Fireplaces 101: Understanding Your Choices

When it comes to fireplaces and related products for your home, Fireplaces Plus strives to be your Total Comfort Headquarters. Whether the project you’re planning is small or large, we always recommend that you start by requesting a free in-home consultation with our sales team so we can assess your indoor living space, discuss your wants and needs, and explore all your options.

Easy Does It: Electric Fireplace Solutions
Let’s start with the simplest fireplace solutions. Wall mounted and recessed electric fireplaces are among the easiest and least intrusive choices available. Wall mounted models can be hung on the wall just like a TV screen, using brackets that come included with your purchase and can be professionally installed by our veteran installation team. Recessed fireplaces require a bit more work but can be a great choice for homeowners without a pre-existing fireplace. And whichever you choose, you’ll find a world of finishing options available, including a variety of flame colors and configurations as well as interior decoration choices.

Upgrading an Existing Fireplace
Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive are about upgrading or converting an existing wood burning fireplace into a gas system which may include inserts or gas logs. Inserts, which are designed to fit easily into pre-existing fireplace spaces, are both stylish and cost-effective. Gas Logs are available in both vented and vent-free systems and come in a variety of wood replica designs, including oak, birch, driftwood and others.

Complete Fireplace Buildouts
For customers seeking a complete fireplace buildout, Fireplaces Plus is quite simply the best in the business. We’ve been providing hands-on, customer-focused fireplace solutions for nearly three decades. Consider two of the major design elements available to create the custom fireplace of your dreams: mantels and hearths.

Mantel Shelving
Mantels serve as the focal point for the fireplace, making it the central element of the room, and the key point of convergence in the home. People often use the mantel as a place to display decorative ornaments, heirlooms, or family photos. Fireplace mantels come in three different materials:

  • Wood – Mantels come in a variety of wood types including cherry, walnut, mahogany, poplar, maple, oak and more.
  • MetalMetal mantels are non-combustible and can therefore be installed closer to the top of the fireplace. This is ideal for homeowners who plan to install entertainment systems above their fireplace – the metal deflects the heat away, keeping all electronics safe.
  • Concrete – Like metal, concrete mantels are also non-combustible, making them useful for homeowners who want to combine their fireplaces and their home entertainment systems. If you’re in love with wood, don’t worry – some concrete mantels are designed to mimic the look of wood pieces.

Most mantels come in two main styles:

  • Floating Mantels – These are single-piece mantels that are installed above the fireplace and give off the illusion that they are suspended in mid-air.
  • 3 Sided Mantels – These are three-piece mantels that are installed around the fireplace, wrapping around from corner to corner.

Hearths, Stone and Tile Work
While some clients prefer a modern in-wall look, others appreciate the old fashioned feel of a hearth. Not only do they add a quaint sense of coziness to your home, but they also add a layer of protection from fire hazards by preventing embers or logs from falling onto your floor.

Ideal for homeowners who plan to install their fireplace in a large area of their house, hearths come in two main styles:

  • Floor-level Hearths – These hearths sit flush with the floor, allowing for an uninterrupted floor design. Floor-level hearths also meet most building codes.
  • Raised Hearths – These hearths typically sit 16 to 18 inches off the ground and provide a barrier between the fireplace and the rest of the room.

Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you’re ready to take the next step, we’re ready to help. Schedule a free in-home consultation to explore all your options in person. Call Fireplaces Plus at (847) 549-6700 or complete the response form on our website today!

Other Blog Posts

A City Dweller’s Guide to Buying a Fireplace

Gas Logs Buying Guide

Add a Touch of Modern to Your Home With a Flare Fireplace