Welcome to our Ameriwood Fireplace and TV stand review. A deep dive in this bestselling electric fireplace TV console to see if it is truly worth the reputation and discover its pros, cons, and who would be happy owner of this unit.
in depth review
Look & Feel
- TV stand aesthetics: The Ameriwood Chicago is available in a total of 5 colors, there are black, espresso, rustic gray, and dove gray. What we are reviewing is the black version.
The Ameriwood Chicago looks well-made and doesn’t feel like it was made with a combination of particleboard and MDF.
It feels more like hardwood with the black wood grain finish that on the wood surfaces.
Ameriwood Chicago looks more expensive than it is because of the detailed workmanship, especially at the corners and knobs.
Couple with the electric fireplace, it works well as a center piece of your living room.
- Fireplace aesthetics: The electric fireplace is 18 inches wide, about 2/5 of the whole length of the TV stand, the fireplace flush installed in the middle adds a touch of chic and coziness to the room.
The fireplace uses the patented Altraflame technology where it was powered by flickering LED lights, the effect looks convincing from afar and can be hard to tell when you stand close.
The Altraflame technology uses LED lights that reportedly would last up to 50,000 hours.
Obviously we don’t have the time to test that. But we are pretty satisfied with the flame effects it was able to create.
The faux wooden logs are realistic and the orange and yellow flame flickers and dances randomly. Which reminds us of a real wood fireplace.
The LED lights that powers the flame effect are bright, but be aware that the brightness cannot be adjusted for this unit. You can only turn it on/off.
Overall, the unit is pretty to look at. We rate it a solid 8/10!
Quality material and build
The console TV stand is made up with a combination of Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and laminated particle board. MDF is a type of engineered wood panel that has smooth and even surface. So it makes it easy to blend with paint and black wood grain finishes.
However, MDF surface is prone to water. So be careful not accidentally wet the surface. Otherwise, the whole unit is solid and sturdy for its design. (Just in case you are worried, minimal moisture that got on MDF by mopping the floor is okay)
For the delivery, we can’t verify with just one unit. So we go online and read up on different customers that describes their experience.
Most of the users has unit comes with perfect or near perfect condition. A handful of them experiences minor issues. Such as slightly mismatched pre-drilled holes and imperfect finish. However, most noted that customer service was friendly and sent replacement within a few days.
Although they are made with mediocre quality woods, the construction design made it possible to carry up to 70lbs at the top mantel, and 30lbs in each compartment, is quite impressive.
Overall, although the materials used were moderate and may feel flimsy at first, the construction design made up for it. It gets sturdier as you put them together. We rate the build quality at 7/10
Ease of Assembly
The console unit and electric fireplace are delivered in different parts and you may receive several parcels.
Each parcel contains different groups of material parts and are well protected with inflated plastic packaging to make sure they are in good shape.
They are quite heavy so it would help if you get an extra person to receive the parcel.
For assembly, there are mixed views on the complexity, some says are hard and confusing while other says it was intuitive and easy.
For us, the instruction manual was quite clear and simple to follow, the pieces was also quite easily identified.
The whole assembly process should take about 2 hours, and you only need a Philip screwdriver to get the job done.
Ameriwood did a great job in designing the pre-drilled holes and instruction manual to help customers as much as possible in assembling the product. Making the overall assembly process feels like putting together an IKEA furniture.
On top of that, the parcel also comes with a box of extra hardware just in case. Ease of assembly was fun to put together. We’d give it a 8/10.
The TV console unit comes with 2 open compartment with holes at the backboard for you to fit media consoles like Xbox or DVD players.
Behind the other 2 doors are 2 more compartments divided up and down. They are good to keep books or decorative items as the doors are equipped with see-through glasses.
You would probably need to have a separate box to hide the extra cables if you plan to keep them in the compartments as they can look messy through the glass doors.
If you plan on putting longer decorative, you can always remove the divider to gain more height for the storage.
The storage compartments are spacious, flexible and stable. In this regard it deserves a solid 7/10.
The space heater is attached on the upper side of the electric fireplace unit, the vents will release hot air to heat up the room while at the far corner to the right is the controls.
The controls only consist of 2 mechanical switch, flame effect on/off and heater on/off. The rest of the fireplace, including the tv stand storage area, are cool to touch.
There’s no thermostat or brightness range for you to choose from.
Once you turn on the heater, the heater will always be on the highest setting once it is turned on, so it heats up the room pretty quickly, the output is 4700BTU, heating up rooms up to 400 square feet in a well-insulated room. The heater is quiet and barely noticeable once you have your TV on.
The heater unit doesn’t come with the remote control. To solve this problem, you probably will want to get yourself a Wifi smart plug to enable timer and remote on/off features. That way you can set timer for it to turn on/off or you can turn the electric fireplace on/off when it gets too war or too cold.
The heater provides adequate heat and warms up a medium sized room effectively, though the controls leave much to be desired for, we rate the heater function a 6/10.
Overall, the Ameriwood Chicago electric fireplace tv stand comes at a really bargain price for the value it provides.
For the price you usually only get either a TV stand or Electric fireplace but with this fireplace TV stand you get both.
Some features left much to be desired are fireplace settings such as timer, brightness and thermometer.
Not to mention the lack of thermometer. However these could all easily be remedied by a Wifi smart plug that allows you to control the on/off and timer on phone. If you are on a budget and are looking for a value for money piece, then this is for you.
If you don’t mind to pay for a higher price tag to enjoy higher quality of wood and controls, then perhaps you might be better off looking for another unit.