An electric fireplace insert is intended to be put inside an existing wood-burning fireplace. You install an electric wire into the hearth by running it up the clean-out chute in a masonry fireplace. If yours is a zero-clearance fireplace, you can install the electrical supply directly through the steel side wall of the existing fireplace.
By establishing the electric connection inside the hearth of the old wood-burning fireplace, no visible electrical cord should be visible. This makes for a much more pleasing and professional installation.
Find an electric insert close to the height and width dimensions of the existing wood-burning fireplace. This will maximize the glass size and viewing area of your insert.
Typically, some trim panel is available to cover up the rest of the fireplace opening and fill in the space to the left, right, and top of the new insert.