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How to Install a Recessed Ethanol Fireplace

How to Install a Recessed Ethanol Fireplace

If you are renovating or building a new home and want to include a fireplace without a chimney or a vent that is built into a wall, you can easily do so with our clean-burning bio-ethanol fireplaces. Ethanol fireplaces allow you to create the ambiance of a real fire without the wood or gas fireplace requirements. This quick installation guide will show you how easy it is to recess an ethanol fireplace into a wall.

Can You Install a Recessed Ethanol Fireplace Yourself?

Installing a recessed ethanol fireplace can be a DIY project if you have some basic carpentry knowledge. However, we do recommend that you hire a professional (carpenter) who could make sure that your fireplace is installed according to all the safety standards.

What You Need to Install a Recessed Ethanol Fireplace

1. Fireproof Wall or Insulation

You need to make sure that the inside walls of the opening where you will insert your fireplace are made of or lined with a fireproof material such as cement board, wonder board, steel sheet. You will also need metal studs for framing.


Non-flammable materials

2. Heat Resistant Paint (Optional)

If you decide to paint around your recessed ethanol fireplace, the paint you use should be heat resistant. We recommend the paint that withstands up to 1,200F, it can also be rust- and corrosion-resistant for extra durability.

3. Front Safety Glass (Optional)

There is another safety feature you might consider adding when purchasing your ethanol fireplace. It is a front safety glass. Most ethanol fireboxes will have this piece included. And most complete fireplace units will have the option to include the glass front with your purchase. It is a good idea to select that option. The tempered glass piece in front of the flame will prevent people, pets or objects from getting into the flame.

Clearance Requirements

Minimum clearance requirements for recessed ethanol fireplaces can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer different fireplace models can have different clearances. We recommend checking a product manual included with your fireplace. For most fireplaces, a PDF copy of the product manual is also available for download on the product page.

Recessed Ethanol Fireplace Clearances

The above diagram shows the most common clearance requirements for recessed ethanol fireplaces.

Your fireplace needs to be at least:

  • 39" (~3 feet) away from the nearest flammable material, such as curtains and furniture,
  • 39" (~3 feet) away from the ceiling,
  • 20" (~2.5 feet) off the floor.

Installation Steps

Installation can differ a little bit from project to project, but it basically consists of the following 5 steps.

1. Cut the Opening in The Wall.

The size of the opening can be found in the installation manual for your particular fireplace. 

Recessing Ethanol Fireplace - Wall Opening

Generally, your finished opening should be 4" wider and 2-1/2" higher than the back of the fireplace (including burners hanging from the bottom of the fireplace). This extra space allows for faster installation, air circulation and provides an escape for the hot air.

2. Build Walls Inside of The Opening. 

Inside walls of the recess opening should be made of or lined with a fireproof
material such as cement board, wonder board, or steel sheet. Use metal studs
for framing.

3. Install The Bracket(s). 

Brackets requirements with the fireplace. They attach the fireplace to the wall. Check the product manual for positioning instructions.

4. Insert The Fireplace. 

Insert fireplace into the opening and slide it into the bracket(s). 

5. Place The Burners. 

Most recessed ethanol fireplaces will have their burners separate from the body of the fireplace. You will need to place the burners into the burning chamber of the fireplace body.

And there you have it. We have covered the general 5-step process of installing a recessed ethanol fireplace into a wall. It might be slightly different depending on the brand and your particular project.

Please remember that all ethanol fireplaces that are sold on our website come with installation manuals that provide detailed instructions on how to install each particular unit. Most of the product manuals are published on our website in downloadable PDF format on each product page.

Here are some examples of product manuals from different brands we carry:

And remember, if you get confused at any point, you can always leave a comment below or contact us with any questions.

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Further reading:

What is an Ethanol Fireplace?
Is an Ethanol Fireplace Right For You?
The 5 Benefits of Ethanol Fireplaces
Regulations of Ethanol Fireplaces
The Easiest Way to Bring Your Old Fireplace Back to Life
How to Build Your Own Bio-Ethanol Fireplace Using Ethanol Burner
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