Everyone has an idea of the home they want to live in. You are aware of the designs of the ceiling, furniture, windows, doors, bathroom cubicle, etc., you want to walk into every day. If you are in the process of building a new home for your family, or you are doing multiple changes to remodel your old house at the interior design stage, things are tough. While you stand out in your profession, you are not a home builder. Holding lengthy consultations with an interior designer and architect is crucial in achieving the aesthetic look you always wish for. The living room or your family room is one of the most critical parts of your home. A living room acts as the commanding element of your home. It is where you host your visitors, connect with family, and make memories. Hence it should be cozy, comfortable, inviting, and luxurious. A fireplace competes with the accent wall as the focal points of your family room. Not only does a fireplace keep your living space warm during cold days, but it also adds an aesthetic value.
Considering the multiple benefits a fireplace earns you, investing in the best type of fireplace in the market. The conventional ways of heating your living space, such as wood, gas, and stove, do not meet the safety, efficiency and are not perfect for adding beauty to your room. Due to this lacking the electric fireplace is gaining massive popularity. A firebox is not enough to bring out the aesthetic look you wish to bring out. Blending your decor style with a modern fireplace has so far proved a fantastic way to create a perfect focal point for your family room. The materials, design, and type of face, hearth, mantel, and surround you choose for your fireplace define your living space’s beauty.
In this blog post, you will learn why an electric fireplace pulls as the perfect option to warm your living space during days. You will learn the profound aspects that make a conventional fireplace a bad idea for your home. Additionally, since your interest lies in discovering a beautiful way to warm your space, you will learn the various alternatives of revealing your subtle sophistication beautifying your fireplace.
Below is an outline of what you expect to learn at the end of this blogpost:
- Why is the conventional way of using wood to warm your interiors a bad idea for your home?
Even with the invention of electric fireplaces, many people are still clinging to their old wood fireplaces short of the knowledge that they are a bad idea. This section will focus on informing the several disadvantages of warming your home using a wood fireplace.
- Is gas a better alternative to wood?
While it is true that warming your living space using a gas fireplace is a cleaner option, this section will dig into the various issues of choosing gas. You will discover the common types of gas fireplaces and the disadvantages of using gas over an electric fireplace.
- What is an electric fireplace?
If you have not heard about the new technology taking masses by waves, this section will expound on an electric fireplace. You will also briefly learn how an electric fireplace operates.
- Why is the electric fireplace drastically replacing wood and gas as a convenient way of heating homes?
This section will learn of the best advantages an electric fireplace carries over using wood and gas.
- What are the different types of electric fireplaces in the market?
Various players in the industry have put together different technologies to create different types of electric fireplaces. In this section, we will unmask for you the various types of electric fireplaces to choose from.
- What are the various ways of increasing the aesthetic value of an electric fireplace?
If your interest in reading this article is to discover a perfect way to increase your home’s aesthetic value using a fireplace, keep reading. While the primary function is to keep your indoors warm, you will discover that you can also create a focal point of your living room by carefully articulating the different parts of a fireplace.
- How can you achieve a stacked stone tile fireplace?
This section focuses on the several aspects of using stacked stone tile for your fireplace surround. Discover the types of stone materials, designs, benefits, and profiles of a stone fireplace. We will provide additional information on choosing a suitable stone for your fireplace, how to install and crucial tips for installing a stone fireplace. Those looking to remodel their old fireplaces are also covered. We will take you through the steps of modernizing your fireplace.
Why Is the Conventional Way of Using Wood To Warm Your Interiors a Bad Idea for Your Home?
Traditionally, using wood to keep you warm during cold days or winter proved a viable solution. You had to hassle around looking for wood to make a fireplace. Also, wood has however been linked to various unsafe, inefficient, and costly factors. There are five common types of wood fireplaces:
- Open hearth wood fireplace
The open-hearth wood-burning fireplace is the most common traditional means of generating warmth for your living space. The most distinctive aspect of an open-hearth fireplace is a mason builds it. It is lined with real firebricks and has an efficiency of approximately 35% since the chimney attached leads to heat loss.
- Enclosed wood fireplace
Unlike the open hearth wood fireplace, an enclosed wood fireplace unit is enclosed behind a large glass panel that lets you enjoy the ambiance of burning fire. The enclosed design reduces heats loss through the chimney and increases the amount of heat released into the room.
- Fireplace inserts
Fireplace inserts are commonly referred to as fireboxes. Fireboxes are designed such that they are compatible with your existing fireplace. They are also enclosed and a perfect option for replacing your inefficient open-hearth fireplace and increasing the amount of heat entering your home.
