If you’ve never had a fireplace in your home but want one in your living room, you may be surprised by the number of choices you have out there. Between the design, the style, the type of fuel, the placement, and the actual installation process, you may realize you’re not exactly sure what you want from all of the available options.
Here is a quick set of tips that will help you choose the right type of fireplace for your living room—one that you’ll fall in love with on every winter day to come!
What Purpose Do You Want Your Fireplace To Serve?
First, ask yourself what you want your fireplace to do. If you want it mostly for the romantic ambiance, then you can look specifically at traditional wood-burning fireplaces, gas-log fireplaces, or electric fireplaces. Wood-burning has the longest tradition and may be the best for real ambiance, but requires a lot more work to maintain a supply of wood and clean up afterward.
However, if you want a fireplace to provide more actual heating for your living room, then you can install a gas-fueled insert within a wood or gas-log fireplace that has as good as 80% efficiency. You can also have a zero-clearance gas fireplace installed within a wall and with an exhaust that runs directly outside. That may not be feasible if your living room does not have an exterior wall. Just remember that a fireplace will only be able to heat your living room, not your whole house adequately.
How Do You Want Your Fireplace To Look?
Odds are, you already have a rough idea in mind. However, there is an incredibly wide variety of designs and styles you can browse before settling on anything specific. You can have a fireplace that is set into a wall with a transparent glass panel or have the fireplace built into types of furniture like a TV mantle or a table. You can even build it out into a whole section of wall.
The options don’t end there. You can have an old, traditional looking fireplace with brick or stone and a full hearth and mantle, or a clean and contemporary look that uses metal and a custom-designed setting or mantle.
You can be even more creative and have it free standing, placed in the middle of the room, set against or in a wall, or also hanging from the ceiling! There are all kinds of styles and materials and placements you can choose from.
How Much Do You Want To Spend?
Figure out a budget that won’t give you buyer’s remorse, and then start looking into how much each type of fireplace costs. Don’t skip any of the details. You need to know the price not just to have them installed, but how much they will cost to run afterward. Take into account the maintenance schedules, including things like repairs and maintenance, as well as fuel.
Electric fireplaces are the easiest and cheapest to install, and for most living areas tend to have the most affordable fuel as well. Fireplaces that burn gases of various types cost more in the middle, with wood-burning fireplaces by far charging the most to install because they have specific requirements. Having a fireplace with full hearth and premium materials like brick or stone costs a lot more, even if it looks the best.
When considering these three questions, do your research, so you know what all of your choices are. They will help you form your rough idea into something more clear and realistic, so you can start looking into real costs and contractors to get the work done.