An indoor fireplace, whether its a concrete fireplace or other type, provides both functional and aesthetic benefits. It keeps you warm during the colder months, while also serving as an amazing focal point for any room. Installing a new fireplace or upgrading your existing one can do wonders for your home decor.
Parts of a Fireplace
Understanding how a fireplace works will help you decide which one to install in your home. If you are wondering what are the parts of a fireplace called, here are some of the basic traditional fireplace parts:
- Hearth – Made from fireproof materials like brick, the hearth extends beyond the fireplace.
- Surround – This serves as a form of protection for the walls around the fireplace. It is also typically topped by decorative fireplace mantels.
- Firebox – This refers to the interior of the fireplace which contains the fire and collects the smoke.
- Flue – The flue is the pathway located at the top of the structure where smoke, gases, and combustion byproducts get released outside of your home. It is typically made of stainless steel or baked clay.
- Chimney – The chimney contains the flue and prevents the heat inside from coming into contact with flammable materials within the home.
- Smoke chamber – This part connects the fireplace and the flue. It also includes the smoke shelf, which is designed to prevent downdrafts, rain, or soot from getting into the fireplace.
- Spark arrester – This is essentially a metal mesh placed on top of the flue to prevent exiting gases from directing burning materials into the roof. A chimney cap, on the other hand, prevents animals and moisture from getting into the flue.
By their very nature, fireplaces are not efficient. They take warm air out of a space and into the fire. Most of the heat that it produces are lost into the chimney and the rest of the materials that surround it. In below freezing temperatures, fireplaces tend to waste more energy than they create.
Fireplace inserts are intended to boost the efficiency of a fireplace. An insert is essentially a fireproof box designed to build a closed combustion system. It is surrounded by steel or cast iron that traps the heat. Some inserts also contain a blower that disperses heat back into the room.
Here are the most common types of fireplace inserts:
- Electric fireplace inserts – These are simple and easy to install, especially because you don’t need to apply for a permit to get them. They feature a small heater and reflective lights that create the illusion of flames. Electric inserts are perfect if you live in a home that does not have access to natural gas or if you would rather not burn wood.
- Gas fireplace inserts – These type of inserts require professional installation, since they rely on natural gas lines. Gas fireplace inserts are very efficient and are the perfect choice if you want to keep your energy costs down. They also don’t require much maintenance other than cleaning the gas door every now and then.
- Wood fireplace inserts – Wood fireplace inserts are ideal if you want to combine the aesthetics of an open fireplace with the practicality of a fully-functional wood stove. Wood inserts are designed to reduce consumption of wood and reduce maintenance requirements. All wood inserts go through a certification process to ensure that they burn wood safely and efficiently.
Benefits of a Concrete Fireplace Surround
Compared to other building materials, concrete has so many advantageous attributes. It is durable, versatile, and environmentally-friendly. When used to build a fireplace surround, concrete can create a clean and dramatic look that will fit right in with the theme of your home.
Here are a few of the top benefits of choosing a concrete fireplace surround:
- Concrete allows easy customization. You can choose from a wide range of textures, shapes, colors, and finishes to create a fireplace that follows your exact specifications.
- Concrete is easy to maintain. You only need to dust it every now and then and most stains can easily be removed with soap and water. You don’t have to spend a ton of money every year for power washing or refinishing.
- Concrete is a fireproof material that is also resistant to rot and earthquake damage. You don’t have to worry about the safety of your household members when you choose concrete as the material for your fireplace surround.
Fireplace Design Ideas
Fireplaces don’t need to take up a lot of space. They can also be made using a variety of materials, including concrete, marble, wood, or stone. Here are some fireplace design ideas that you can check if you are looking for inspiration for your own home:
- Choose wood if you want to create that classic, traditional fireplace that will serve as the focal point of a library or bookshelf.
- Stone fireplaces can be fitted, stacked, rough, or smooth. You can choose to keep the stone’s natural finish or apply a coat of paint. Add some color contrast if you want something dramatic.
- Rustic wood or monochromatic concrete with straight lines and carvings can help you foster a calm and welcoming feeling for the room.
- Go with tile if you are after a fireplace modern theme that either blends with your interior decor or creates a stunning focal point.
Make sure that you choose a reliable fireplace contractor like our company to create a functional and stunning design that will last you for years to come. Our team makes use of cutting-edge technology and creative design to build stunning concrete fireplace outdoor and indoor for your home.