July 3, 2013

Hole in the Wall Fireplace

Fireplaces play a huge role in setting the tone of a living room and can be made from a range of materials including; timber, marble, slate, brick, ceramic tiles.

Wood and wood-veneer fireplaces
Entry level wood fireplaces will often be made from pine or veneered MDF / chipboard, which are not as hardwearing as solid timber. If fireplaces at this price point are made from solid timber it’s typically a relatively inexpensive base wood stained it to replicate other wood. High-end solid timber fireplaces are typically made of yew, maple, rosewood or mahogany.

Tip: Stained timber wears over time and can be very difficult to patch up.

Stone Fireplaces
Nowadays stone fireplaces are made from either marble, limestone or reconstituted stone.

English Bath Stone is a warm, honey-coloured, open-pored stone with occasional small fosillised shells and calcite veins. It is generally polished and smooth to the touch. Fireplaces made from bathstone are very durable and virtually always carved to a very high standards. Scratches can easily be repaired by rubbing the affected area with fine sandpaper. English bath stone fireplaces are generally more expensive than the European and Asian alternatives.

Portuguese Limestone is a creamy beige coloured stone with a smooth texture and feint bed lines. It either comes pre-sealed or with a stone sealer. Scratches can easily be repaired by rubbing the affected area with fine sandpaper although doing so will remove some of the sealer. Typically Portuguese limestone fireplaces cost less than 50% of English stone fireplaces.

English Portland Stone is a smooth, white/cream-coloured stone formed from the remains of tiny sea-creatures. Fireplaces made from Portland stone are very durable and virtually always carved to a high standard. Scratches can easily be repaired by rubbing the affected area with fine sandpaper.

English Sandstone is suitable for gas fires and electric fires but may not be up to the heat intensity of solid fuel fires. Sandstone tends to have a gritty feel to it and the bigger the grains of sand that formed the stone the grittier the feel of the stone. There are various types and colour of sandstone and the presence of the occasional ore deposit and silica vein gives charm and character to this type of stone. Scratches can easily be repaired by rubbing the affected area with fine sandpaper. The durability of sandstone fireplaces can vary considerably.

Nowadays marble fireplaces can be divided into two categories; those made from European Marbles and those made from Asian Marbles. Asian marble tends to be purer in colour and pattern than European marble and lower in price. The most famous and widely used European marble is Carrara marble, which comes from Carrara in Italy. Although available in pure white Carrara marble fireplaces are generally carved from marble with a noticeable grey-vein content. Other colours of marble are available for fireplaces but now as widely. Cracks and holes in marble can be repaired by a specialist.

Cast plaster or resin fireplaces are much lighter and less expensive than their solid or reconstituted stone counterparts.

Brick fireplaces have to be built on site and typically necessitate having to redecorate the wall onto which the fireplace is mounted.

Cast Iron fireplaces were introduced in the late Victorian era. Cast-iron fireplaces either have a cast-iron backpanel within a marble or wood surround or come as a complete cast-iron unit with cast-iron surround and mantle. You typically find the second style of fireplace in bedrooms of Victorian properties. Traditional designs incorporate tile sliders into which 4 – 6 decorative tiles can be slid on each side of the fireplace.

Tip: When selecting tiles for a fire surround make sure they’re heat-resistant.

Tip: Fireplace tiles come in left and right handed designs.

Polished or un-coated cast iron fireplaces are suitable for gas appliances but cast iron fireplaces for solid fuel fires need to be coated with a protective heat-resistant black coating to prevent discolouring.

Hole-in- the Wall Fires
These are typically seen in more modern interiors and are very useful in rooms small spaces as they free up valuable floor space. In recent times there has been a trend to use the chimney as a room divider and install a double sided hole-in-the-wall fireplace.

These fireplaces are generally positioned between 3-5 feet off the floor and are fitted with either self-contained units. Hole in the wall fires don’t provide a lot of heat and are designed primarily for looks.

Also …… Technical Information on Fires and on Stoves



  1. […] Also …… Technical Information on Stoves and on Fireplaces […]

  2. […] Also …… Technical Information on Fires and on Fireplaces […]

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