- Wood burning stoves
Wood burning fireplaces are not technically wooden fireplaces, but they offer to heat your living space if you do not have a fireplace. If you choose to use a stove, you must acquire a pipe to act as venting for smoke to escape through.
- Wood fire pit
For those interested in spending some time outside at night, a wood fire pit is a perfect option. The appliance is raised to provide for an area to burn wood.
Wood is, however, a bad idea for keeping warm during cold days and winter.
Some of the problems associated with using wood include:
- Wood emits harmful gases
A chimney is a mandatory requirement for all wood fireplaces. However, a chimney does not take in 100% of the emissions from burning wood. You cannot evade the stray smoke, carbon monoxide, and creosote escaping from the chimney to your room, posing severe if not fatal health problems.
- Fire safety
The flame of a wood fireplace burns openly and produces flammable soot. The exposed flame is dangerous to your pets, and children suppose they touch it accidentally. The flammable soot poses an extreme danger in case of a house fire.
- The extreme hassle of preparing a wood fireplace is tedious and time-consuming.
Using a wood fireplace requires time to sacrifice to clean your fireplace, split the wood, lit the fire, and extreme care to adhere to safety. Also, the annual re
The inefficiency aspects of using wood at your fireplace are many. First, the heat loss problem makes a wood fireplace an inefficient option for heating your living space. The fact that a lot of heat is lost through the chimney means you must burn a lot of wood to earn the heat you require. A wood fireplace is cost-inefficient. The law requires you to pay an annual maintenance cost towards the cleaning of your chimney. The inefficiency aspect of using wood further extends to the energy bit. While you need heat in a single room, you cannot achieve that with a wood fireplace since it heats the entire house system.
The smoke emitted when burning wood causes yellow stains on your walls hence destroying the decor in your house. Also, wood emits soot which is harmful to the mantel of your fireplace.
- High costs
Building and maintaining a wood fireplace is expensive. You must regularly pay labor costs towards cleaning the particles that have built up at the chimney. Also, the prices of acquiring wood to burn at the fireplace are high. An alternative could be a wood look tile fireplace.
Is Gas a Better Alternative to Wood?
Gas compared to wood is slightly a better alternative for heating indoors. However, burning gas also brings forth a few problems. There are two types of gas fireplaces:
- Direct vented gas fireplace
When using the direct vented gas fireplaces, you must adequately ventilate your indoors to avoid problems with the type of gas you are burning.
- Ventless gas fireplaces
Ventless gas fireplaces use a gas that does not bring the mandatory need to ventilate your indoors.
While gas is a better alternative to wood, beware of the problems of using gas fireplaces. Some of the issues include:
- An exposed flame
Although using a chimney when burning gas is not mandatory, the flame is exposed. An exposed flame presents serious risks of a house fire.
- Health issues
Burning gas produces referred to as incomplete combustion. There is the production of carbon monoxide, which, when inhaled, causes serious health problems.
- High installation costs
Choosing to warm your indoors using gas presents you with the need to engage a professional. It is a large project involving installing, running gas pipes, and installing a ventilation pipe. The necessity of a professional to run the project for you is costly.
What Is an Electric Fireplace?
An electric fireplace is an electrical appliance like a solid fuel fire but offers exceptional convenience due to the simple steps involved in the installation and does not require an additional chimney. The appliance operates by collecting all the cool air in the room into a coil that heats it before gently forcing warm air to circulate in the room. An electric fireplace also has a small fan located either on the interior or exterior side of the unit—the fan aids in the circulation of warm air and increasing heat penetration in the room.
An electric fireplace is the most preferred option for a new home, remodel, and generally all residential living spaces interested in achieving a luxurious, cozy, and comfortable feel. Additionally, commercial places, especially restaurants, hotel lobbies, and hospitality environments, are adding an incentive for their clients by introducing electric fireplaces.
Why Is the Electric Fireplace Drastically Replacing Wood and Gas as a Convenient Way of Heating Homes?
- An electric fireplace is easy to install
The installation of an electric fireplace involves simple steps. You need to pick a suitable spot, set it down and plug in your appliance to the wall.
- No harmful emissions
The worry of smoke and carbon monoxide emission in your living space is eliminated when using an electric fireplace. Safety is hence guaranteed.
