Buying a fireplace may seem like a big undertaking. It’s likely to be one of the biggest appliances in the room, and comes with different needs than anything else. It’s required to be both functional and decorational, without either trait compromising the other. Quite a headache, right?
It needn’t be. When you buy most appliances, you do a good amount of research beforehand. The same things applies to fireplaces. If you put in some planning, the process will go smoothly, resulting in a fireplace that meet all the necessary criteria.
Firstly, above all else, you need to get the tape measure out. the biggest headache you are likely to face will be an ill fitting fireplace. So measure and write down EVERY detail. Start by measuring your current fireplace (if you have one). You may want to scale up or down, but having a rough idea of what you already have will help with the comparison process. It’s the best you can do without taking your current fireplace around the shops with you!
After that, measure everything else. The mantle, the area in front of your fire, and the inset in the wall, whether it be a hole in a wall or part of a chimney.
Type of Fireplace
Now for the first major decision – what type of fireplace do you want? First thing you’ll need to decide is if you want a fire or a stove. Following that, you have the choice of gas or electric (or solid fuel is you go for a stove). Narrowing this down will dictate certain decision you’ll have to make down the line (such as the need for a chimney).
You’ll also need to decide if you want to stick to floor models, or wall hung models. Though a relatively new advancement in fireplace design, wall hung fireplaces are becoming much more commonplace, especially in cutting edge, modern homes.
Now to look outwards. While a lot of attention will be pointed at your current fireplace, it’s also important to think about the room it will be going in. If it’s a big room, you may need a fireplace to suit. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need a big fireplace in terms of size, but you’ll need one with a big heat output. Inversely, buying a fireplace with a massive heat output for a relatively small room may mean you spend more than you need to.
Then you’ll need to consider who is inhabiting the room you’re putting the fireplace in. Namely – animals and kids. Most likely there will be no danger of open flames, as any fireplace that has them will put them behind glass, but the fireplace itself will get hot. You may want to look for child safe models, or size up getting a fireplace cage.
Keeping things in-line with your current home decor style is another area that needs some consideration. Obviously, you’re own personal tastes will dictate the fireplace, but unless you want it sticking out like a sore thumb, you’ll want to do some background research.
Most fireplace websites now categorise fireplaces by style as well as model. If you can nail down you’re rooms overall style (modern/tradition etc.), you’ll be well on the way to choosing one that will fit right in. To that end, take a picture of the room as is, and take it with you when you go shopping. It’s one thing to visualise the room when out and about. It’s far more useful to see it for yourself.
Izzy represents Diamond Interiors’ UK following. With her very keen eye for style and design, she is an absolute wealth of information and advice in the world of interiors. To read more from Izzy, visit her blog: