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Fireplaces and Accessories

A fireplace can be the showpiece of a room, adding grandeur or contemporary design wonder, and not just warmth. From wood burning stoves, gas fires and reclaimed fireplaces to electric fires, the bio ethanol fireplace and other highly efficient newer models, this is a chance for you to create a cosy ambience that will come to define the feel of your home. Similarly, fireplace accessories such as fire guards, fireplace tiles and fire surrounds will help to emphasise your chosen style.

Which fireplaces should I be looking at: wood-burning stoves, electric fires or flueless gas fires?

Broadly speaking, homeowners fall into two camps: those that have fallen for the rarified charm of open-hearth fires or traditional log burners, and those that prioritise the high performance and convenience of electric fires and multi-fuel stoves. The right option for you will depend on the style of your property – Victorian fireplaces are perfect for old cottages, for example – and whether your flue is functioning. You should also check with your local council to see if you are in a Smoke Control Area. If you prefer to have heat at the flick of the switch, without the need to clean and sweep, check out flueless gas fires and bio ethanol fireplaces – the latter is smoke-free, odourless and will provide consistent warmth without running up a huge energy bill. Patio and garden dwellers will appreciate the hard-wearing dependability of a chiminea in cast iron or clay, or a log burner.

Can I still install a log fire, gas fire or stove if I don't have a fireplace or chimney?

If your property does not have an open hearth, fire surround and chimney, and space is limited, then how about a freestanding multi-fuel stove or wood-burning stove? These come in all shapes and sizes and will lend a flicker of open-fire opulence to a space. Just make sure there is adequate ventilation, you have considered existing sources of heat and heat loss, and you haven't bought a larger stove than you need. Your installer or engineer, who should be HETAS approved, can advise on all of this plus the most appropriate size of non-combustible hearth underneath.

Which accessories are available for fireplaces

Once you have the perfect heat-emitting, ornament it's time to complete the look with a few fireplace accessories. Some might be more for aesthetic value, such as mosaic-inspired fire tiles around the fire surround. Others will have more practical benefits: fire starters, log baskets and pokers to get things going; fire guards to keep little kids and pets out of harm's way. Look around and you will find countless examples of fireplace accessories that blur the lines between style and practicality.
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