16 Different Types of Fireplaces

Different Types of Fireplaces
Photo by NONRESIDENT

Find out about the various types of fireplaces available for purchase for your home, including those based on the fuel type, mounting type, materials, and more.

It’s great to have a fireplace in your house. In your home, fireplaces are permitted in several rooms.

Although many jurisdictions have outlawed wood fireplaces in newly constructed homes, they can still be charming in a thoughtful way. In actuality, gas fireplaces are both more practical and environmentally responsible.

We have a gas fireplace and a wood-burning fireplace. Our living room wood fireplace is great right now because our 5-year-old loves to build fires, but once that wears out.

We’ll wish we had a gas fireplace instead. We never use the gas fireplace in the basement because it is there.

Many think about constructing or renovating an indoor fireplace when thinking about home remodeling ideas. Fireplaces change the atmosphere of a room, making it cozier and more romantic in addition to simply heating it.

There are numerous types of indoor fireplaces you can buy, but they essentially fall into one of four broad categories: electric, gas, or wood burning.

Consider the following information on the different types of fireplaces when making your choice.

Table of Contents

  1. Electric Fireplace
  2. Gas Fireplace
  3. Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
  4. B-Vent Gas Fireplace
  5. Vent-Free Gas Fireplace
  6. Gel Fireplace
  7. Ethanol Fireplace
  8. Wood-Burning Fireplace
  9. Traditional Open-Hearth Fireplace
  10. Free-Standing Fireplace
  11. Wall-Mounted Fireplace
  12. Built-In Fireplace
  13. Tabletop Fireplace
  14. Wood Burning Stoves
  15. Enclosed Zero Clearance Fireplace
  16. Outdoor Fireplace And Fire Pits

Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are quickly overtaking other fuel types in popularity. You might consider an effective infrared fireplace if you’re serious about getting an electric fireplace.

They warm the interior coils with electricity to produce warmth. Most models have an internal fan to help your home’s heat distribution.

Electric fireplaces use a “fake” flame to create the illusion of a real flame because there isn’t one inside them. A crackling “fake” log frequently accompanies the flickering flame.

Most electric fireplace models allow you to turn off the heating element while leaving the fake flickering flame on to maintain the cozy ambiance if your home becomes too warm.

Even better, you can operate your electric fireplace while sitting comfortably in your chair. Most models include a remote control that you can use to adjust the temperature and turn on or off the fireplace.

Furthermore, the overall cost-effectiveness of an electric fireplace is one of its most significant advantages. They’re not only among the least expensive options out there but also the easiest to install because they don’t need venting.

Moreover, electric fireplaces also don’t need routine maintenance, such as chopping wood, cleaning the chimney, or checking the gas line, unlike wood and gas fireplaces.

Gas Fireplace

Another well-liked substitute for conventional wood-burning fireplaces is a gas fireplace. They are an affordable choice that is typically simple to install, just like electric fireplaces. You can keep a built-in fireplace and chimney in place while built-in options are installed.

In addition to being inexpensive initially, gas fireplaces are also very efficient. They are wise if you want to reduce your overall heating utility costs.

An alternative is a free-standing gas fireplace that connects to a pipe. This makes it possible for you to install your fireplace in any room, as opposed to just those that are already designed to accommodate one.

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Models with direct venting need a chimney for ventilation. This can be an existing chimney (like one that you formerly used for a wood fireplace) or a newly built chimney.

Another option that restricts changes to your home’s structure is a pipe, as was already mentioned. Models without vents don’t need a chimney, pipe, or any other type of vent. These have many features that support general safety.

Despite generally burning clear, there is a slight chance that they could release contaminants into your home. This is one of the different types of fireplaces.

Direct Vent Gas Fireplace

Using a stove pipe, direct vent systems draw in air and exhaust it directly outside. They are the best option for highly well-sealed, high-efficiency homes because they do not draw air inside the building.

