don’t release any heat through a vent or chimney, which means all the heat will be distributed to heat your room efficiently.

So whilst electricity may cost more than gas or wood in some situations, it is 100% efficient at heating your home.

What Are The Different Types Of Electric Fireplaces?

There isn’t just one type of electric fireplace you can get and there are some that look more real than others.

  • Electric Fireplace Mantel - These are often 2-in-1 units that come with a mantel and a fireplace to create the illusion of a real fireplace construction in your living room. 

  • Electric Fireplace Insert - These are units that are installed directly into an existing fireplace and will give off the authentic look of a real fireplace if it is surrounded by a brick chimney.

  • Freestanding Electric Fireplace - These units are similar to portable heaters but bear the appearance of a real fireplace like a wood-burning stove. They’re useful if you want to use them all over the home and can often produce a traditional fireplace experience. 

  • Wall Mount Electric Fireplace - These are units that can be mounted directly onto the wall and often look more modern in appearance and less traditional. They are normally easy to install yourself. 
  • What Are The Best Real Looking Electric Fireplaces?

    If you’re worried about having a tacky-looking electric fireplace in your home, then check out some of these real-looking electric fireplaces that are some of the best around and will have your guests fooled into thinking it’s real.

    1. MagikFlame HoloFlame Electric Fireplace (Touchscreen, Sound & Bluetooth)

    2. PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert with Fire Crackling Sound

    3. HOMCOM Freestanding Electric Fireplace Heater with Realistic LED Log Flames

    How To Ensure Your Electric Fireplace Doesn't Look Cheap & Tacky

    If you want an electric fireplace to look as real as possible in your home, then you’ll want to invest in a high-end one that replicates the look of real flames and has additional components that will help create the illusion of a real fireplace. 

    If you’ve already got an open fireplace, then inserting an electric stove fire inside or building a fireplace mantle to go around your new electric fireplace will help make it look as real as possible compared to just having an ultra-modern screen electric fireplace. 

    Ensure the electric fireplace gives off enough heat to warm up the room, otherwise, people will easily clock on that the fireplace isn’t real. 

    If you are worried about your electric fireplace looking tacky, then take the attention away from it by decorating areas around the fireplace, such as placing a decorative wreath over the mantle or adding brickwork wallpaper around the fireplace to replicate a real open fireplace.

    You could even install a TV above the fireplace or build in some shelves or cupboards next to the fireplace to draw attention away from your ‘fake’ fireplace. 


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