2023 Author: Beatrice Philips | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 03:41
With the onset of cold weather, you so want to feel the warmth and comfort of your home, listening to the crackling of firewood in the hearth. Fireplaces in this situation will come in handy. But what if an apartment in a dormitory building does not allow you to feel like in a country mansion? Electric fireplaces, presented in a large assortment on the modern market, will serve as a good solution to the problem.
Many people fear that a fireplace powered by an electrical network will consume too much energy, having a high power. However, if you choose the right heater for its functional accessory, it will be no less economical than a simple oil heater.
Important characteristics when choosing such a product in an apartment are its installation method, the area it occupies in the room.
The materials from which the decorative portal surrounding the main structure is made are also important . As for the various principles of operation of electrical appliances, here the conditions are suitable for almost any room with the proximity of a well-installed outlet. An exception is a fireplace with a steam generator, because it must be supplied in a place where there is close access to water.
Despite all the apparent difficulty in choosing such equipment, it is enough to understand for what purposes it will serve and how much space in the room it can take. And, of course, you always need to calculate your budget in advance and, depending on it, choose both the brand and model of the fireplace, the portal design, and accessories to it.
First, it is worth finding out what types of fireplaces exist in Russian stores. The classifications are different, but the main one is the gradation at the place of installation.
The fireplace is small in size and, accordingly, in price. Its main convenience lies in the fact that it is not mounted in the wall, but is a separate piece of furniture that can be easily moved in space. So, if repairs are planned in the room, such a fireplace, be it long or small, can be easily removed for a while in another room.
Some models are equipped with casters, which makes it even easier to use, for example, when cleaning floors.
Such electric mini-fireplaces, as a subcategory of floor-standing ones, perform rather a decorative function. The low price compared to a conventional heater allows you to make a luxurious gift to friends and family who have always dreamed of such an interior detail. However, the small area of the apartment or the overcrowding of furniture does not allow even the floor version to be installed.
The table also includes biofireplaces working on alcohol or the so-called bioethanol. In this case, the model is connected to the network in parallel. This substance is absolutely harmless to the environment, which is especially important in homes with small children or pets. Most often they are ordered in a frame of fireproof transparent glass and placed on a kitchen or coffee table.
An electric fireplace is installed in the manner of a plasma television panel, that is, it is attached with brackets to the wall near the outlet. Its convenience lies in the fact that complete embedding into the wall does not occur, therefore, if desired, such equipment can be easily moved around the house.
With this option, you can give free rein to your imagination when designing a portal , that is, a kind of hinged frame to the screen, where the coals are smoldering. If you build it in the same style with the surrounding furniture or other interior items, then you can create a room with the scale of a wealthy noble house of the 19th century.
The most naturalistic and closest to a real fireplace is the built-in option (sometimes called portal). Of course, such an acquisition is associated with considerable expenses and a long wait for the order, the complexity of the installation. It is simply impossible to equip some types of premises with them. Everything is very easily solved if a niche for a stove or fireplace was laid in the room during the design process. In this case, you can simply order the fireplace itself for the size of the niche, having previously connected the connector for the power supply.
Such a structure cannot be called small , and if you want to change the interior you cannot move anywhere. That is why it is better to immediately choose a suitable room - a living room or an office, where an electric fireplace can be installed for ages.
Another classification of electric fireplaces is such a feature as imitation effects:
Fireplace with the effect of smoldering logs
It is considered the most popular among owners of country houses and apartments in metropolitan areas. Working also as a heater, such a fireplace creates the psychological feeling of a real burning fire. The logs, however, are usually not real here, but painted by an artist and illuminated by LEDs and other special illumination devices.
Fireplace with embers effect
It has not only the backlit panel itself, but also a special niche behind the panel with a tank full of real coals. Sometimes these are not natural hydrocarbons, but harmless polycarbonate substitutes. Their huge plus is that they do not stain the fireplace itself and the surrounding space, and also do not emit unpleasant odors. Coals can be made to glow and smolder in different ways, constantly stirring, and then the atmosphere of presence in a country estate will not keep you waiting long.
Fireplace with simulated campfire smoke
Equipped with a steam generator, which contributes to the feeling of real warmth like from a firebox. The steam element has a water reservoir that must be refilled periodically. If you do not want to often remember that the fireplace is running out of water, you can order a large-capacity tank, at least 50 liters. However, such a container will not look very beautiful in an interior decorated in exquisite antiquity.