B-Vent Gas Fireplace

In terms of appearance and operation, B-vent fireplaces are similar to wood-burning fireplaces. Similar to open-hearth fireplaces, they are open to the room, but they generate heat using a gas burner and valve system.

Furthermore, the natural vent piping that these fireplaces use in place of a chimney is referred to as “B-vent.” They are excellent options for warmer climates where the decorative aspect is more important than the heating capacity because they look nice but don’t produce much heat.

Vent-Free Gas Fireplace

Vent-free or “ventless” systems, such as a B-vent or open-hearth fireplace, are frequently open to the room. They are incredibly well-liked because of how simple they are to install. They are also very effective, but you cannot use their output restrictions for basic home heating requirements.

Large, high-ceilinged rooms with plenty of room for the carbon dioxide and humidity they emit to dissipate are best suited for vent-free fireplaces.

They generate a blue flame as opposed to the direct vent option’s yellow flame, which more closely resembles a fire in nature.

Gel Fireplace

Although much less common than electric or gas fireplaces, gel fireplaces do have some advantages. Their simplicity of installation is at the top of the list.

A can of gel fuel is all needed to operate a gel fireplace. Therefore, there is no need for venting, lines, pipes, or electrical wires.

A gel fireplace is more adaptable because it is self-contained. This model is frequently light enough to be mounted securely on a wall.

The actual flame is yet another appealing feature of a gel fireplace. Light the gel fuel can come with a lighter to make a real burn.

On the other hand, the minimal heat output is caused by the fuel type and this type of flame. You shouldn’t use a fireplace as your primary source of heat.

Ethanol Fireplace

A gel fireplace and an ethanol fireplace are very similar, with the exception that the latter uses liquid bio ethanol fuel in place of the former.

You can easily refill the burner in the majority of ethanol fireplaces with bio ethanol for repeated use. The fuel tank’s standard volume is 2 liters.

You can change the fireplace’s temperature using the burner (unlike a gel fireplace). You can also quickly turn the fireplace on and off, thanks to it.

An ethanol fireplace is simple to install but inefficient, much like gel fireplaces. 

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Furthermore, you shouldn’t rely solely on yours to heat your house. They are versatile, which is another quality they have in common with gel fireplaces. Also, they are an excellent option for a tabletop fireplace or wall-mounted fireplace due to their lightweight.

Wood-Burning Fireplace

The most conventional type of fireplace is an old-fashioned wood-burning fireplace. Humans have been using a type of wood-burning fireplace to stay warm for a long time. When you think of a fireplace, a wood-burning fireplace is the first thing that comes to mind.

A wood-burning fireplace produces heat by burning wood, as the name suggests. Despite making a crackling or roaring fire, this heat source has many drawbacks.

Furthermore, the cost and upkeep of wood-burning fireplaces are their most significant drawbacks. Installing them costs money, and buying wood, and regular professional cleaning is necessary.

Despite these drawbacks, a lot of people adore wood-burning fireplaces. Many people enjoy the smoky scent, giving any space a cozy, rustic feel.

There are many different types of wood-burning fireplaces. Wood-burning stoves are a fantastic alternative for people who don’t have space for a fireplace, even though they aren’t technically fireplaces.

Traditional Open-Hearth Fireplace

You can use only a wood-burning fireplace with a traditional fireplace. These are also referred to as open hearth fireplaces and are typically built into the wall of your home from stone or brick. For ventilation, they use a flue and a chimney.

The most expensive mounting choice is a conventional fireplace. Building one properly will take a lot of construction if you don’t already have one in your house.

Due to this, most people avoid traditional open-hearth fireplaces unless they are included in the design of their homes.

Free-Standing Fireplace

An excellent replacement for a conventional open-hearth fireplace is a free-standing fireplace.

They frequently have a mantel and are made to resemble a classic built-in fireplace. Your free-standing fireplace may be completely free-standing or attached to the wall or ceiling depending on the fuel it burns (for ventilation).

Moving free-standing electric models that don’t need ventilation while redecorating is possible. Gas-free-standing fireplaces that require a gas line or ventilation should probably remain.

