Choosing a Fireplace

Dining Room Electric Fireplace

Several questions need to be answered in order to size up the client's needs and narrow the choices. Our goal is to always provide consistent information and accurate pricing.  Depending on whether the client is going with gas, wood burning, or electric, there will be several manufacturers and models to choose from.  The market is overwhelmed with products, and much of it is geared to a more suburban environment and of low quality, resulting in poor flame quality or units that pop and bang due to expansion and contraction as they heat up and cool down.  

e have narrowed our product lines down extensively to products that work in the smaller rooms and narrower downtown houses that we deal with - products that are of high quality and clean in their design and construction.  One of the biggest problems we are faced with is that the most fireplaces produce way too much heat for the rooms they are installed in.  While they may have adjustability in the heat, it usually results in a low unattractive flame and still too much heat at the low setting.

While it may sound counter intuitive, we are always on the lookout for more inefficient products.  They will still provide heat, but a more appropriate amount, allowing it to be enjoyed over the course of the evening rather than being switched off after 20 minutes.  While we are not wedded to any one manufacturer, the installation scenario and client’s needs will easily allow us to narrow the choices to what we feel will work best.

One of our areas of expertise is the masonry restoration of old coal fireplace so widely seen in Toronto’s old housing stock. This provides another level of choice to the homeowner most other outfits can’t match.  This ensures that all avenues have been explored before moving forward. 

nother question asked is whether the client is gravitating to a more contemporary look or more traditional.  While it can’t be argued that a more traditional look is timeless, modern can be as well.  Styles come and go, but using quality materials and proper design in a modern setting will ensure the look doesn’t become dated or tired too quick.  Many of the big box materials available for the do it yourselfers tend to date themselves very quickly,  which is why we take a close look a detailing things properly to avoid this.  Good architectural principles will endure no matter what the style.

Our process once a client has contacted us would be for them to take a few pictures of what they have there currently then make an appointment visit our showroom. This allows the client to see what we are all about and seeing finished displays and a selection of materials helps narrow down the field allowing for a more easy choice for the client and our ability to provide budget pricing and ultimately an accurate quote.  

1.) Gas, Wood, or Electric?

Do you prefer the sights and sounds of a wood fire? Or perhaps you need the efficiency of a gas or electric fireplace? Either way, Fireplace Concepts has you covered.

2.) How Large is the Room?

There is a huge misconception out there that efficiency should be foremost in your mind. The problem with that thinking is that most gas fireplaces are roughly 30000 BTU's and that generally is enough to heat approx 600 to 1000 sf. If you’re placing that fireplace in 300 sf room that is already being heated, it fast becomes too hot. Lowering the heat results in a lower flame and generally even at low, it is too hot. Fireplaces can burn at different efficiencies for the same amount of gas and result in different heat outputs so finding a unit that is right for the room results in being able to leave it on for a longer period of time.

3.) Is There a Current Fireplace?

If there was an old fireplace that is currently unused or has been blocked over, there may be a way of working with it by rebuilding it or enlarging the opening to accommodate a new unit. Some people are surprised too hear that a blocked up century home fireplace can even be resurrected to burn wood.

4.) Modern or Classic Design?

There is a lot of hype these days with the contemporary look. While this may look great today, it may quickly date itself. There is a difference between good modern and bad modern, and bad modern may get tired too soon.