You may have heard someone rave about Kingsman or Continental zero clearance fireplaces. The reason these fireplaces are loved by homeowners and professionals alike is simple: they have the room to add beautiful, realistic ceramic logs, without taking up any of your precious floor space. Does that sound like the right fireplace for you? Let’s compare the types of gas fireplaces to find out.
Think of an old, cast iron, wood burning stove. The kind that sat against the kitchen wall and took up about as much room as your kitchen’s stove does. A freestanding fireplace is just like that. You can place it against a wall, or you can place it in the center of a room. Either way, it has a big floor print and has a vent traveling up through the ceiling to remove smoke that can block your view.
Freestanding gas fireplaces can be more modern, smaller, and a little easier to walk around, but they always take up some degree of space. Further, the older freestanding fireplaces that have such charming looks aren’t as safe as modern zero clearance fireplaces and may be restricted by some building codes.
Zero Clearance Fireplaces
Zero clearance means that this type of fireplace can be installed close to the combustible elements of your home, like the drywall, without posing as much fire risk as a freestanding fireplace would in the same spot. They achieve this by allowing air into a pocket around the fireplace, which cools the space considerably.
As a result, these fireplaces are installed directly into your wall. They have a “direct vent” which you can hide behind your drywall. Or, if you like the look of the vent, you can add masonry or another material on the wall to replicate it.
Zero clearance fireplaces don’t need to stick out from the wall at all, which helps you get that modern look and keep more of your precious floor space. If you like the traditional look instead, you’ll be pleased that zero clearance fireplaces can be outfitted with masonry and have the room for realistic looking ceramic logs on the inside.
If your home already has a masonry, wood-burning fireplace, you can often add an insert fireplace to transform it into a gas fireplace. Unfortunately, there isn’t always room in an existing stone fireplace to get realistic looking logs. In fact, there may not be enough room for the insert at all, and it may have to stick out from the wall a few inches. This isn’t as inconvenient as a freestanding fireplace, but it may not be what you want.
Blocking up your old fireplace and installing a zero clearance fireplace may be your safest option, and be the best aesthetic choice for your home. Not every old fireplace is as charming as we’d like, especially in homes that were built when a fireplace was a practical matter.
If you’d like advice about whether a zero clearance fireplace is your best option—or whether you can put it in the wall you’d like to, reach out to the team at ABW Halton ClimateCare.