Free-standing fireplaces are available in various modern, contemporary, and rustic styles. They also come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. This is one of the different types of fireplaces.

Wall-Mounted Fireplace

An excellent replacement for a conventional open-hearth fireplace is a free-standing fireplace. They frequently have a mantel and are made to resemble a classic built-in fireplace.

Your free-standing fireplace may be completely free-standing or attached to the wall or ceiling depending on the fuel it burns (for ventilation).

Moving free-standing electric models that don’t need ventilation while redecorating is possible. Gas-free-standing fireplaces that require a gas line or ventilation should probably remain.

Furthermore, free-standing fireplaces are available in various modern, contemporary, and rustic styles. They also come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

Built-In Fireplace

You can use an existing traditional fireplace with a fireplace insert. You can purchase an electric, gas, gel, or ethanol insert that simply slides into the existing opening if your home has an open-hearth wood-burning fireplace.

This is a great way to change a wood-burning fireplace that requires a lot of maintenance into a fireplace that requires less maintenance and is more energy-efficient.

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Furthermore, The benefit of fireplace inserts is that they make use of your existing space. You can either choose a model with these conventional aesthetics or build off of them.

Tabletop Fireplace

Tabletop fireplaces are incredibly portable, lightweight fireplaces that are simple to move from room to room.

They are most frequently used to heat outdoor areas. To keep your guests warm and create a captivating focal point for the evening, place yours on a tabletop. A patio deck by the pool looks great with a tabletop fireplace.

Wood Burning Stoves

A free-standing, solid steel or cast-iron box is a wood-burning stove with a metal stove pipe to vent the smoke. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates and certifies them for efficiency, making them significantly more efficient than open-hearth fireplaces.

Although not technically fireplaces, wood-burning stoves are a substitute that retains a lot of the romance of burning wood while outperforming open-hearth fireplaces in several ways.

For instance, a wood-burning stove uses less firewood to produce more usable heat than an open-hearth fireplace.

Even in the harshest climates, wood stoves are a practical way to satisfy the daily heating needs of homes up to several thousand square feet. This is one of the different types of fireplaces.

Enclosed Zero Clearance Fireplace

A fully enclosed metal firebox, similar to a wood stove that is built directly into the wall of a home, similar to an open-hearth fireplace, is what is known as an indoor enclosed wood-burning fireplace, also known as a “zero clearance manufactured fireplace.”

Like inserts, many of them have glass fronts, but since they are directly framed into the house, they can be much larger than inserts, which must fit inside an existing firebox.

The almost zero clearance of this type of fireplace to the combustible surface is where the name comes from. A zero clearance fireplace is available and can burn wood, wood pellets, or gas.

Outdoor Fireplace And Fire Pits

Despite the fact that indoor fireplaces are the most popular, there is no reason to limit your wood-burning activities to the interior of your home.

While Covid puts a damper on indoor gatherings, an outdoor fireplace or fire pit creates a cozy focal point for outdoor gatherings, making them ideal for entertaining guests.

The outdoors might be the best place for a wood-burning fireplace if you are determined to add one. Furthermore, you can build an outdoor fireplace for less money than an indoor fireplace.

Similarly, creating an outdoor fireplace is permitted in some jurisdictions where new indoor fireplaces are prohibited. However, before starting construction, you should check local laws.

There are numerous options for burning wood outside. Built-in outdoor fireplaces are substantial structures that are intended to remain in one location permanently, similar to an indoor open hearth. They can be built from scratch or with the aid of a kit.

An easier choice is a fire pit. A fire pit can be a physical pit or platform on the ground to build an open fire or an elevated metal bowl-like container that stands alone.

Another choice is a portable outdoor fireplace, which resembles a cross between a fire pit and a wood stove. Similar to this, “chimeneas” are open-fronted, round-bellied terra cotta fireplaces that have narrow chimneys on top and are frequently used for cooking.

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