The 5D effect fireplace is rightfully considered the most high-tech product in the line of its electric counterparts . This is where it seems to a person that logs are burning around him, and the electrical elements are completely invisible.
The 5D panel is in no way inferior to conventional models made of fireproof glass and plastic in terms of its durability and wear resistance, but it will definitely delight children more.
Electric fireplaces have recently been adding new features that contribute to better environmental friendliness and care for the environment. Several models meet these qualities.
- Fireplace with fan heater , where a special spiral with blades is built in, discharging air when rotating. All this contributes to the preservation of heat in the room and its uniform distribution in the air masses. Such an additional element absorbs a little more electricity than a conventional fireplace, but the air quality in the room is noticeably improved.
- Infrared fireplace plays about the same role as a sauna with a similar effect. This means that short-wave radiation is not only absorbed harmlessly by the human body, but, on the contrary, is beneficial to the owner of such a fireplace. A unit with an infrared function is, of course, not cheap compared to its usual counterparts, but health, as they say, is more expensive.
- Electric fireplaces with ionizers and humidifiers also promote easy breathing of people in the room. As you know, the air from any heating element is very dry, and the window cannot be opened for ventilation in any weather. In such situations, devices that make the air more suitable for normal life come to the rescue. For some models of fireplaces, you can later separately purchase an ionizer or a humidifier as part of the structure, or you can simply install such devices separately from the fireplace.
The main division of the subspecies of electric fireplaces is based on functional characteristics.
Before ordering a fireplace, you need to clearly define for what purpose you need it
- A fireplace that will simply imitate smoldering firewood or coals, where a picture of logs and lighting can serve as an exclusively decorative element.
- Fireplace with heat transfer function, where the light does not play the main role. Such a fireplace plays rather the role of a presentable heater.
- A universal fireplace, which, as they say, both warms and pleases the eye, is the most popular, but also the most expensive. In different variations, it can be equipped with a heating control, in order, for example, to turn off the heat in summer and enjoy only the backlight. There are fireplaces with a remote control that regulates not only the heating temperature, but also how and with what intensity the coals will flicker.
Style and design
An electric fireplace creates a mood thanks to the center panel, where the lights dance, but it is precisely due to the design of the portal that one can judge the taste of the owner of the house. It is worth thinking about entrusting the finishing of the fireplace portal to a professional designer. The master will still initially have to agree on the sketches of the outer part of the fireplace with the customer, so that discrepancies in preferences are minimized.
You can try it yourself or with the help of an artist to draw a sketch of the fireplace frame . Here, both simple curls, monograms or imitation of columns on the sides of the hearth are welcomed, as well as complex floral or ornamental motifs with inserts of letters from the family coat of arms.
There are situations when the fireplace has already taken root in the interior, but the owner of a summer house or apartment comes to mind to make repairs. For such cases, you can initially make a removable portal or a frame made of polyurethane materials and heat-resistant chipboard suitable for painting. Now, even if the interior of the room changes a lot, you can adapt the electric fireplace to the new design with minimal cost.
As for the design of fireplaces, depending on the geometric shape of the portal, the following options are most popular in a modern apartment.
It can be either semicircular or triangular. This option is very good for rooms with a small area or rooms with a non-standard layout. If there is a ready-made semblance of a niche in the corner, then the fireplace will look at this place very well. With the correct arrangement of furniture in a semicircle around the hearth, you can achieve an atmosphere of comfort and warmth to the same extent as if there was a full-fledged large fireplace in the center nearby.
High-tech portal decoration can involve completely unpredictable shapes in combination with artificial materials that bend in different directions. So, an electric fireplace is made, for example, in the form of an open hearth, located in the middle of the room and laid out in a circle with stone or brick. To such an artificial fire in room conditions, you can attach a chimney hood from above, simulating the exit of smoke outside the room.
High-tech fireplace designs are most often seen in the form of silver steel or white plastic surfaces. Other components of the room should also correspond to such an element of decor. A new-fashioned fireplace with antique furniture doesn't go well.
In recent years, Art Nouveau portals have become a hit in all specialized stores and workshops. This fireplace is characterized by smooth curved lines, a light range of colors (most often, the so-called coffee with milk color or ivory color), an abundance of inserts of flowers, leaves and soft rounded monograms. The rest of the furniture in the room should also match such an elegant solution. Light stucco molding on the ceiling, repeating the motifs and lines of fireplace decorations, will also go well with the Art Nouveau portal.
A design that will amaze your imagination can be created by choosing the simplest portal, if you finish it with high-quality and original material.
