Installing a new or replacing an old fireplace is a big decision. The perfect fireplace will become the central hearth and gathering place, so you want to be sure you’re choosing just the right one for your home and family. We’ve prepared the ultimate fireplace selection checklist, so you know exactly what to consider and choose the best one.
The Fireplace Selection Checklist
Follow this essential checklist of everything you should consider when finding the perfect fireplace.
Consider what kind of fireplace fuel you want: wood, gas, or electric. Gas will require installing a gas line. A wood fire will mean keeping a fuel supply and manually controlling the fire. Furthermore, the kind of fuel type you should consider might also depend on other factors like placement, style, and your home’s structure. We have a fuller explanation of the fuel types and their advantages here.
Type (Fireplace, Stove, Insert):
Alongside fuel type, you need to consider the kind of fireplace. You may want to install a full fireplace with an entire chimney and enclosure. If you want to replace an old fireplace, an insert will fit into that old fireplace’s home. Depending on the space and room, you may also prefer a gas fireplace which has lower clearance and more finishing options. Stoves are perfect for areas where there is no wall adequate to hold the fireplace.
Why do you want to install a fire in your home? You might want a fireplace for an additional heating source, to add to your home’s aesthetic value, or help create an ambient gathering place in your home. Whatever the reason or combination, this will determine the one you want. For example, all fireplaces provide heat, but a wooden fireplace uses a typically cheaper fuel source while a gas fireplace can be set to a specific temperature and has a timer to automatically turn off.
Determine the spot for that new fireplace. This will be easier if you’re replacing an old fireplace since the spot has already been made. If installing an entirely new fireplace, you will want to place it in a central area. This could be the living room, but you can also place a fireplace in a bedroom, dining room, bathroom, or even outdoors.
The Room Size:
If you know where you’re placing the fireplace, you will want to ensure the fireplace can sufficiently heat a room. The heat a fireplace produces is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The bigger a room, the more BTUs a fireplace needs to fully and efficiently heat it. To calculate the necessary BTUs, first determine the volume of the room in cubic feet (height x width x length). Multiply that by 5 to have a rough idea of the BTUs you need for a room in an Ontario home. However, this will vary depending on your home’s age and insulation.
Fireplaces and stoves come in all styles and looks. You may want a rustic, contemporary, modern, or traditional style. Pick the fireplace that best matches your design vision or the style of the space where it will be installed. The fireplace will be a focal point, but you don’t want it to stand out like a sore thumb.
An Open or Closed Fire:
Another element of style is that fireplaces can be open or closed. This refers to whether there is a metal and/or glass barrier for the flames. A closed fire produces heat more efficiently, but an open fire provides a greater view of the flames. While many gas and electric fireplaces are surrounded by glass for unobstructed vision, you may prefer the full open design. You can also consider a fireplace that allows both. Many fireplaces and stoves come with doors that can be opened and closed. However, since these doors also include metal, they will more visually obstruct the flames when closed.
With and Without Flames:
One final aesthetic consideration for the best fireplace is that it looks good with AND without its flames. You aren’t always going to be burning that fire. Pick a fireplace that looks good even when it’s resting. Therefore, seeing the fireplace in real life in one of our showrooms in Ajax, Scarborough, Toronto, and Whitby is essential.
Time to Find Your Perfect Fireplace
Use this checklist to help you determine the perfect fireplace for your home. Once you have every item answered, you’re more than prepared to find that perfect fireplace. If you need help finding the right fireplace or picking the best look for your home, be sure to contact us. We’ll help you choose and design the best hearth for your needs and your wants.