- The added risk of a house fire due to the building up of soot or exposed flame is eliminated when using an electric fireplace. The flame is not real; hence the fear of an exposed flame hurting your pets or children as with wood and gas is eliminated.
- Ease of use. Provided your fireplace is plugged in a functional power source, you can enjoy warmth during winter or cold days by simply turning it on and setting the temperature. The newest models come with a remote control or are connected to an app on your smartphone to ease your use further.
- Annoying stains and smells associated with wood fireplaces are eliminated when using an electric fireplace. The appliance does not emit smoke which is known for causing yellow stains on the ceiling or walls of your house.
- High-level efficiency. The efficiency of an electric fireplace is explained in three aspects: cost, heat, and energy. Cost-wise, you are relieved of the regular cost of sweeping and maintaining the chimney as required by the law. An electric fireplace operates without a chimney which accounts for 80% heat loss when using wood. The simplicity of achieving supplemental zone heating when using an electric fireplace is unrivaled and contributes to massive savings.
- Safety- Provided you operate your appliance as per the recommended guidelines, optimal safety is assured when using an electric fireplace. Other than the fears attached to operating any electric appliance, an electric fireplace is an assurance when it comes to safety. Your pets, children, and even your thing are safe when you warm your place using an electric fireplace.
What Are the Different Types of Electric Fireplaces in the Market?
Some of the common types of electric fireplaces you are likely to encounter in the market include:
- Electric mantle fireplaces
- Electric corner fireplace
- Electric TV stand fireplace. Commonly referred to as entertainment center or TV console.
- Freestanding electric fireplace
- Electric wall mount fireplace
- Stove fireplace
What Are the Various Ways of Increasing the Aesthetic Value of Your Fireplace?
Studies indicate that a fireplace contributes up to 12% of the end value of your home. Working with a custom fireplace brand is essential in designing a fire feature you desire and delivering aesthetic value. Some of the ways you can use to increase the beauty of your fireplace include:
- Modernize your fireplace hearth by painting it with a color of your choice.
- Introduce a mantel to your fireplace such as the MagikFlame Athena, or the MagikFlame 28 Insert
- Wrap the brick fireplace in stone tile, wood, ceramic tiles, or any other material of choice
How Can You Achieve a Stacked Stone Tile Fireplace?
One of the best ways to increase the aesthetic value of your fireplace is to introduce a stone tile surround. Stacked stone is a type of style that involves paneling up pieces of stone or faux stone on top of each other. Multiple ways are playing around with stone to pull an attractive design. The best part of choosing the stacked-stone style is that the grout is not exposed. The tile materials used to create a stone electric fireplace are divided into natural stone and faux stone options. The natural stone options you can use include:
Some of the best benefits attached to tiling the fireplace using granite include heat resistance, durability, attractiveness, backsplash, and ease of maintenance. If you choose to use granite, you will enjoy an endless number of choices regarding the style to use. However, to maintain the look of your granite high, you must engage in proper care and sealing, usually once every year.
- Marble Tile
Marble is an attractive option to bring out a stone-like face for the surround of your fireplace. Marble has an elegant look and veining that are perfect for adding value to your fireplace. However, marble presents high-level maintenance to retain beauty. Sealing for marble is done after few months, and you must adhere to proper care and conduct extra maintenance. The Carrara marble is also gaining popularity as fireplace tiles. The light characteristic of carrara is responsible for its use in many fireplaces. However, proper care is essential as it is not resistant to acid and can easily stain from wine, tomato, or lemon juice.
Those who do not wish to adhere to the high maintenance standards brought forth by marble can choose to use quartzite. It is a natural stone whose look is likened to marble but is easier to maintain and does not require sealing.
Many people love using limestone for the surround or mantel due to the warm, light, and elegant look it brings to the fireplace. However, due to its porous nature, you must reseal it and adhere to maximum cleaning. The high versatility nature of limestone as a natural stone presents it as an option to work with many designs, styles, and themes.
For those interested in a modern or rustic look, tavertine works perfectly depending on how you choose to install it. Tavertine is a type of limestone and resembles limestone closely.
Slate has so far proved the best option for bringing out a rustic appearance. It is easy to maintain and very durable.
Porcelain tile is a type of mosaic tile that not only checks for kitchen backsplash but is also durable. Porcelain tile is available in several varieties and is a perfect choice for many design ideas. Glazed porcelain is recommended for use on the fireplace surround over non-glazed due to its hard characteristic that helps to withstand damage and wear.
