Fireplace Installation Terms: Finishing, Flue, Hearth, Mantel

fireplace installation terms flue 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.


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.


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.


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.

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