This Model ReModel project update is provided by Pro Remodeler. For more pro tips and advice, visit the Model ReModel website.
When Mina Fies considered the existing gas fireplace on the main level of the Model ReModel, she just knew it was going to be problematic for the open concept renovation they wanted for the 1969-built home.
“If we had kept that fireplace where it was, it really would have hindered us from being able to create the overall look and feel and flow of the entire floor,” says Fies, the CEO of Synergy Design & Construction and the homeowner, with her husband and COO Mark Fies, of this year’s Model ReModel in Reston, Va.
So they decided to remove the fireplace, covering up the opening and planning an electric fireplace on the side of the new kitchen island instead. “We wanted to have a wow factor, and by putting it in the island, it’s very unique,” says Mina.
They found the practical and visual solution they sought in an electric fireplace from Touchstone Home Products, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer that sells to the pro and consumer marketplace. Their selection? The Sideline Elite Smart 50-inch wifi-enabled recessed model, which features a programmable thermostat, a variety of flame colors, and the largest flame size compared to other Touchstone offerings.
According to Evan Bradlee, director of sales for Touchstone Home Products, the Sideline series is the company’s “most popular fireplace style.” It comes in numerous sizes (28”, 36”, 40”, 45”, 50”, 60”, 72”, 84”, and 100”), making it suitable for a variety of spaces. It also can be just hung on the wall or recessed into a space for a flush mount look, as Synergy plans to do in the kitchen island. (Most of the company’s fireplaces are 5-½ inches deep, Bradlee says.)
“Install time can vary depending on the overall project and variables,” says Bradlee, who adds that the product is popular with the pro and DIY market. “Many customers like to install stone, tile, brick or other materials around the fireplace to create a focal wall. Framing in the wall and installing the fireplace is rather simple and should not take much time at all.”
Synergy has used Touchstone Home Products’ electric fireplaces in a number of recent home remodeling projects. Photo courtesy Synergy Design & Construction
It’s expected to be an easy install at the Model ReModel, since the kitchen island will already be wired for electricity. All the Touchstone fireplaces are 110/120V, with a max draw of 12 amperes, allowing them to be used on 15-amp circuits.
In addition to providing a visual appeal, these fireplaces are practical too. “They are 1500-watt heaters, so Touchstone fireplaces are ideal for taking the chill off a room and adding supplemental heat safely and efficiently,” Bradlee says.
Learn more about the Model ReModel and the transformation of Mina and Mark’s Reston home here.