How Much Does an Electric Fireplace Cost?
$1,000 - $4,000
$1,000 - $4,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Published November 3, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
The cost of an electric fireplace is around $2,500, typically ranging between $1,000 and $4,000 to install. This is much less costly than installing a wood-burning fireplace and a chimney. Installing a traditional fireplace costs up to $30,000 in some cases.
If you lack access to a traditional wood-burning fireplace or want to avoid the hassle, this is where electric fireplaces come in. This type of fireplace is relatively affordable, easy to install, and easy to use, lacking many complications that come with burning wood or gas.
Electric fireplaces are devices that generate heat, just like a traditional fireplace, but without an actual fire. They don't require wood or gas and provide warmth without the need for exhaust pipes or a chimney.
Electric fireplaces work by radiating heat via a strong LED, which gives the illusion of an actual fire. These units plug right into a wall or are hardwired to an available electrical panel. They also don't require much maintenance.
Electric fireplaces are essentially space heaters with a bit of aesthetic flourish. In other words, larger units intended to heat larger spaces cost more than smaller units for small spaces. Here’s how that breaks down when choosing an electric heater.
|Size of Space in Sq. Ft./BTUs
|Average Fireplace Cost Range (Materials Only)
|300 / 3,000
|$500 – $1,200
|400 / 4,000
|$800 – $1,600
|500 / 5,000
|$1,000 – $2,200
|600 / 6,000+
|$1,500 – $6,000
The overall design and type of electric fireplace you choose also impact the installation cost, as some types cost more to purchase and others cost more to place. Here's how that breaks down according to various fireplace types and designs.
Tabletop electric fireplaces are the least expensive option for an electric fireplace, costing around $100 to $500 and requiring little to no installation expertise. They plug into any outlet, are usually portable, and easily move to another room when required.
A freestanding electric fireplace price is around $200 to $1,500 with installation, depending on the size, shape, and design. These are also easy to install, with plug-and-play functionality. They plug into the wall, so costs increase with a hardwired installation.
These fireplace inserts vary in price from $400 to $4,000, including the fireplace itself and professional installation (if needed.) Fireplace inserts install directly inside a pre-existing fireplace, allowing nonfunctional or ancient fireplaces another chance at usefulness. Many plug into the wall, though advanced designs require a hardwired installation.
Installing a wall-mounted electric fireplace costs about $300 to $7,000. Most fireplaces require a dedicated mount, just like a wall-mounted TV, so hire a local handyperson to get the job done. Wall-mounted electric fireplaces offer many aesthetic choices, such as curved and flat fronts.
Installing a recessed electric fireplace costs around $400 to $8,000. These models recess around 4 inches into your wall, giving the appearance of an authentic built-in fireplace. Of course, creating this recess contributes to the added installation price.
Dual-sided or double-sided electric fireplaces cost around $3,000 to $12,000, as these are primarily custom designs. These designs are see-through and placed in the center of a room as a showpiece. Heating occurs on both sides of the unit, so efficiency increases with this type.
Several factors cause the price to rise or decline here, just as when assessing the cost to install a gas fireplace. Here are some of the more common factors impacting price estimates for installing an electric fireplace.
One of the most significant cost factors is the disparity between prefabricated and custom-built electric fireplaces. Prefab fireplaces cost an average of $500 to $4,000, while installing a custom-built electric fireplace costs approximately $2,500 to $10,000.
Prefab units come in various styles to suit different aesthetics and go in a recessed wall or hang on the wall. However, there are other designs with unique installation requirements. The most budget-friendly way to complete this installation is to plug it into a wall outlet and let it rest on a table or against the wall.
Custom fireplaces are great for those who are disinterested in standard prefab designs or need unique accommodations. The "custom" part of this equation ranges from simple add-ons—like a unique mantel placed around the fireplace—or extraordinarily complex rebuilds—like building a stone wall with the fireplace visible from both sides. Talk to your pro to discuss custom-build options. Also, many custom fireplaces are hardwired into the electrical panel, so find a reputable local electrician to complete this aspect of the job.
Labor costs vary according to the type of contractor required to complete the job. If you go for an electrician to hardwire a unit, count on paying around $200. Hiring an electrician costs about $50 to $100 per hour, and this work takes anywhere from two to four hours to complete. The price increases if modifications are required to integrate the unit with your electrical system.
