Recessed or Wall Mount? Electric Fireplace Installations Explained

Touchstone Onyx Wall Hanging Electric Fireplace installed next to fireplace by @interiorswag, in partnership with Modern Blaze

What’s the difference between a recessed electric fireplace and a wall mounted electric fireplace? What does flush mount mean? What is a fireplace insert? Many of these fireplace install terms are used interchangeably, which can make electric fireplace shopping a little confusing. The Touchstone electric fireplace support team is here to answer common electric fireplace installation questions.

Pictured above, the Touchstone Onyx® Wall Hanging Electric Fireplace is mounted to the wall with included mounting brackets. Photo credit: @interiorswag and @modernblaze.

The Versatility of a Touchstone Fireplace Install

Most Touchstone electric fireplaces can be inserted into a wall or hung directly on the wall. What does that mean exactly and which fireplace is best for your home project? Here are some popular fireplace installation styles and tips to help you.

Touchstone Sideline 50 Electric Fireplace inserted in a neutral white wall

Pictured above, Touchstone Sideline® Electric Fireplace recessed into a wall

What Is a Recessed Electric Fireplace?

A recessed electric fireplace is placed in a cut-out area of a wall, so the side of the fireplace is hidden and only the outer fireplace frame shows. The fireplace frame is flush to the wall – also known as a flush mount installation. A recessed fireplace is often called a fireplace insert because it can be inserted into a wall. Some fireplace inserts can also replace an existing wood burning or gas burning fireplace, with modifications to the chimney done by a professional.

The recessed electric fireplace is often hard-wired into the electrical connection by an electrician. You can also plug the fireplace into a standard outlet.

How Do You Install a Recessed Electric Fireplace?

The beauty of an electric fireplace is it can be installed in just about any spot. You can build a bump out wall frame for the fireplace and cover the wall in your favorite tiles, wood planks, stone or textured wallpaper. Or you can simply insert or hang the fireplace on a wall painted in your favorite color. Touchstone electric fireplaces are specifically designed for versatility, so the same fireplace looks amazing in every room.

You can see how easy the recessed installation can be in this video featuring the popular Touchstone Sideline Electric Fireplace. 

What Is a Wall Mount Electric Fireplace?

A wall mount or wall hanging electric fireplace is mounted directly on the wall. This is the easiest installation, as you simply hang the fireplace on a wall like a painting or framed photograph. All Touchstone electric fireplaces include wall mounting brackets for fast, fool-proof installations. 

Touchstone Ivory Wall Hanging Electric Fireplace mounted to a bedroom wall

Pictured above, Touchstone Ivory Wall Hanging Electric Fireplace mounted to the wall.

How Do You Install a Wall Hanging Electric Fireplace?

A wall mounted electric fireplace can be installed in minutes. Locate the studs in the wall, mark off where you want to position the fireplace and use a level to mount the brackets evenly. Place the fireplace on the mounting brackets and plug in the fireplace. The Touchstone Onyx® Wall Hanging Electric Fireplace series includes a cord cover for a neat finished look. Simply paint the cord cover to match your wall. 

Watch this detailed Touchstone wall mount electric fireplace installation video for more tips. 

Which Touchstone Electric Fireplace Is Right For Me?

The Sideline, Sideline Elite and ValueLine Electric Fireplaces are popular for recessed, in-wall installation, but they can also be used as wall hanging fireplaces. The heat vents are on the front of the fireplace, which is suitable for wall insert and wall hanging installation. When used as a wall mount/wall hanging fireplace, the fireplace front will be about 5 1/2 inches from the wall (the depth of the fireplace).

The Onyx Electric Fireplaces are best for wall hanging installation. The heat vents are at the top of the unit. There is a "disable-heat" switch on the unit that must be activated if the Onyx is placed inside the wall, which means you can enjoy the beautiful flames without the heater.

Compare the heat vents of Touchstone Onyx Wall Mount Electric Fireplace and Elite Recessed Electric Fireplace

DIY Inspiration

Check out this recent Oynx Wall Hanging Electric Fireplace installation by @interiorswag.

Here is a fun family fireplace DIY featuring a recessed Sideline Elite installation by @sipandsign101