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Factors Influencing Your Choice of Fireplace Type

If you’re a homeowner who has decided to move forward with installing a new fireplace in your space, congratulations! This is a great move, but it also comes with some important decisions you have to make — and one of the first and most important of these questions is the fireplace type you’re looking into.

At Uintah Fireplace and Design, we’re happy to offer numerous fireplace varieties, including linear fireplaces, gas logs, electric fireplaces and much more. We’ll also help those who need our assistance with choosing the ideal fireplace for their home, which includes consideration of several different important factors. Here are these factors and how to look at them as you make your choice.

Fuel Source

Probably the single most notable factor to consider, and understandably so given how important it is, is the fuel source you want to use. This will have a profound impact on not only the type of fireplace you install but also its placement and required maintenance. The three main fuel sources for fireplaces are wood, gas and electricity — each with their own notable advantages and disadvantages.

  • Wood-burning fireplace: The most “traditional” fuel source, wood-burning fireplaces offer a classic look and feel as well as the ability to produce a very hot fire. However, they’re also the least efficient type of fireplace, produce the most emissions and require the most maintenance in terms of sweeping and cleaning up ashes. They’re also the type of fireplace that’s most likely to require a professional installation.
  • Gas fireplaces: Gas fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. They’re very efficient, produce minimal emissions, are relatively low-maintenance and can be installed relatively easily (though you’ll still want a professional to do the job in most cases). They do require a gas line be run to the fireplace, however, which can be a costly addition if you don’t already have one. For some homes that already have a fireplace area installed, you can also look into gas inserts as a more affordable way of converting your fuel source.
  • Electric fireplaces: Electric fireplaces are the newest type on the market and offer a number of advantages over their wood-burning and gas-powered counterparts. They’re very efficient, produce no emissions, are extremely low-maintenance and can be installed almost anywhere in your home since they don’t require any type of gas line or other special installation. The main downside to electric fireplaces is that they’re not as realistic as gas or wood-burning fireplaces in terms of their look and feel — but for many homeowners, this isn’t as important of a consideration.

Now, while your choice between fuel formats will naturally be one of the most important and will help define the type of fireplace you choose, other factors are important to keep in mind as well. Let’s look at these in our next few sections.

Fireplace Size

A key consideration for any fireplace installation is the size of the unit you want. This will be dictated by a variety of factors, including the overall size of your room and how much heat you want the fireplace to generate. If you’re unsure about what size fireplace is right for your needs, our experts can help you make this determination.

In general, however, it’s important to make sure that the size of your fireplace is in proportion to the rest of your room. A small unit in a large room may not look right, while an oversized fireplace in a smaller room can be overwhelming. There are also certain city and county codes that dictate the maximum size of a fireplace that can be installed in any given home, so be sure to check with your local authorities before making any final decisions.


The placement of your fireplace will also have a significant impact on its type and required installation. For example, a wood-burning fireplace must be built into an existing chimney structure, while a gas or electric fireplace can be installed almost anywhere in your home. This flexibility can make a big difference in terms of the overall cost and complexity of your installation.

Another important factor to keep in mind is the distance between your fireplace and any combustible materials in your home. Wood-burning and gas fireplaces both require a certain amount of clearance from things like walls, furniture and draperies in order to operate safely. Electric fireplaces, on the other hand, can be placed flush against almost any type of surface since they don’t produce any actual flames.

Mantel and Design

Another key consideration for your new fireplace is the mantel and surround. This is the visible portion of the fireplace that will extend out from the wall and will usually include a mantle piece, hearth area and other design elements.

There are a wide variety of mantels and surrounds available on the market, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from in terms of style and design. You can also have a mantel and surround custom-built to match the specific aesthetic of your home.

Keep in mind that the mantel and surround you choose will also play a role in dictating the overall cost of your fireplace installation. Custom mantels and surrounds, for example, will usually be more expensive than off-the-shelf options.

For more on the main factors that you should be considering as you choose the ideal fireplace type and design, or to learn about any of our great fireplace products or services, speak to our team at Uintah Fireplace and Design today.

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