Your Ultimate Guide to Electric Fireplaces & Designs

Electric fires are a great way to enjoy the cosiness of a fireplace without the maintenance or fumes of a real log-burning fire. As well as being able to function as a normal fire would and provide you with heat, they can also be used simply for aesthetic purposes – without eating significantly into your energy bills!

The great thing about electric fires is that there’s a style for everyone, furthermore they’re relatively affordable compared to other types of fires, don’t require cleaning and can be installed in any home, regardless of whether you have a chimney or not. But which design of electric fire is right for you? From inset fires to wall hanging fires, there are many styles to choose from; luckily for you, we will be covering all of these in this guide, so you can decide which style of electric fire may be best suited to your home and personal tastes.

So, without further ado, let’s get straight into it!


As the name suggests, inset fires (sometimes referred to as insert fires) are fires that sit within a cavity or opening in a wall. These are great for people who already have existing chimney openings or any other recesses in a wall in their home, especially so for people who have smaller rooms. This is because inset fires still give you the opportunity to enjoy a fireplace without intruding too much on the existing space of the room, since they are installed inwards rather than outwards.

Since these typically fit into existing, standard fireplaces, they tend to be easy to install and the installation process causes minimal disruption to your home. Not only that, but there can be a lot of design versatility with inset fires; by sitting flush within the wall, they are particularly unassuming, making them ideal for people who don’t want a fireplace to be the focal point of their room yet benefit from the ambience of having it turned on, though it can be made into more of a feature piece if you wish by styling up the surrounding hearth.


Whilst inset fires sit within a wall cavity, outset fires contrastingly sit against a wall, usually accompanied by a more traditional external hearth. If your space allows it, then these are a great choice for those who wish for their fireplace to be a standout feature in their room, since they are much more eye-catching than inset fires and can be made to look either more traditional and grand or modern and sleek depending on your home and your tastes.

If your room is on the smaller side, then inset fires may be better for you, however you may still consider an outset fire if you don’t have an existing fireplace or wall opening, as creating one would be more hassle than installing an outset fire.

Hole in the Wall

If you’re looking for a fire that strikes the perfect balance between contemporary design and classic home comfort, then hole in the wall fires are ideal. These can be used in almost any room of your home, whether you’re looking to improve the ambience of a dining room, create a cosy feel in the lounge or have a stunning focal point in bedrooms, all whilst lighting up the space and providing a comfortable warmth for yourself and your guests.

Since they are much smaller than traditional fires and don’t require the same amount of space, they can be installed almost anywhere you wish in your home. One of the most popular ways to present these in recent years, however, is as media wall fires. A media wall is a specially built wall in a home that houses your media devices (typically your television, though it can also include gaming consoles and sound systems), creating a centralised hub for your media devices without the eyesore of cables ruining your interior design aesthetic.

These can create a wonderful focal point in your home and hole in the wall fires make a great, seamless addition to tie in this space further, creating that homely yet contemporary aesthetic. Not only are these fires a hit with guests, but a lot of them can feature three sided glass if expanding the full length of your wall, meaning the flickering flames of the unit will be visible from every corner of your room.

Hang on the Wall

Similar to hole in the wall fires, hang on the wall fires can be placed almost anywhere in your home, since they can simply be mounted on any wall that you wish. One of the great things about these is that since they are wall-mounted, many designs also come with additional shelving to frame the fire, meaning you have the same benefit as a mantelpiece to stand any decor and personalise your fire without taking up the same amount of space.

Furthermore, these are incredibly efficient (just like the majority of electric fires) as all the heat they produce is emitted into the room and none is lost through outside emissions, unlike traditional fires that lose heat through the chimney.


A fireplace suite is made up of multiple components that create a fire and a full surround. With electric fires, this tends to use a mix of different styles in one. For example, an inset fire is most commonly used to save space, then this is framed by a surround and mantlepiece, and occasionally a small hearth may also be included. These can include both ground level electric fires and wall-mounted fires.

Having a full electric fireplace suite like this is ideal for people who love the appearance of a full fireplace in their home but wish to benefit from the ease and efficiency of an electric fire, whilst the included mantlepiece offers functionality and practicality for adding decor and personal touches.


Freestanding electric fires are amongst some of the most easy to install – afterall, you quite literally place them wherever you wish (assuming this is a level surface) and they’re good to go! This makes them perfect for homes that don’t have an existing fireplace and you’re not looking to go through the hassle of installing one. As such, they also tend to be more affordable than traditional fire styles, making them a great choice if you are budget-conscious.

Again, there is also great versatility in terms of design choices when it comes to freestanding electric fires; for example, you could opt for a vintage log burner style, or perhaps a more modern style unit with shelving and triple-sided glass.

Baskets and Trays

Perhaps you’re someone who not only appreciates the quaint appearance of a log-burning fire, but also enjoys the pastoral image of a burning coal basket, in which case electric baskets and trays should be right up your street. These give the illusion of an open fire filled with fuel (i.e. wood or coal) without actually having to burn these and produce fumes as a result.

These are great for placing in existing fireplaces as a small addition to fill the space without having to install a larger fire. Furthermore, while they can give a rustic appearance, they are also suitable for those with more modern tastes thanks to the now large array of choice there is regarding what style and colour metal your basket is made from, being an excellent addition for those who wish for a humble fire in their home without making this a key focal point in their design choices.

Fireplace Superstore

Are you on the market for a new electric fire in your home? Fireplace superstore is the place to visit. Being the leading fireplace and stove store in the Wilmslow and Chesire area, we have a range of each of the aforementioned styles of electric fires that include something to suit everyone’s taste.

If you live in the area, then we highly recommend you come visit us and check out our showroom. With over 150 live displays of our fires in action, you can also chat in-person with our knowledgeable team for free expert advice!

Alternatively, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to learn more about the products we offer and for advice on which fireplace solutions would be best for you and your home.