A striking example is the facing of the front panels of the fireplace with quartz agglomerate. This finishing material is easy to handle and maintain, almost does not absorb dirt and soot, and is heat resistant. The quartz material looks almost like natural marble, with small multi-colored blotches in the stone, which creates an additional shimmering stream that adds a play of colors to the artificial fire.
Acrylic stone is also very good for decorating an electric fireplace. If you choose it correctly, it will shine nobly, beautifully combining the change of matte and glossy overflows. Acrylic is very popular, primarily due to the possibility of seamless installation. This means that no joints or extra seams will be visible during finishing and grouting, which allows this finish to compete with the smooth surfaces of natural stones.
An important quality of acrylic is the ability to thermoform , which allows them to cover almost any surface, not just the portal of an electric fireplace. So, if you wish, you can create a single composition from the fireplace itself and the portal, the mantelpiece, the chimney, the part of the wall adjacent to all this splendor.
The artificial stone is very easy to clean - it is enough to wipe it with a damp cloth. Unlike natural stone finishing materials, the color palette of which was limited by nature, here you can choose any shade that matches furniture or wallpaper.
Stainless steel or burnished steel, chrome plating - all these are materials thanks to which you can create a unique design, not only in high-tech style. A fireplace with iron elements looks like a piece of furniture from a medieval castle, which will look especially impressive in a country house.
An integral part of the design of modern electric fireplaces are accessories such as a woodpile with real wood ., as well as a bucket with tongs for turning over logs and a scoop for sweeping coals. Firewood can be artificial, to match the one painted on the fireplace panel. The smell of real wood and the atmosphere of comfort are transmitted only with natural materials. Do not forget that the tree lends itself to rotting, bark beetles can start in the wood, so the logs must be processed with special means every few months.
Where to place?
Often before buying an electric fireplace, the question arises where exactly it should be installed. The moment of choosing a room space is very important, because depending on this, a certain power of the device and the design of the portal are selected. A favorite place for Russian buyers is the living room, because this is the largest room in the house, where the whole family likes to gather in the evenings or a festive table is set up when guests come.
When ordering a fireplace of a certain size and heating power, one must proceed from the calculation that for every 10 square meters of living space, 2-3 kW of power are needed for uniform heating. So, it is better to spend money on a hall of 20-30 square meters in a large country house and purchase a large and powerful fireplace so that in winter it performs not only an aesthetic function, but also accumulates heat.
The most common mistake when placing a fireplace is placing it in front of a window. The principle is the same as with the TV - the light from the window, falling on the panel, will highlight the picture with smoldering fields, and it will be dim.
It is best to place the electrical design element along the side wall ., away from the front door and coffee table. This last point is true because, otherwise, the glass surface of the table and the fireplace panel may heat up from each other. Although modern fireplaces are equipped with a special protective screen that remains slightly warm even with prolonged operation of the unit, it is better to play it safe.
In the case when you want to make a complete imitation of a real fireplace with a chimney and a mantelpiece, you need to make sure that the ceiling in the room is high enough for such beauty. Having ordered a complex installation project, it is better to first find out which wall in the apartment is load-bearing, so as not to destroy anything superfluous when building a fireplace.
With a hinged fireplace, everything is much easier. It can be hung in the manner of a TV in front of the sofa, if the residents of the house are more interested in a calm picture of crackling coals than TV shows. However, combining both a TV and a hanging fireplace in one room, it is better to spread them away from each other. By placing both types of equipment on different walls, you can protect them not only from mutual heating, but also avoid a wiring failure when two high-power devices are plugged into the same outlet.
Small electric fireplaces for the bedroom are also often ordered now .to create a harmonious, intimate atmosphere in the room. In this case, the corner or wall option is the best fit. The main thing is not to install the equipment too close to the head of the bed, because the fireplace dries the air and takes away excess oxygen.
In the bedroom, it is better to additionally install an air humidifier so that you can sleep comfortably even with a working fireplace.
A wall fireplace should be hung below the horizon, because it is admired mainly from a horizontal position, lying in bed.
A very small room does not involve building in an electric fireplace. For such a cubic capacity, you can buy a mini-fireplace and install it anywhere - on a table, a bedside table, or just on the floor. It is unlikely that it will warm you on a frosty winter night, but it can serve as a worthy replacement for a night light or TV.
Before installing an electric fireplace, especially in a small apartment or old high-rise building, it is better to use a number of tips .
- Having a narrow entrance door, you should measure in advance the length-width-height of all openings through which the fireplace will be carried during the installation process.