Hiring a local general contractor to install a prefab unit, hang a fireplace on the wall, install an insert, or set up a simple custom unit costs approximately $100 to $500. Complex installation procedures, like building out a recess in the wall, cost up to $1,000. On the other hand, custom installations cost around $1,000 to $4,000, depending on the size, area requirements, and add-ons like building a surround or mantle.
Beyond design, type, and labor, additional cost factors are worth considering. Many of these are optional add-ons that aren't for everyone.
Adding a surround is an optional step that drastically increases the overall aesthetics of your electric fireplace. These fixtures surround the fireplace and help to give it a unique character. Surrounds aren't appropriate for every fireplace type, such as tabletop designs. The costs here are similar to paying for the cost to install a stone veneer fireplace.
Here are the most common materials for creating a fireplace surround and their average costs:
Tile: A tile surround costs around $7–$80 per sq. ft., depending on the materials. These types are made from porcelain, ceramic, glass, or various stones and come in all shapes and sizes to suit different fireplace designs.
Wood: A wood surround costs around $9–$70 per sq. ft. Common wood types for this project include pine, cedar, walnut, and oak. Going with a wood surround creates an appealing and rustic ambiance.
Marble: The cost to install a marble surround comes at $20–$300 per sq. ft., as some types of marble are costly to source, cut, and polish. Marble surrounds are available in many colors and patterns, and some are made out of one solid piece.
Stone: Placing a stone surround costs around $10–$300 per sq. ft., with rarer stone types operating at the higher end of that price range. Stone surrounds are made from granite, slate, limestone, travertine, fieldstone, and more and are available in many colors and patterns.
Brick: This is a relatively budget-friendly option, coming in at $25–$50 per sq. ft. Brick veneers and thin pieces of brick fall on the lower end of that cost range, while large stacks of bricks fall on the higher end.
Some gas and wood-burning fireplaces convert to electric models. Conversion costs vary depending on the conversion type and the extent of the procedure. Basic gas fireplace conversions range from $600 to $1,000, assuming no major changes to the surrounding area.
Gas-fireplace conversions raise in price when you remove the gas unit and place an electric unit in its stead. This costs approximately $1,500 to $5,000, as the process requires capping the gas line, wiring the unit for electricity, and more.
Converting a wood-burning fireplace to an electric model requires about $150 to $250 for labor and $400 to $4,000 to purchase an appropriate insert. This is less expensive than converting a gas fireplace, as the process requires no major structural changes. However, prep for this procedure by scheduling a chimney cleaning. Hiring a chimney sweep costs around $250.
Like any appliance, an electric fireplace impacts your monthly energy bill. This is a power-hungry appliance, so expect to pay under $1 per day or $240 per year. This varies according to where you live and how often you use the fireplace. Save on utility bills by reserving the electric fireplace for special occasions and ensuring it's powered down when you leave the house.
This is a DIY-friendly project for experienced home renovators and newbies alike, with some caveats. Go the DIY route when purchasing a simple plug-and-play fireplace design, like a tabletop or freestanding model. A general rule of thumb is to do it yourself so long as the fireplace plugs into a standard wall outlet and doesn't require any work to the structure of your home, such as building a recess or adding a surround.
Call a professional fireplace installer near you for complex designs, such as dual-side fireplaces or those coming in to replace a pre-existing gas or wood-burning fireplace.
Most electric fireplaces draw about 1,500 watts and are generally considered to be low-energy appliances. They add around $20 each month to your utility bill when running 24 hours each day of the week. Save money by exercising caution when you use your new electric fireplace, such as turning it on only when the weather is exceptionally cold or during the holiday season for a festive ambiance.
Refer to the instructions and the manufacturer's recommendations before you leave on an electric fireplace overnight, but it's generally considered acceptable to do so, though this depends on the design and how much heat it creates. When in doubt, turn off the unit before going to bed. Using your electric fireplace more than necessary may involve paying for fireplace repair prices.
No, you don't need to vent an electric fireplace, which is a primary reason why electric fireplaces continue to grow in popularity. They don't create emissions of any kind during use, so there's no need for vents, ducts, or chimneys, eliminating one major frustration with traditional gas, pellet, and wood-burning fireplaces. For comparison, electric fireplaces cost about $1,000 to $4,000, while pellet stoves cost around $1,030 to $3,310.