Adding a fireplace to any room can take a wall from bare to beautiful in a relatively short amount of time. With Direct Vent technology, you can add a gas fireplace to any room with no need for a chimney. And, unlike installing an insert in an existing hearth, starting from scratch gives you creative license to choose your hearth’s style and shape it with materials, a surround, flooring and a mantel. If you’re wondering where to start, we’ve compiled some design tips to help you balance function and beauty.
What’s Your Style?
Your home’s existing style and the room where you’re installing the fireplace will be the biggest influences on the look of your hearth. If you have a contemporary style home, you’ll want a contemporary style fireplace and hearth – or perhaps no hearth at all, just a beautiful Heatilator gas fireplace positioned on the wall like a piece of art. A more rustic home lends itself to a stone or brick hearth. Even industrial chic style has distinctive hearth design parameters. If you’re not sure of your home’s interior style, look at the millwork. Large profiles of interior moulding, or even the presence of crown moulding, generally suggest a home is more traditional and best suited for a traditional style fireplace and hearth. If there are a lot of sleek lines in your home, it leans toward contemporary.
The Hearth Height
Flexibility is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? By raising your hearth 15 to 17 inches off the floor, you can create an additional seating area – for those particularly cold days when you can’t get enough of your Heatilator fireplace. A raised hearth also lends itself to the use of accent finishes as you see with the ceramic tile in the photo of our Twilight Modern fireplace below.
If your fireplace is going to be flush with the floor, which is a more traditional placement, you’ll want to consider the flooring that abuts your hearth. An apron of marble or granite tile directly in front of your fireplace is common, but not necessary. Gas fireplaces will not damage flooring or other materials that are in close proximity, like a wood-burning fireplace would.
The Surround and Mantel
The surround, the 3- or 4-inch material surrounding the face of your fireplace, can make a subtle and refined statement. It’s generally marble, granite or another stone that reflects heat well. Heatilator’s options for fireplace surrounds vary by the fireplace you choose but in general, we offer surrounds in granite, slate and marble, in a variety of colors to complement your home’s existing interior.
Heatilator also offers cast surrounds and mantels, and wood surrounds and mantels that amplify the sleek stone surrounds with an additional dimension made from plaster or wood. Many of the cast and wood surrounds also incorporate a mantel, with shelves ranging in lengths from 48- to 72-inches. This sought-after hearth feature gives you more room to accessorize your space every day and with the changing seasons.
The Chimney Wall
With Heatilator’s Direct Vent technology, you don’t need a chimney to have a gas fireplace. Nevertheless, a chimney wall, or chimney-looking wall, can set the mood of a room and determine the style of your hearth. It can be as bold as subtle and non-existent as you’d like. Brick, stacked stones, field stones, slate or even just drywall all make statements of differing proportions. What’s your fancy? You can create it with the vast spectrum of fireplace materials available.
Just as a gas fireplace can set the mood and décor style of your interior, so can one shape your outdoor space. A fire feature is just one Idea to Make Your Backyard the Envy of Your Neighbors.
[heatilator.com. (2015, September 9). Tips for Designing Around a Fireplace [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.heatilator.com/Shopping-Tools/Blog/Tips-for-Designing-Around-a-Fireplace.aspx]