Things To Consider When Buying Fireplaces

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Both inside and out, fireplaces help create a cosy atmosphere, especially on chilly nights. If you’re looking to incorporate a fireplace into your home, we’re going to break down some ideas for you!

When it comes to buying a fireplace, there are many things to consider, such as style, fuels, and efficiency. Fireplaces can become the focal point in a room and completely transform it. The first thing you need to do before anything else is to decide on a budget. This should make the process of choosing a fireplace a lot easier and far less stressful.

In this guide, we’re going to show you different types of fireplaces. Hopefully, making it easy for you to decide on the type of fireplace that you want!

Choose Your Surroundings

traditional fireplace 1

When looking for the perfect fireplace, one thing that you’ll need to consider is the surroundings. From steel to marble, there are many different types of surroundings that you can have for your fireplace. It is vital to choose a perfect surrounding. As a fireplace is often the central focal point in a room. Furthermore, a fireplace almost dictates the decor of the room, so this is definitely something to remember.

It’s worth remembering that the fire surround sizing is also important! If a fireplace is too big, it can overpower the room, whereas if it’s too small it will look pointless and insignificant. If you want a certain fireplace but can’t fit it within a room, it may be worth considering changes. Therefore, making it a lot easier to get exactly what you want.

Marble Surroundings

marble surrounding fireplace
marble surrounding fireplace

Marble has been previously known to be a luxurious item, that only the rich could afford. However, nowadays it’s affordable for the majority of people. Marble is extremely durable and easy to maintain. Even though it also has to be sealed to make sure it’s protected against any moisture and acidic products. It can also be polished to change the look of it for an either more or less formal feel. Marble looks classy and dramatic and would definitely complete a traditional or modern setting.

Steel Surroundings

steel surrounding fireplace

A steel surrounded fireplace may not be as warm or homely as a wooden one, but it can be seen as more stylish. When paired with an industrial interior or a simplistic decor, steel fireplaces would fit in well. A steel fireplace would be more sleek and stylish but can also lack the homeliness commonly associated with fireplaces.

Brick Surroundings

brick surrounding fireplace
brick surrounding fireplace

A brick surrounding is useful as it can be used in both modern or vintage settings. A brick look can also be paired with other materials, such as wood. Due to its combination brickwork, it will give it a timeless aura. Furthermore, the untouched brick helps to add a more textural contrast to a painted mantel and surround.

Metal Surroundings

metal fireplace surrounding

A metal surrounding might seem old school, but this firebox/chimenea surround puts an old-world material in a more modern, contemporary form. A metal surrounding would be useful as it enables you to be able to mix and match using raw wood alongside it for example. This would also fit perfectly in an industrial interior setting.

Slab Surroundings

slab surrounding fireplace
slab surrounding fireplace

A slab surrounding is one of the most contemporary fireplace surroundings available. A single piece of stone with a hole cut from it for the fire serves as the surround. The smooth surface and well crafter appearance helps to deliver casual elegance in any living room.

Ledgestone Surroundings

ledgestone fireplace surrounding

Ledgestone fireplace surroundings are perfect for the modern home.  Usually seen floor-to-ceiling, this type of fireplace is constructed from one of the most popular materials currently in use. Small strips of stone are applied vertically to look like tiny ledges, creating a soft contemporary feel making this the perfect style for a modern family home.

Choose Your Style

classic vintage victorian fireplace
modern fireplace

While there are lots of different materials to choose from to surround your fireplace, it’s also important to make sure that the period style is suitable. A traditional Victorian fireplace isn’t going to fit into a modern family home as well as it would in a traditional interior, for example.

Victorian Fireplaces

victorian style fireplace

A Victorian style fireplace is perfect for an old-fashioned or vintage home. Usually consisting of dark colours and real fire burning wood. These fireplaces are useful for large, open living areas that need warming thoroughly. Some Victorian fireplaces feature hob plates which (unless they’re genuine original Victorian pieces), used to be used to cook food on during the Victorian era. We wouldn’t recommend cooking up your dinner on these though.

Built-In Wall Fireplaces

hole in the wall fireplaces
hole in the wall fireplace

As shown in the two images above, the Built-In or Hole in the wall style fireplace can fit into many different styles of homes. These could range from retro to modern interiors. This style is also quite cost effective as it requires no extra materials to complete and is easy to have installed.

Modern Contemporary Fireplaces

modern fireplaces

With a modern contemporary fireplace, it’s rather obvious what style of home this would fit into. There are many different types of modern designs, ranging from above image to fireplaces installed high up a wall. If you have a modern home, look for a very modern looking fireplace with materials that match the colour scheme of your room.

Choose Your Fuels

electric fireplaces
traditional coal fireplaces

Choosing the right fuel for your fireplace is something else that needs to be considered. There are many different types of fuels when it comes to fireplaces, such as electricity, wood and coal. You must consider which is the best option for you by comparing both the cost and accessibility of the fuel. For example, if there is no access to electricity where you want to install your fireplace, a different type of fire would have to be chosen.

Coal Fireplaces

traditional coal fireplaces

Coal is the fuel most people think of when it comes to fires. Bituminous House Coal is the typical black fuel used across the world for a wide variety of needs. This coal is formed over a 300-million-year process called coalification. It has been the coal of choice for generations, due to its high heat and dancing, elegant flames making it the heart of many homes. However, one thing you must consider with coal is that it isn’t smokeless, meaning it cannot be used in smoke control areas and having a working, open chimney is a must!

Electric Fireplaces

electric fireplaces
electric fireplaces

Electric fireplaces have recently been getting more and more popular in modern homes. They offer easy installations and feature beautiful visual effects. These are sometimes able to use with or without the heat output. Which means you can feel cosy and warm, without needing to waste electricity or unnecessarily use heat! Now, unlike solid fuel fires, electric fires do not use wood or coal, but instead, make their heat through electronically heated metal coils which are then spread throughout the room by a fan.

Wood Burning Fireplaces

wood/log burning fireplaces

Wood burning fires are often seen in cabins, which are mainly seen in some of your favourite Christmas movies. They’re extremely effective in modern interiors. So effective in fact, that many run at up to 87% efficiency, compared to the mere 25% that open fires give. Wood burning fires can also be installed with no chimney being needed. However, you’d require a duct for smoke to be installed for it to function. The only problem with this is that some people think these can look unpleasant. Which is why most people prefer to use one in conjunction with a chimney. Another thing to consider is the environmental cost of using a wood burning fire.

Bioethanol Fireplaces

bioethanol fire
bioethanol fireplaces

Bioethanol fires (also known as Gel) are innovative, attractive and carbon neutral. So, it isn’t hard to understand why they’ve recently become so trendy. However, bioethanol fuel fires can arguably only be seen to be good for decoration, rather than an actual standard heating appliance. Bioethanol fires are also quite costly themselves, as is the fuel required to run them, so this is something to consider. It’s also worth remembering that some units may appear to be good value as the fire itself is big externally. This is not always true as internally they may have small burners that restrict the amount of heat emitted.


dog next to a fireplaces

Hopefully, this has given you both some ideas and somethings to consider when purchasing or renovating your fireplace. As we’ve discussed, there are many styles, fuels and types of fireplaces. So, when it comes to shopping, you can shop via the internet, direct from a manufacturer, or even from a local shop.

Just remember that each fireplace has different levels of cost involved and there could also be some hidden costs involved.

What’s your favourite style of fireplace? Share your thoughts and let us know in the comments below!

A Guide To Buying Your Fireplace: The Various Things To Consider
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A Guide To Buying Your Fireplace: The Various Things To Consider
This is an article giving people tips and advice on things they need to consider when purchasing a new fireplace such as fuel, surroundings and style.
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The Rug Seller
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