- Determine the load-bearing and side walls according to the building plan of the apartment, because it is simply prohibited by law to mount a fireplace and destroy the load-bearing wall, or requires additional permission for redevelopment in the relevant housing and communal services authorities. Even brackets for a wall-mounted fireplace will be almost impossible to screw into a load-bearing wall, only damage the wallpaper, and there will be zero sense.
- Check the quality of the wiring and sockets of the sockets to which the fireplace will be connected, as well as the steam generator, air ionizer and other related devices. Two or more high-power appliances, such as a fireplace, a microwave oven, several TVs, and so on, should not work in the same room at the same time. For owners of an apartment in a multi-storey building, this situation can be simply dangerous, because with a sharp power outage, some devices may fail. The worst thing is that at this moment numerous neighbors can remain without light.
- Portal decorations should also be chosen depending on the architectural features of the room and even on the fact whether there are small children or animals in the house. If they are, then you should not richly decorate the area near the floor with stucco, especially when the decorative elements protrude strongly on the smooth surface of the portal. Restless household members can chip off or scratch all the rich ornamentation during the game, and the cost of such graceful patterns is oh, how great.
Pros and cons
An electric fireplace in the house undoubtedly has a number of advantages:
- Cost-effective compared to purchasing a real fireplace, both at the time of purchase and during further service and maintenance.
- The possibility of installation even in a small-sized city apartment, because now it is not necessary to connect the chimney to the exit to the street, so having a fireplace in the house is easier than a kitchen hood.
- If there is absolutely no room for a fireplace on the floor, hang it on the wall or put the mini-version on a table or bedside table.
- The fireplace portal can be purchased separately or made according to an individual sketch so that it does not look like a foreign object in the interiors of the room. Panels made of artificial materials allow you to repaint the fireplace frame or replace some of the decorative elements if repairs are outlined or the old fireplace just doesn't like it.
- You can even adapt an electric fireplace under a sauna in the country - coals and incandescent stones in a separate tank, and on top there is a beautiful picture of smoldering logs.
The fireplace in the house also has a number of inconveniences, although they cannot be considered significant:
- Compared to a conventional heater, a fireplace is an expensive thing, although you can always find a cheaper model, it all depends on the home budget.
- The work of a powerful fireplace can damage the wiring, especially if you turn on several electrical appliances at the same time.
- With prolonged operation of an electric fireplace, dry air is felt, since oxygen is absorbed during the heat release reaction. Regular airing or buying a humidifier will easily solve this problem.
Beautiful examples in the interior
The electric fireplace in this room fits perfectly into the interior of the room, despite the risky combination of three materials at once in the decoration of the portal. The main cladding made of dark wood contrasts well with the background of the white walls, and the light brick at the edges serves as a continuation of the wall. The dark grout between the individual bricks prevents the fireplace from blending in with the surrounding space. The dark stainless steel grate blends seamlessly onto the smoldering logs of the screen, giving the fireplace a natural look. The built-in mantelpiece allows you to complement the look with antique accessories, which creates a special atmosphere of comfort.
The neoclassical portal, which is not very protruding from the wall, looks spectacular in a room with a strict decor. The main panel resembles an ancient Greek temple with half-columns along the rim. A minimum of decorations in combination with round elements of the so-called Doric order at the corners give the whole structure a solemnity and monumentality. An unusual solution in the form of a double frame allows you to view smoldering logs in the manner of a painting. First, a wooden frame surrounds it, and only then a wide white portal. The walls in the room are two tones darker than the portal, which allows the fireplace not to merge with other interior items in the room.
A high-tech fireplace in the interiors of the room slightly resembles a traditional hearth in old Japanese houses thanks to an unusual portal laid out of massive wooden beams that converge crosswise and protrude from the wall. The inner beige frame is painted the same color as the walls. This allows the fireplace as a whole to blend harmoniously into the wall. Accessories in a similar style can be placed on top and bottom wooden surfaces to create an authentic oriental feel.
Everyone chooses for themselves whether it is worth making such an unusual purchase to improve the design of their apartment. On the one hand, an electric alcohol fireplace can replace a conventional heater, on the other hand, instead of smoldering logs, it is much more interesting to look at the TV screen. Be that as it may, the fireplace will definitely help create a unique atmosphere of comfort and warmth, capable of gathering the whole family in the evenings for long conversations or tea drinking.
You will learn how to make a portal for an electric fireplace with your own hands in the following video.
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