By Fanny Ungar. Fireplace. Published at Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 - 00:32:52 AM.
Stone materials vary enormously in colour and composition; whether you opt for limestone, granite, marble, cast stone, slate or even a thin stone veneer each have their own unique look and feel. Of all the stone materials, marble is probably the most expensive and difficult to maintain but if you are after a sumptuous elegant look in your living room, it can be the perfect choice. On the other hand if you don’t want to spend huge amounts of money there is always the cheaper alternative of man-made marble. Limestone can be very captivating if you select a neutral colour that will complement almost any interior design while granite, though not so soft, is also a good choice because it needs very little maintenance.
One of the obvious reasons is that there is no need to clean a fireplace when an electric fireplace insert is used. After all, there is no burning wood and there are no ashes or embers. Of course, in addition to the cleaning required for a traditional fireplace there is also a need for purchasing firewood and other items. Of course, with an electric fireplace insert there is no need to shell out money for these additional, ancillary items. As such, electric fireplace inserts can prove to be very cost effective. So, there is no reason to ignore the value of electric fireplace inserts if you already own a traditional fireplace.
For instance, a homeowner decides to build a marble mantle seven feet wide and four feet high. The budget takes into account the marble tile to finish the design and the firebox, structural materials to build the fireplace and labor. Most people do not look at a chimney and think "Wow, that is a great looking chimney" so we do not always account for the ventilation when we design our perfect outdoor accent. The ventilation cannot be skipped just because there is plenty of ventilation outdoors. The proper flue will "pull" the fumes and smoke up and away from the fireplace. Without the vent gas fumes will flow from the front of the fireplace and the area usually reserved for sitting in front of the fire will be hot and smelly. The homeowner contacts a contractor who explains the chimney, flue and roof termination will double the budget.
This said however, in any wood burning fireplace it is vital to use the right kind of wood that is cut to a convenient size. Hardwoods such as oak or fruitwood are the best option as they give off the most heat. Softwoods such as birch give off a good heat but tend to be consumed pretty quickly, while pine contains a lot of spark forming resin that can spit all over your floor or rug. Ideally, logs should measure between 9 and 14 inches long although it doesn’t hurt to use a couple of larger logs on your fire to give it a bit of character. Only ever use seasoned wood in your fireplace. If you try to burn green wood the heat produced by combustion must dry the wood before it will burn and you risk a buildup of creosote in your chimney which creates an imminent fire hazard. In addition by using well seasoned wood you will you get a much hotter fire; thus creating more heat for your home. It is worth bearing in mind that all wood for burning should be seasoned for a minimum of six months and stored under cover, so it is best to buy and stack firewood well in advance of the coldest months.
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