Whether you already own a fireplace in your home or yard, or are looking to install one, use this guide to learn more about the varying styles, sizes and materials used in common household fireplaces.
These styles include both indoor and outdoor varieties, as well as built-ins and portable/removable options.
These are the most common styles of fireplaces which are built into the wall, often in family rooms or living rooms. Wall mounted fireplaces are connected to a chimney, which safely funnels smoke up and out of the house. Built-in fireplaces may be constructed with a mantel, or left bare. If a fireplace is built in a dividing wall between two rooms, both sides of the fireplace may be glass, allowing the flames to be seen and enjoyed in both rooms. Built-in fireplaces burn real wood or gas, but new models may now run on gel fuel, or be entirely electric.
Freestanding fireplaces are designed to provide the warmth and visual appeal of a built-in, without as much construction or alteration to your home. These can be attached to the ceiling, or entirely freestanding, depending on the material being burned. Wood burning and some gas burning freestanding fireplaces should have a vent pipe, attaching to the ceiling and acting as a chimney. The smoke and fumes from a wood burning fireplace are both messy and dangerous to leave unvented. While this does make your freestanding fireplace technically attached, it is worth the aesthetic sacrifice. Other models that burn gel fuel often appear more like large cabinets, with a firebox located in the middle. These styles can be used throughout the home, and smaller versions can be attached to the wall much like a painting or sculpture. To keep the fireplace burning simply add new cans of gel fuel.
If you enjoy entertaining outdoors, installing a built-in chimney in your backyard may be the right option for you. Just like an indoor chimney, these outdoor versions are built in to a wall, and vented with a chimney. It is important to keep in mind that wind can affect the flow of smoke for an outdoor chimney, and sitting areas surrounding the fireplace may seem slightly smokier than normal. Outdoor built in fireplaces can burn real wood, gas or gel fuel.
Outdoor fireplaces are typically freestanding, as they are easy to purchase and install. Because they are not built in to a wall, they usually run on real wood or gel. Chimneys are outdoor freestanding fireplaces featuring a round basin with a wide, pipe-shaped chimney extending from the top.
All fireplaces originally burned real wood, and many homeowners continue to prefer this material for its smell, sound and appearance. Wood burning fireplaces do require cleaning, and if clogged can create large amounts of smoke inside the house.
Gas fireplaces can operate in one of two manners.
Vented: Vented gas fireplaces require the use of a chimney to remove fumes generated by the flames
Vent Free: This style of gas fireplace does not require a chimney, and burns at a much higher temperature to destroy toxic fumes. Extra caution should be taken when using a vent free gas fireplace because of the increase in heat.
Electric fireplaces do not produce an actual flame. Electric fireplaces produce warmth by heating coils. Many feature internal fans to help circulate the heat and warm your home. Because there is no flame, most models feature “virtual” flames, which provide the illusion of heated wood and flickering flames. Electric fireplaces are easy to install as they do not need to be vented.
Some brands of gas fireplaces that we service and install are: