Fireplace Installation Terms: Chase, Clearances, Cool Wall

fireplace installation terms chase

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.


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, 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.

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