Fireplace Installation Terms: Finishing, Flue, Hearth, Mantel

Fireplace Installation Terms: Finishing, Flue, Hearth, Mantel

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic terminology to be aware of if you want to know more about your fireplace. Specifically with regard to installation and finishing of your fireplace area, these terms are those you’ll often hear from fireplace installation professionals, but may also hold value to you as you care for and maintain your fireplace into the future.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we’re proud to offer not only a variety of traditional and modern fireplaces, but also information and expertise on these products and the kinds of vocabulary you need to keep track of them. Here are a few more important terms to keep in your lexicon.

Finishing Material

When you hear about finishing material, what’s really being referred to is the type of material used on the chase, plus directly behind and surrounding the fireplace. The most common material here is brick or stone, but others like metal composites and even glass may be available. The finishing material can also impact the look of your fireplace, as certain materials will yield different colors and textures.

To make sure this material matches the look you’ve envisioned for your fireplace, it’s best to work with a professional who can advise on the various options and help you decide which one is best for your needs.

Flue

The flue describes your fireplace’s venting system, which is critical in letting out dangerous gases that are part of the combustion process. Contrary to what you might think when looking at a fireplace, there isn’t typically an opening right on top of your fireplace with a transparent tube running up through it — though the precise flue setup will vary depending on your chosen model.

Hearth

Many have heard of the fireplace hearth, which speaks to a permanent (or at least floor-level) platform in front of your fireplace, typically made with stone. The hearth typically rests atop the firebox and is supported by firebrick or another material that can handle high temperatures.

You may also run into the word “hearthstone,” which refers to a type of finishing material that’s very similar to brick. Like finishing material, it will depend on what look the homeowner wants to achieve. It should be noted that hearths aren’t typically required by most modern gas and wood fireplaces as long as proper clearances are met; however, some homeowners simply enjoy the aesthetic they add even if they aren’t required.

Mantel

Finally, the fireplace mantel is the structure that tops your fireplace opening. It can be made of any material (again, dependent on the look you want to achieve), but is primarily used to support something like an electric or gas fire. Some fireplaces require a mantel, especially if you’ll be placing items like artwork or a television above them, but many do not.

For more on important fireplace installation and finishing vocabulary to know, or to learn about any of our traditional or contemporary fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Fireplace Installation Terms: Chase, Clearances, Cool Wall

Fireplace Installation Terms: Chase, Clearances, Cool Wall

Fireplaces are some of the most unique home appliances out there, combining aesthetics and function in ways very few other home fixtures do. Many new fireplace owners will be looking to educate themselves on several related areas, from basic safety to installation and maintenance needs, and one broad theme that's often helpful here is a knowledge of important fireplace terminology.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, not only do we offer a robust selection of modern fireplaces, fireplace inserts and other products, but we're also happy to provide basic pieces of education and information to our clients. There are many areas of fireplace terminology where it pays to have some basic knowledge, and one of these is within the realm of fireplace installation and finishing. In this two-part blog series, we'll go over a number of important terms within this theme.

Chase

The chase of a fireplace refers to the space that is built above the fireplace, and contains venting. Fireplaces from previous generations would use the chimney itself as the chase, whereas today's fireplaces use a separate construction area.

Clean Edge

During clean edge fireplace installation, your installer will bring finished materials directly to the edge of your fireplace, requiring no frame. This brings a sleek, modern look to your fireplace, showcasing the design of the appliance.

Clearances

Clearances, which are found in several home areas including the fireplace, refer to the minimum distance required between objects and a source of heat. Clearances ensure that nothing will come in contact with the heat, and it is important to make sure they are respected during fireplace installation.

Combustible Materials

Combustible materials refer to those such as wood, drywall and other similar items that can be burned. These types of materials must always be kept and distance and should never come into contact with the heat source of a fireplace, such as the glass door. Fireplace tools are also considered combustible materials, and it is important to keep this in mind when choosing your set.

Cool Wall

For some fireplaces, a cool wall will be used -- this is a special chase framing that allows for combustible materials to be kept in close proximity to the heat without being affected by it. A cool wall allows for the modern look of a frameless fireplace installation while also keeping combustible materials held safely away from the heat source. There are specific venting needs for cool wall installation, so be sure to inquire about it ahead of time if you're interested.

For more on the various terminology it pays to know within your fireplace's installation and finishing, or to learn about any of our gas or electric fireplace and insert options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Differences Between Utah Fireplaces and Fireplace Inserts

Differences Between Utah Fireplaces and Fireplace Inserts

For any homeowner looking for a beautiful fireplace area in any part of their home, there will generally be two broad options at your disposal: Full-on fireplaces and fireplace inserts. While both these options offer robust practical and aesthetic themes to meet your needs, they differ in a few important ways that might make one or the other the prudent choice for you.

At Comfort Solutions, we're happy to offer a wide range of fireplace options in Utah, plus several gas and wood fireplace insert selections as well. What are fireplace inserts, how do they differ from standard fireplaces, and how can you tell which is present in your home if you've just moved in? Here's a primer.

Gas Fireplace Vs Gas Fireplace Inserts

There are a few basic ways to differentiate a gas fireplace from gas fireplace inserts. The first is the size of the fireplace itself. Gas inserts are typically smaller than a more traditional fireplace design, so you can fit these into spaces that would be too small for an entire structure.

For this reason, you'll often see fireplace inserts installed into a masonry structure or opening that was obviously created for a different original purpose. If the gas fireplace is built into the wall without evidence of a preexisting structure, on the other hand, it's likely a full-on fireplace.

Another big factor to consider: Is there a chimney in place? If you have an existing brick chimney, it's likely your home is using gas inserts. On the other hand, if there's a vent on the side of the home that releases exhaust, this is more commonly a sign that the gas item in place is a full traditional fireplace. This is because gas fireplaces use either direct or natural venting for their exhaust, and do not require the use of a chimney.

Wood Fireplace vs Wood Fireplace Insert

Differentiating between traditional fireplaces and inserts is a bit tougher with wood, as many wood fireplaces are built to mimic a stone or brick aesthetic and can be tougher to tell apart. If you can't tell if yours is built-in or not, a good way to test it out is the method for which the fireplace receives and expels air.

Wood units both need vertical ventilation, but how they accomplish this often tells the difference. If your chimney has a wood cap on it, for instance, you likely have a wood insert; if, on the other hand, your roof has a pipe protruding from it serving as an exhaust vent, this is more typically a sign of a traditional wood fireplace.

For more on how to tell fireplace inserts apart from traditional fireplaces, or to learn about any of our fireplace options throughout Utah, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions today.

More Warm Weather Fireplace Mantel Design Themes

More Warm Weather Fireplace Mantel Design Themes

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on designing a fantastic fireplace mantel during the warmer part of the year, typically spring or summer. These are often transitional seasons when it comes to home design and aesthetics, times of the year when many homeowners look to change up their design in several areas of the home – and the mantel is a great place to start.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we’re here to not only provide a wide selection of contemporary fireplaces, including gas, electric and several other models, but also to offer fireplace mantels in a variety of design formats. Our mantels are designed to combine both beauty and safety themes, ensuring your fireplace area is protected while also bringing life to the space. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over some other themes we commonly see taken for spring and summer mantel designs.

Flower Containers

There are a few spots around the home where showcasing flowers in various containers is a great design concept, and the mantel is one of the single best. Whether flower containers are the only items atop a given mantel or simply used as accents in between other items, such as picture frames or other memorabilia, they offer a perfect blend of color and nature.

For many homes, regular household items like jars, bottles or pitchers can be used as flower containers for the mantel area – and then cab be decorated with numerous embellishments, from paint to lace and many others. If you’re going for a solid contrast, use containers of varying heights; if you prefer standardization, make them all the same size.

Lighting and Warmth

Another vital concept for any mantel will be lighting, which sets an ambient tone and warms the entire space. Candles are often a top choice here – they can be placed individually or, more commonly, will be grouped together, often in stackable combinations.

There are also several forms of ambient lighting you might consider, depending on the space and other décor you have in place.

Accents

Finally, no mantel is complete without the proper visual accents, allowing for the prominent parts of the design to be highlighted and promoted. A common color used for mantel accents is gold, which blends well with many of the themes we’ve gone over to this point – you might consider gold frames for pictures, for instance, or a gold vase or candleholder.

In other cases, your accents will depend on the other design themes present in your home. If you have a rustic concept going in the room where the mantel sits, for instance, consider things like tin, distressed wood and various wreaths.

For more on how to design a fireplace mantel during the warm part of the year, or to learn about any of our fireplace mantels or contemporary fireplaces, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Themes for Spring Fireplace Mantel Design, Part 1

Themes for Spring Fireplace Mantel Design, Part 1

Spring is here, and for those who change up their home’s décor and aesthetics based on seasons, this is an exciting time. There are numerous areas of the home that can be transitioned into spring and summer themes, and one that’s especially versatile this time of year is the fireplace mantel.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we’re proud to offer not only high-quality custom fireplace options, but also a wide variety of fireplace mantels to tie the entire room together. We’re also happy to offer tips and expertise on fireplace mantels and spring décor – there are numerous designs and themes available, but this two-part blog will narrow them down to a few of our favorites you might consider as we move into the warm part of the year.

Statement Foliage

Spring is a great season to emphasize flowers and related themes, and one great format here to kick things off is what we’d refer to as statement foliage. We’re talking a wreath, garland or some similar large item that will define much of the rest of the design – it will sit directly above the fireplace as the central piece on the mantel, and other designs within the room will be coordinated based on it.

In other cases, fireplace owners may choose to drape a simple evergreen garland over the front of the fireplace. This is a minimalist theme that emphasizes nature and the green color, also complementing neutral colors in other areas of the room.

Other Flowers and Blooms

If you use statement foliage as part of your mantel design, this leaves open numerous complementary avenues for other floral concepts. There are so many different color options when it comes to flowers in spring, from white and cream to pink, yellow, peach, blue, red, orange and more.

Even if you don’t go with statement foliage, flowers are a great way to touch off your mantel design. Early spring flowers that do well include lilacs, ranunculus, roses and peonies, with soft hues that help you transition over from winter into the warmer part of the year. Later on in spring, consider tulips, poppies and cornflower with bright colors and accents.

Spring Wall Colors

Another fantastic theme for the mantel and surrounding areas of the room is re-painting certain walls with complementary spring colors. If you’ve gone with foliage of any kind already, choose a color that’s in the same family or complements this foliage properly. Used as a backdrop, spring colors on the wall are an ideal contrast for the flowers and other bright designs you’ll be placing front and center.

For more on how to design a fireplace mantel with spring themes in mind, or to learn about any of our mantels or modern fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Primary Fuel Source Options for New Fireplaces

Primary Fuel Source Options for New Fireplaces

When it comes to a fireplace installation in your home, few elements are more important than the fuel source that will be utilized. Fire can be initiated and burned using several different sources, and which you choose for your fireplace plays a role in everything from the cost of regular fireplace use to environmental factors, maintenance needs and how involved you have to get in each individual fireplace use.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we’re here to help if you’re unsure which fuel source to request for your new fireplace. We offer every major fuel option available on the modern fireplace market, from gas fireplace solutions to electric fireplaces and a wide variety of traditional wood-burning formats. Let’s take a quick look at each of these fuel sources and the characteristics that define them, plus what you can expect when going with any of them for your new fireplace installation.

Gas Fireplace

When it comes to convenience of use and general simplicity, you can’t do much better than a gas fireplace model. This format allows users to quickly and easily turn their fire on and off using nothing but a switch of a button, with most modern options also including features that allow for adjustment of flame size and overall heat output.

You’ll either receive a remote or an installed wall switch with a gas fireplace – or sometimes both. Gas fireplaces are also extremely efficient, with natural gas connecting to your home through a basic utility connection. Others may choose to utilize propane gas from an LP tank, which can be refilled by an LP provider as needed.

Electric Fireplace

For those looking to prioritize versatility and affordability for their fireplace, especially one they’ll use often, the electric option is increasingly popular today. This is largely because electric fireplaces don’t require any wood or gas for use, and they also don’t even require venting – this makes them easy to install anywhere in the home, as well.

Know that electric fireplaces do not produce real flames, but rather impressions of them. They can connect to any outlet or can be hardwired into the home. They create radiant heat that’s completely controlled by the user, with no need for fuel storage or replenishing.

Wood Fireplace

Finally, for those interested in the classic fireplace type that’s also renewable and low-cost, the wood fireplace is always available. Wood fireplaces offer powerful heating that often help reduce home energy costs significantly, and can be used with paper and kindling or fire-starting logs if desired.

Now, naturally, wood collection will be a minor concern for those who purchase wood fireplaces. However, there are numerous easy sources of wood cords, with oak and maple serving as some of the best options here.

For more on the fuel sources available for your new fireplace and their primary characteristics, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Connection Between Fireplaces and Home Value

Connection Between Fireplaces and Home Value

When it comes to the kinds of remodeling projects or home additions that bring high ROI and add to your home’s value, many people rightfully look to common value-add areas like kitchens and bathrooms. But as recent data shows us, there’s a specific item you should be adding to this list if upping your home value is a major desire: A fireplace.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we’ve helped numerous clients improve both their home value and their comfort and aesthetics with one of our modern fireplaces, with a variety of new fireplace options both inside and outside your home. Let’s look at some of the data when it comes to the way fireplaces add value to a home, plus some of the important areas to consider if this is your priority during fireplace installation.

Basic Data

For starters, there are numerous pieces of recent research that back up the idea that when you install a fireplace in your home, the home value goes up by an even greater amount than what you spent on the fireplace installation. One is from the National Center for Real Estate Research, who concluded recently that fireplaces have a “strong, positive” effect on home selling price before and after installation, tending to add an average of about 12% to home value.

Some of the other added home features that tend to provide strong value include:

  • Central air conditioning upgrade
  • In-ground swimming pool
  • Garage space
  • Nine-foot ceilings
  • Wood floors or carpet
  • Upgraded stone countertops, such as granite or quartz

When Fireplaces Come Up

While every home sale situation is different, many of them tend to go in somewhat standard order. First and foremost, prospective buyers will identify the neighborhood they want to be in and the general value range for homes they can afford, narrowing in on a few good choices based on these broad factors.

At this point, most buyers begin delving into the details more closely. They enjoy modern and updated kitchens with strong appliances, clean and classy bathroom spaces, and various upgraded features – fireplaces, pools, tall ceilings, wood floors and others of this nature.

Outdoor Spaces

Inviting outdoor spaces are also a major value-add on the real estate market, and you can kill two birds by one stone here by maintaining a great space plus considering one of our many outdoor heating options, including fire pits and tables. This combination will be extremely attractive to many homebuyers.

Maximizing Fireplace Value

Finally, if you’re showing the home and looking for the best possible return, it should go without saying that you want to make the fireplace and all other visible areas as pleasing as possible. Clear the fireplace of any debris or blockages and ensure it’s working properly if you have not turned it on for a few weeks or months, allowing it to serve as an eye-catcher just how it was designed.

For more on fireplaces and home value, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Preventing Fire Spread Risk from Your Fireplace

Preventing Fire Spread Risk from Your Fireplace

Whether in the form of the devastating fires currently ravaging Australia or a recent fire in your area, reminder of the dangers of unchecked fire are constantly available to us in our daily lives. While fireplaces and home fire devices are great for everything from aesthetics to comfort, ensuring proper safety practices are kept at all times when utilizing these items is vital for keeping not only you and your family safe, but also the surrounding area.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we offer a wide variety of contemporary fireplace options, including both gas and electric types plus many style alternatives. In addition to our fireplace products, our fireplace technicians will be happy to go over a number of different precautions you can take to ensure fire spreading is prevented at all times, plus to make sure those in your home are safe and do not risk injury while using or standing near the fireplace. Here are a few general tips to prevent fire spreading when using your fireplace.

Clear Fireplace Area

For starters, one of the simplest tasks out there when it comes to fireplace safety and preventing risks of spreading fire is ensuring the fireplace area itself is free of any potential debris or flammable objects. It’s important to realize that fireplaces reach extremely high temperatures, even during warm-up and cool-down phases – if any clothing, furniture, drapes or other flammable items are near it, they may not even need to make direct physical contact to be set on fire.

Once this happens, your ability to prevent the fire spreading is often limited. Avoid the issue altogether by creating a fire-safe area around the fireplace of at least several feet in every direction, ensuring no one stands there for long periods and no items are ever placed there, even when the fireplace isn’t in use.

Secure Barrier

Many of our fireplace products come with a secure safety barrier included, and it’s vital all fireplace owners utilize these properly. The barrier needs to be securely in place whenever the fireplace is operating, both to prevent fire risks and avoid burns to anyone in the area.

Children and Pets

Speaking of those barriers, it’s vital to explain to children what they are and that they should not be touched or approached – they can get very hot and will burn fingers. Young children should be supervised at all times when near an operating fireplace. In addition, if you have curious pets, we highly recommend sectioning off your fireplace so they cannot touch or access it – not only could their safety be at risk, they could also knock over the barrier or various elements inside the fireplace and risk a fire starting inside your home.

For more on preventing fires from spreading from your fireplace, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace models, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Choosing the Best Fireplace Type for Your Home, Part 2

Choosing the Best Fireplace Type for Your Home, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over the major fuel type options at your disposal when you’re choosing a new fireplace for your home. This is one of several factors you’ll want to consider closely when you’re looking at your available selections, and will depend on your preference, warmth needs and other elements.

At Comfort Solutions Fireplace, we offer a huge variety of custom fireplace types for you to browse, from gas and outdoor fireplace options to electric fireplaces and many others. In today’s part two, we’ll go over the options you have when it comes to choosing your fireplace style once you’ve picked the fuel type, plus some basics on mantel and surround choices available.

Fireplace Style

Generally speaking, there are two broad fireplace styles available today:

  • Traditional: Still the most popular choice out there, the traditional fireplace is one that, in many ways, mimics the look and feel many of us remember from our childhood. A traditional fireplace includes real logs and an authentic, timeless masonry appearance that invokes comfort and warmth at all times. It gives many users a feeling of nostalgia and often brings back memories – plus helps make new ones for your family today. There are many varieties of traditional fireplace available, as well, so you aren’t stuck in a single style template.
  • Linear: For those looking to go a bit sleeker and more modern, whether as a stand-alone item or to match the design of surrounding areas of the home, the linear fireplace is the way to go. Linear fireplaces offer wide flame options, often behind illuminated glass that provides both great aesthetics and protection for children or pets. You can create linear fireplaces up to six feet in length, helping provide a centerpiece to any major room in the home.

Mantel and Surround Choices

Finally, it’s vital to take some time to consider proper mantel and surround installations along with your new fireplace. There are numerous mantel options available, and you should be thinking both about aesthetics and safety here – many of our mantels are designed to protect the fireplace area, meeting specific measurement and safety requirements.

The surround, meanwhile, refers to all the nearby areas of the fireplace. Many people choose granite, marble or slate for their fireplace surround, bringing a classy companion to the fireplace and allowing it to set the tone for the entire room. Speak to our fireplace professionals about the kind of wood or stone materials that tend to combine best with the fireplace type you’re installing.

For more on choosing the perfect fireplace for your home, or to learn about any of our custom fireplace or mantel options, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions Fireplace today.

Choosing the Best Fireplace Type for Your Home, Part 1

Choosing the Best Fireplace Type for Your Home, Part 1

A fireplace is often the central focus point of a given area or even the entire home it’s being installed in, and this means it’s important to choose a type that best fits your needs. Whether you prioritize warmth, comfort, ambiance or a variety of other fireplace characteristics, there are several good options available.

At Comfort Solutions, we offer a wide range of custom fireplace options, from our modern gas fireplaces to wood inserts, electrical options and numerous others. We also offer several choices in terms of style, surround and mantel selection. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over every factor to consider when thinking about installing a new fireplace – starting with today’s part one, featuring the different fuel style options available to you.

Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces are likely the most common options available today, and with good reason. Gas is an abundant resource that burns cleanly and easily, offering you convenient fire services with just the push of a button. There is no need to collect wood, and gas fireplaces are far more efficient than traditional wood burners can ever be.

In addition, gas fireplace installation is a breeze even if you’ve never had such a system in your home. As long as your home has any gas appliances – and virtually all modern homes do – you can have one of our technicians extend a gas line to your fireplace, and you’re all set. You can also use a liquid propane tank that’s outside the home to power the fireplace. These options provide warmth, ambiance and a level of control many homeowners love.

Electric Fireplace

Another highly convenient and simple option is the electric fireplace, which doesn’t even require venting of any kind. Rather, you just plug it into an outlet and switch it on, then enjoy the realistic flames without any of the traditional fireplace hassle. No chimney needed, no gas line, no cordwood.

Wood Fireplace

The most traditional fuel format for fireplaces is wood, and some people still enjoy this classic option. But despite wood being easily available and a great nostalgia option, it’s very inefficient and can create a sizable hassle in terms of venting, chimney maintenance and several other areas. You can get virtually all the same benefits of a wood fireplace using other technology that’s simpler and better for the environment.

Outdoor Options

Whether in the form of a fire pit or full-on fireplace, there are also outdoor options. These are great for improving the atmosphere and welcoming feel of your back yard, especially for those who regularly host social events. Our team will help you choose the perfect outdoor fire option if this is your desire.

For more on choosing the best fireplace type, or to learn about any of our custom fireplaces, speak to the staff at Comfort Solutions today.