Learn About When Installing a Fireplace in Your Home

If you live somewhere in northeastern North America, you’ve probably been hibernating (or wishing you were) since it’s been FRIGID cold here. Cold, like -45 degrees with the wind chill. For example, why do I reside in a place where the air is so cold that it burns my skin? Sarcasm and hyperbole aside, frigid weather may be quite dangerous, so I hope you and your loved ones are safe and warm this weekend.

In light of all this winter discussion, I thought I’d offer some crucial things to think about before installing a fireplace in your house. A fireplace gives ambient light, bodily warmth, and such a comfortable atmosphere that I believe they should be in every home. Here are some things to bear in mind if you are planning a significant renovation or adding one to an already finished space:

1. GAS CANISTERS vs. ELECTRIC CANISTERS vs. ETHANOL CANISTERS

On the market, there are three primary types of fireplaces (for simplicity’s sake I am taking wood burning out of this discussion).

A gas fireplace is powered by natural gas. It provides fast heat and a genuine fire flame, similar to a gas stove in the kitchen. So you go from 0 to 172 degrees in a matter of seconds. It’s the most efficient, has the lowest post-installation cost, and is fantastic. Where suitable, it is always my first advice to clients.

Electric variants, which you hang and plugin, deliver heat via a fan. The “flame” is a sham, and they are huge energy suckers. Where space or venting is an issue, they can be a sufficient substitute, but I prefer gas wherever feasible.

Finally, ethanol canisters that you plug into a fireplace cavity to generate an actual flame are available. From personal experience, the flame isn’t quite roaring, and the heat output isn’t as high as gas, making it more expensive in the long run. It’s a good option if you want the atmosphere of a flame but don’t mind the heat output.

2. VENTING AND INSTALLATION LIMITATIONS

VENTING AND INSTALLATION LIMITATIONS

Best Electric fireplaces do not require venting and take up less area, which is a significant advantage. Some electric fireplaces are extremely thin, quite small, and rather appealing, as is this one in the Delta Chelsea Ottawa. Because the fan on the unit blasts hot air out in a pretty focused direction, you should be careful not to position it too close to a curtain or something that might catch fire. There are various factors to consider when it comes to gas.

If you are considering a bespoke home makeover, your trusted designer, builder, and HVAC specialist will handle this for you. However, if you want to add one to an already finished room, here’s what you need to know.

Gas fireplaces, as you need a fan in the kitchen to remove all the bad fumes out of the house while you’re cooking, require a fan to pull all the bad fumes out of the home.

When installing a gas fireplace to a non-exterior wall (say, in the middle of the house), You must account for the cylinder venting, which takes up roughly 12″ of space after the framework is considered so if you are adding a fireplace to an already finished area, you must account for this space footprint in your planning. If the venting must extend a long distance to an outside wall, you may need to consider installing a bulkhead on the ceiling or wall. Confirm all dimensions and ventilation routes with your contractor and qualified HVAC staff.

In my little living room, I was concerned about the amount of space a gas fireplace would take up (I don’t have room to spare!). But the beauty and functionality of a fireplace won me over.

3. CLADDING FOR A WOODEN FIREPLACE

There are various materials that may be utilized to cover a fireplace, but natural stone is by far the most popular in my opinion. What you must do is follow the installation guide for your fireplace to determine how far combustible objects (such as a wood mantel) should be placed away from the flame in the case of a gas fireplace. Another thing to consider is that if you position a TV above your fireplace, you should divert the heat away from it by utilizing a mantle or recessing the fireplace into the fireplace construction. Again, carefully read installation instructions to avoid voiding product warranties and, of course, to guarantee safety.

My fireplace is encased with Paloform concrete tiles, which I have been dreaming about for the past 5 years and am overjoyed to finally have in my home:) If you like a more contemporary look, these basic tiles will most likely appeal to you.

4. SECURITY

SECURITY

With four tiny children at home, safety is of course a top consideration. It has also become a top focus for regulatory bodies in both the United States and Canada. If you didn’t already know, there is a new safety rule in the United States and Canada for all gas fireplaces to incorporate a safety screen after too many children were burnt. The screen on my model, the Marquis Infinite, is virtually invisible because of its seamless design, which I think is great from a design standpoint.

If you want an aftermarket screen, try Anvil Fireside, which has exquisite handmade iron patterns created in Canada, as shown above.

5. SEE THRU vs. NO SEE THRU

I love see-through fireplaces like this one from Marquis. When space is at a premium, you may create a really interesting focal point with open sightlines. The openness of a see-through fireplace is the most important thing to consider. Make sure that whatever is on the opposite side of the fireplace is appealing and does not require privacy.