Do you love to snuggle up in front of a fireplace? Do you yearn for the coziness of your own hearth during the dark winter months? Well, it’s easy to add one to any home in this day and age. That’s because you don’t need to worry about a chimney. Just add an electric fireplace with surround and mantel. Modern electric fireplaces mimic the look and feel of a real wood-burning affair without the mess and construction headaches. Place one on any wall in your home. And they’re relatively inexpensive to boot!


People always gravitate towards a hearth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an outdoor firepit or a home fireplace. There is something in our primal nature that draws us to the warmth of a flame. That’s why the fireplace often becomes the focal point of any room it occupies. It’s a very desirable feature to own. However, not all homes have one.

Electric Fireplace to the Rescue

Anyone who wants a fireplace in their home can have one. Just add an electric fireplace with surround and mantel. Electric fireplaces don’t need to be vented with a chimney the way a traditional wood or gas unit does. That means you can place one on any wall of your home — interior or exterior. Put one in the bedroom, living room, or dining room. Even a luxurious dressing room closet could benefit from an electric fireplace surround. And electric fireplaces are the best option for a condo because you don’t have to alter the structure of the building. It’s an interior remodel only.

Electric fireplace with surround and mantel in a contemporary style.
This living room in a high-rise condo features a new electric fireplace system created by the professional designers at CLOSETS.COM. The custom laminate surround and mantel create a modern, streamlined look. They also add practical storage as well as a place for the television and other media components. Custom LED lighting in the form of an upper light bridge plus a backlit panel behind the spot for the TV further the ambiance. These custom touches make this electric fireplace with surround and mantel stand out in any room.

Electric fireplaces are an easy DIY project.

Electric fireplaces can be purchased from most home improvement stores or ordered online. Many shopping sites carry them, including Amazon. If you plan to surround the fireplace with cabinetry, shelving, brick, or tile, buy a wall-mount fireplace. This type of fireplace is contained inside a rectangular metal box that gets mounted to the studs in your home’s wall. It also usually comes with a remote. Some units include extras like touch controls, timers, and flame color adjustment. Always choose a unit that has been thoroughly tested for safety. It will bear a certification seal reading UL or ETL approved.

Wall-mount electric fireplace

No matter which unit you choose, your electric fireplace will run on standard household current. It simply plugs into the wall like any other appliance. However, you will need to locate the fireplace near an electrical outlet. Fireplaces without a surround to hide the electrical source look best when the outlet is hidden behind the fireplace unit. You may need to have an electrician come in and move/add an outlet for you. Fireplaces with a surround have more options in hiding the plug because cabinetry can be designed to cover electrical outlets while still providing easy access. Units installed in a bathroom or near a source of water need an electric outlet with a ground fault interrupter for safety.

Tips for designing a fireplace surround and mantle.

Since your fireplace is bound to become the focal point of your room, you want it to look nice. For a high-end look that you can be proud of, enclose your wall-mount electric fireplace with a custom surround and top it off with a mantle. Leave room above to mount a TV against the wall. This way, you gain storage around the fireplace and can use it as an entertainment center as well. Design the surrounding custom cabinetry and shelves to hold any media components you regularly use in addition to art or mementos you wish to display. Be sure to include enough cabinets and shelves for your needs. Bring in a professional design service if you are unsure how to calculate the space requirements or need ideas. Many are happy to work with you free of charge if you buy the final product from them.

There are numerous options in materials when building your electric fireplace surround. Choose brick or tile for a traditional appearance. Stucco is also an option. However, you aren’t limited to these old standbys. That’s because electric fireplace surrounds don’t have the same fire retardancy regulations as needed for wood or gas-burning units. Wood and laminate products provide a very nice look at a lower cost. You can even use ordinary drywall. But laminate is your most budget-friendly option if you want to include storage.

Sketch it out before you build.

Sketch of electric fireplace with surround and mantle.
Sample sketch for an electric fireplace with surround and mantle. Notice how all the extras such as shelving, custom light fixtures, and even the desired placement next to the window are represented in the sketch at scale.

Start with a rough sketch of what you’d like the final installation to look like. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and you don’t need to be a great artist. It’s all about the ideas. Use graph paper to help get the scale right. Note the placement of your electric fireplace surround. Indicate where the storage will be in addition to any features like built-in lighting.

Build carefully.

When it comes time for installation, proceed carefully. Constructing a fireplace surround is very similar to building a high-end closet system. Take advantage of the strength provided by the wall studs when securing the panels for your surround. Install your fireplace surround with shelves and cabinets along the wall before mounting the firebox. Simply leave a measured cutout in your cabinets or shelving where you want the flames to go. You’ll slip the fireplace box in after you’re finished. Cover the electrical outlet with shelving or cabinets but be sure to include a door or some sort of access panel so that you can get at the plug. If you have a cable box or other media components, they will also need access to this electricity.

Add your mantle above the installed fireplace. Use a mantle scaled to the size of the firebox. Large units need big mantles. You can build a mantle yourself easily. It’s really just a thick shelf. Make it simple to provide a clean, modern look. Or repurpose an old one from an antiques market for a more traditional appearance.

The final touch should be built-in lighting. Lighting is optional but adds drama to any project. Start with an upper light bridge against the ceiling that extends the width of the firebox and fireplace surround. To do this, install LED puck lights in a long, box-like panel and direct them to shine on the wall above (not into) the fireplace. Cover the front of the box with crown moulding to finish it off. This will further draw attention to the new electric hearth as your focal point for the room. Backlighting is another consideration that will bring in a contemporary aesthetic. Use strip LEDs purchased from your local home improvement store along the edges and behind components of your fireplace surround for this dramatic ambient light source.

10 Steps for adding an electric fireplace with surround and mantel to your home:

  1. Select and purchase a wall-mount electric fireplace from a reliable vendor.
  2. Choose an installation location near an electrical outlet or have an outlet added.
  3. Take note of your fireplace box dimensions.
  4. Sketch out your design to scale before you begin.
  5. Construct a fireplace surround with an empty box sized to hold the firebox.
  6. Include cabinets and shelves in your design of the surround.
  7. Don’t forget a place for the TV.
  8. Add a mantle.
  9. Add custom LED lighting to your surround to draw attention to your fireplace.
  10. Enjoy!

Make an electric fireplace with surround and mantel your next home remodeling project!

Adding an electric fireplace with surround and mantle is not as difficult as you might think at first glance. The key to success is to buy the right wall-mount electric fireplace unit to start. Make sure the location you wish to place the fireplace has an electrical outlet. Then measure your space and sketch out your design. Include cabinets and shelves around the fireplace for storage. Design a simple mantle that extends the length of the fireplace and surround. Include built-in LED lighting in your design for a dramatic flair. If all this feels a bit overwhelming, you can always seek help from professionals. Our CLOSETS.COM designers can help with your electric fireplace surrounds with cabinets, shelves, and mantles. In fact, any storage project is right up our alley. Give us try today!


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