The great thing about having a fireplace today is that you have so many incredible options. Now, you can enjoy a cozy, warm fireplace and choose one that fits your specific lifestyle and personal preference. Just imagine during the cold holidays, having family and friends sitting around, playing board games, snacking on festive foods, or simply snuggling in front of a roaring fire!
Before you get too excited about new design options and functionalities, you do need to keep in mind that having a fireplace comes with responsibility. That means making sure someone is in the room whenever a fire is burning, having the fireplace chimney cleaned each year to remove creosote and other debris, and making sure the fireplace in general is working optimally.
The first style of fireplace is made of masonry. Typically, the firebox is made from a yellowish brick and has a brick chimney. The other type of fireplace is called prefabricated, which means the firebox is made from cast refractory panels and generally, some metal can be seen. The chimney is usually rounded and made from metal and then surrounded by brick housing.
For a masonry fireplace, the structures are incredibly huge, weighing from six to seven tons! The nice thing about this type of fireplace is that they look great and they do increase the value of the home. To support the girth, they must have extensive footing. Without it, the fireplace will shift and then crack. The masonry fireplace is very durable. One trend that many homeowners are turning to is adding brick around the fireplace or having new surrounds built.
Older homes with masonry fireplaces are great but typically, they are outdated. That means the brick might be dark and dreary, and the overall appearance of the fireplace looks tired. By having a new surround built, the fireplace is given a much-needed facelift. Additionally, if the fireplace has a brick front, you have two wonderful options. First, you could have plywood installed over the brick and then tile it, or you could paint the brick.
While applying the tile is a little more expensive and does require a good deal of patience, painting is inexpensive and looks great. For example, if you have dark, drab brick, you can paint on a primer to help hide the darkness and then when dry, paint on two, possible three coats of an off-white paint. The change will be dramatic in that the fireplace now has brightness, making the entire room look larger and more modern.
For prefabricated fireplaces, you will find a number of excellent options. These fireplaces have been around for the past 25 years, making fireplace owning something new and exciting. Unlike the traditional fireplace, the prefabricated fireplace is made of metal. They are designed to work both safety and efficiently and before they are even put on the market, they undergo very rigorous testing.
The great thing about the prefabricated fireplace is that they are very aesthetically pleasing. Some have imitation brick on the front, giving them the appearance of being a masonry fireplace while others have very clean lines, creating a contemporary look. Another benefit of this type of fireplace is that they are sold as gas burning units that can be placed in literally any room.