How to choose a fireplace?

When choosing a fireplace for your home, office, etc., the main factors are:
  • Size
  • Type
  • Budget
  • Design

Size

The size of the area you want to heat has a direct correlation with the size of the fireplace you want to install. We use the ratio of 1:10 on average, which means you would need 1kW of power output from the fireplace for every 10m2 of the area in which it will be installed. This is an estimate on “usual/normal” ceiling heights of around 2,600-3,000mm. For open or double volume areas, the ratio needs to be adjusted to make up for the larger space.

Example: 10kW fireplace = +- 260-300m2

Type

The type of fireplace can either be a free standing or a built in fireplace.

With free standing fireplaces you generally have more options of where to install it in a area, whereas built in fireplaces would either be installed in an open fire hearth, in the place of an older style built in fireplace, or you start form scratch and have to built a complete box or chimney for the fireplace to be put in. Built in fireplaces are generally more expensive than free standing fireplaces, and the work involved would usually also be more expensive, and time consuming, depending on what needs to be done.

Apart from choosing between a free standing and built in fireplace, the way it needs to be installed can also differ from house to house. See the next section below on “types of installations” on how these can be installed.

Budget

Budget is very important when purchasing a fireplace. Most fireplace suppliers advertise only the price of the fireplace which does not include the piping and installation, unless of course it is a combination offer or promotion. The piping and installation can sometimes double the price of the fireplace, so you need to know exactly what you’re in for. Depending on your setup this cost can vary a lot and could push the price up.

Out of the three parts (fireplace, piping & installation), the fireplace is the item that can vary the most in price and influence the total price, whereas the installation on the other hand is the part that varies the least.

Design

The design of the fireplace has to do with the materials it is made of as well as the actual design shape and colouring. 

With materials you generally will get either cast iron or sheet metal. Cast iron is stronger, heavier and more expensive, and could last longer than the newer style sheet metal fireplaces. But, it is all relative to how you look after your fireplace. Sheet metal fireplaces are more cost effective than cast iron, and could also be more modern in design.

The overall design of fireplaces varies from manufacturer to manufacturers, although the basic functional design are more or less the same. In the design you get more old school type fireplace with more traditional shapes and details, whereas new school fireplaces come out in different shapes (round, rectangular, etc) with probably more cleaner lines.


Types of installations

Below you will find the types of installation that can be done. Or, any custom type that might be similar to these.

 

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Types of piping/fittings

Most fireplace piping and fittings are classified as single skin/wall or double skin/wall (insulated).