When we think about what makes a home cozy, a fireplace is one of the first things to come to mind. But how do you choose the fireplace for your home and lifestyle? Cost, material, and how often you’ll use the fireplace are just a few considerations you’ll encounter in the decision-making process.
Types of Fireplaces
The first decision is to choose between a gas, woodburning, electric or gel fireplace. There’s no right or wrong type of fireplace and each option offers its own benefits. Cost and efficiency may help you choose between the four types of fireplaces.
Gas is the most popular choice for a few reasons. Gas fireplaces are user-friendly and efficient, and they don’t require a chimney for ventilation.
Electric fireplaces are a great option for homes with no chimneys and for homeowners who want a quick solution to their no-fireplace problem. They’re also safer for kids and pets.
Wood-burning fireplaces are for the true fireplace lovers. Those who want the whole package of an authentic fireplace should understand what they are undertaking in this decision. Wood-burning fireplaces require a chimney and, well, wood! That means you’ll have to factor in the additional cost of building a chimney and purchasing wood each winter.
Gel fireplaces are a new addition to fireplace technology and are gaining popularity for good reasons. Though the initial investment cost is expensive, using gel fireplaces will cost you nothing on your energy bill and the gel, which is sold in cans, burns cleanly. Another perk? If you plan to move again one day, you can take the fireplace with you. Gel fireplaces are best for those who don’t plan to use their fireplace often.
Materials for Fireplaces
For gas, electric and gel fireplaces, choosing the material is made a bit easier when you purchase a pre-fabricated fireplace. But if you’re going for a wood-burning fireplace or want a custom-built fireplace, you’ll need to choose between brick or stone materials. Brick works best for wood-burning fireplaces because it doesn’t show smoke stains, but stone is a great choice, too. Limestone, marble, slate and ceramic tile are popular choices for gas or gel fireplaces. Stone veneers are a new option for those who like the look of stone but don’t want the expense.
Another decision you’ll make when you’re choosing the type of fireplace is how you want the fireplace mounted. Pre-fabricated fireplaces of all types are available as freestanding or wall mount, and if you choose a gel or gas fireplace, you can have a built-in insert installed into an existing fireplace or cabinet.
If you plan to wall-mount or go for a built-in, you’ll need a vision for the wall surrounding the fireplace. Built-in cabinets or shelves are a beautiful way to add storage and depth to a fireplace wall. Mantles are also the perfect way to accessorize your fireplace and define the style of the room.
Thinking of adding a new fireplace or re-vamping an existing one? McCarley Cabinets can help you design a mantle, cabinets or shelving that will turn your fireplace into the coziest space in the house. Click here to request a free project estimate.