Fireplace Designs & Terminology Explained
Your Fireplace Design Glossary
Fireplaces are somewhat unique when it comes to home appliances. They are highly technical and need to be installed correctly for safety, longevity, and proper performance. They are also very visible and often in the most common areas of the home such as the living room. This means they need to be both functional and stylish.
Most other appliances are more straightforward and focus on look such as a Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Washing Machine & Dryer. While these may require some installation its relatively straightforward – more or less plug and play. Then there is appliances like Heat Pumps, Hot Water Heaters, Furnaces, & other HVAC systems that require very precise installation but are usually hidden in a dark corner in the basement or a closet.
Fireplaces are in a class of their own, and as such there is lots of technical language you need to understand when shopping for one. From installation terms to design terms it can all be a little overwhelming - Let us demystify that language for you with our glossary of fireplace design terms.
Fireplace Installation/Finishing Terms Explained
Clearances refer the to minimum distance required from any given angle of a fireplace. Each fireplace will have its own unique clearances for framing, combustible materials, and items like TV’s or artwork. For example a TV may be required to be a minimum of 36” from the top of the fireplace to avoid any damage or could require a mantel at a specific height before anything is placed above the fireplace.
Most fireplaces will have a clearance to combustibles where Non-combustible materials must be used up to that clearance point. Combustible materials include building materials such as wood and drywall. Non-combustible materials are building materials that do not burn or ignite when subjected to expected levels of fire or heat. Examples of non-combustible materials include brick masonry, concrete blocks, hardy backer board, calcium silicate board, cement board, metal, and certain types of glass. See: Non-Combustible Materials Explained for more information
The finishing material refers to the type of material used on the Chase and directly behind/surrounding the fireplace. Traditionally this was brick, stone, tile or other non-combustible materials; however, with some of the modern Cool Wall or low-clearance fireplaces sometimes materials like wood & wallpaper can be used. The finishing material will be directly related to your specific units Clearance to Combustibles.
A Flush installation refers to the front edge of the fireplace being Flush, or directly in line, with the wall/chase that contains it. This creates a modern look that is very popular with today’s design trends.
A Hearth is the permanent structure directly in front of a fireplace designed to maintain clearance, protect the floor, and raise the fireplace off the ground. A. Most modern gas and wood fireplaces do not require a hearth as long as clearances are met, however some people will choose to build one to create that traditional look. Hearth Pad is the non-combustible material that is built underneath wood stoves to protect the floor from the heat of the stove
A Mantel is the structure above the fireplace that acts as a heat shield for the materials placed above the fireplace and as a frame for fireplace as a whole. Some fireplaces will require a mantel if you want to place a TV or artwork above it, and some do not it will depend on your fireplace’s clearances.
Fireplace Style Terms Explained
Modern fireplaces are a category that fits with Modern home design – clean lines, flush installation, and versatile finishing options. Modern style fireplaces are also typically linear, however have different features and installation to produce the desired clean line look that modern homes have. See: City Series Modern Gas Fireplaces
Fireplace Accessory Terms Explained
Fireplace Accessories is a generic term that encompasses everything aside from the physical unit itself. This includes logs, faceplates, blowers, venting and everything in-between. Some accessories will be required (such as venting) and some will be optional (such as a blower) but it will depend on your specific unit.
Airmate (Wood Stoves)
Base (Wood Stoves)
Blowers (All Units)
Blowers or Fireplace Fans are accessories mounted on the exterior of the fireplace or inside the unit but outside the firebox itself. It is used to circulate air around the unit's hot exterior before pushing it back into the room. Fireplace fans help to circulate warm air and increase heat penetration into the room. However, they do not increase the fireplace's total heat output; instead, fireplace blowers simply move air more effectively to increase the amount of airflow around the fireplace and the entire room’s ambient temperature. See: Fireplace Blowers Explained
Faceplate (Gas Fireplaces & Inserts)
A Faceplate is an accessory for gas fireplaces and inserts that surrounds the unit and helps change the look/style of a particular fireplace. Typically, they are required, and styles will range dramatically depending on the look you want.
Inner Panels (Gas Fireplaces & Inserts)
The Interior Panels are the materials lining the walls of your unit. Typically, there is Brick, metal, and glass options to choose from, but the specific choices will be dependent on your chosen unit.
Media (Gas Fireplaces & Inserts)
Media refers to the materials inside the fireplace such as log sets, crystals, stones & crushed glass. Depending on the unit there will be a choice of media and you can pick the one that will best suit your style. Media is also typically referred to as your Firebed Options.
Surround (Gas Inserts)
A Surround is an accessory for Fireplace Inserts that can be used to cover the existing hole that the new insert/faceplate does not cover. For example, if you have a rounded masonry fireplace a surround would help cover the hole when a new insert is placed within the fireplace so you get a finished look.
Venting (All Units)
Venting is the term used for the pipe and cap systems used on fireplaces to remove emissions from your home. Venting is required for all fireplaces that Regency sells. While there are ventless fireplaces available, they are restricted in many countries, cities, and municipalities. See: Ventless Fireplaces Explained to learn about the Safety concerns associated with Ventless fireplaces.
Vignette (Gas Inserts)
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