- Ceramic tile
One of the oldest materials used to beautify the surround and fireplace hearth is ceramic tile. Ceramic is used as floor tile, wall tile and has so far proved usable as fireplace tile. It can withstand high temperatures hence a suitable choice for use in a fireplace. To enjoy durability, you are advised to choose thicker ceramic tiles.
Other tile materials used on the fireplace include the wood look tile, especially if you are interested in a rustic trend, subway tile. Lowe gives good advice on the tile material to use to pull the stone veneer look. Other than natural stone, faux stone can also be used for stacked stone tile surround. Stone veneer and stucco are commonly used. One of the FAQs posted on Lowe is whether you can use glass tile as a fireplace tile? The answer is yes. However, glass tile as a fireplace tile is not so popular as it is prone to breaking and cracks, unlike stone veneer. People also ask if the mosaic tile is suitable for use on a wood look fireplace surrounds compared to a stone veneer. Lowe also explains that all types of wood look mosaic can be used on the face of a fireplace but not inside.
What Should You Consider When Choosing the Type of Material for Your Stacked Stone Surround?
The fireplace tiles makeover you choose affects the palette of the existing home decor. Wall tile is used when creating the stacked-stone. However, you must ensure that the type of natural stone you choose is recommended for use in areas that are exposed to high temperatures. The trick for choosing a material for your surround is ensuring the material checks as a backsplash tile. This means it has been made to withstand very high temperatures when placed around fireplaces or in the kitchen.
The surround acts as the face of a fireplace. The most significant consideration when choosing a material to use on your surround makeover is that it checks on durability. At the fireplace, the heat is extremely high; hence the material you choose should withstand it.
Before choosing a material to use for a stacked stone tile fireplace, you must check that it meets the standards stipulated by the law. Also, check for federal, state, and local building codes that guide on installation of tile.
- Method of installation
There are two ways of stacking your stone to create the design you want. You choose to involve a professional installer, or you may choose to DIY. While DIY pulls as a cheap and fun option, you may end up defeating the purpose of aesthetic value in case of an improper installation. Check out the MagikFlame electric fireplace buying guide for hacks on installation.
- Joint technique
The joint technique is crucial in achieving the design and overall look of your surround. There are three types of applications used as joint techniques: dry-laid, also known as recessed mortar joints, standard grout joints, and wide-grout joints.
- Fireplace design
Your house’s fireplace design is defined by the color, material, and trend you settle for. The design you choose for your fireplace limits you to the type of material you use. Whether it is a corner, flat wall, bump out, or recessed, it determines the method chosen to lay the stacked-stone. If you plan for a home improvement, some of the designs to consider on your fireplace include the herringbone pattern, a matte or glossy finish, etc.
The budget for the entire project includes the cost of the material and the labor costs. The more sophisticated the fireplace design you choose, the higher the cost. Also, the more natural the material you select, the higher the overall budget.
- Fade resistance
Considering the amount of money, you put into designing that beautiful, stacked-stone design, you do not want a material that loses its luster within a few years. Hence, it would be best to consider the longevity of the material you wish to use on your fireplace.
How Do You Benefit From Installing Stacked Stone Tile on Your Fireplace Surround?
Since trends are not long-lasting, invest in a material that remains compatible with all decors. A stacked-stone offers precisely that since it has a neutral color palette that matches all decor styles.
Stacked-stone is a perfect way to create a statement wall for your home.
Stacked stone not only creates the focal point of your home but also scales up the overall aesthetic value of your home. Adding a stacked stone tile fireplace is a perfect way to increase the resale value of your home.
Installation Tips of a Stacked Stone Fireplace
- Read all the instructions provided by the manufacturer
Before paneling your stone ledger panels, you must read the instructions stipulated by the manufacturer carefully to ensure you are prepared.
- Take the fireplace wall measurements carefully
One of the common mistakes people make when installing a stacked stone fireplace is the incorrect measurement of space for the fireplace wall. You enjoy a seamless installation if you take the time to measure and re-measure the space carefully.
- Avoid floor tile damage by protecting your floors
Installation of a stacked stone tile involves using many heavy tools, stone panels, and adhesive, which may destroy your floor. Covering your floor with a barrier such as a drop cloth, newspapers, etc., aids in ensuring the floor tile is protected from damage.
- Prepare the stone ledger panels before installing
Take time to layout the panels on the floor before sticking them on the stone wall for your stone fireplace surround. This helps piece together all the panels to ensure that they will fit together on the wall perfectly. Also, if you realize that some pieces do not match, you can change and avoid the hassle of unsticking.