Fences & Flowers

The CB Bain Blog

Choosing The Right Fireplace

Nov 10, 2014

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Home Life


As November starts, holiday commercials and ads everywhere are filled with images of people in scarves, warm drink in hand, often lounging comfortably by the fire. As much as I love the hot and sunshiny months of summer, I indulge in the opportunity to kick back with a relaxing cup by the hearth.

It isn’t just about the heat, which is greatly appreciated in the winter (our gas fireplace is our main source of warmth in our little place). It’s the inviting ambience a fireplace brings to the living space that we really love. The mantel is also the perfect place to display your favorite keepsakes and photos.

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So if you don’t have a fireplace but desperately want to give your place a toasty glow, which one is right for you?


If you’re looking for realism, nothing beats a wood burning fireplace. You get the smell, the crackling pops, and the dancing flames. With so much wood available in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a great region to have this option, and if the power goes out, you’ll stay warm. But a wood fireplace means maintenance, emptying ashes and ongoing chimney/flue cleaning. You also lose a lot of heat as it escapes up and out the chimney.


Gas fireplaces offer more heat and are cleaner than a wood fireplace. They’re also much easier to start: Just flip a switch and enjoy! Installation of these fireplaces is more flexible, and you can even do see-through! But you lose the authenticity of a real wood fireplace, so say goodbye to that gorgeous fragrance. You’ll also be out of luck if the power goes out for a while.


More and more electric fireplaces are popping up at local hardware stores, and for good reason. They come in a variety of appealing styles, and you can place them just about anywhere, including on your wall. Simply plug them in, and you’re ready to go. They’re especially useful in smaller living spaces, like apartments or condos. But despite the convenience, the heat output still doesn’t match a wood or gas fireplace, and they cost more over time than gas.

Obviously, if you choose wood or gas, the installation might be extensive, so make sure you’re ready for the process. You can also convert your wood fireplace to gas! Just review the checklist first to make yourself familiar with all the necessary steps. If you still aren't sure which option is right for you, check out this handy infographic from Easy Indoor Fireplaces!

What type of hearth do you have? Do you love it, or would you prefer another option? Share your thoughts with us!

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