How to Choose Between Freestanding and Insert Fireplaces

How to Choose Between Freestanding and Insert Fireplaces

How to Choose Between Freestanding and Insert Fireplaces

Now that getting a new fireplace is a certainty rather than a long away possibility, and you are ready and excited to get the installation process started, you still have to make an important choice. Whether gas or wood, fireplaces can either be freestanding or insert models. Making a choice between the two options boils down to what you feel suits you best.


The first step to making a selection is understanding the intricacies and differences between the two models of fireplaces. Here is a little more information that may be used as reference:

Freestanding Fireplaces

Freestanding fireplaces are placed in whatever space within the room suits you best. This offers more flexibility in your placement options and can allow for unique room arrangements. Depending on whether you choose a wood or gas freestanding fireplace, you will also need to consider installing a vent. A wood fireplace will require a vent to the roof, whereas gas fireplaces don’t necessarily need such extra consideration.

The placement of a freestanding fireplace also relies on the scope of its use. If it is meant to provide heat to multiple rooms, it is better placed in a more central setting to be more evenly distributed.

The main drawback with the installation of a freestanding fireplace is the amount of space it takes up. Once it has been placed at a certain point, more room must also be freed up to maintain proper separation between the furniture and the fireplace. This limits either the amount of furniture you can have in the room or the usable space left for other uses. However, with some clever room design, it should be easy to work around any space limitations.

Insert Fireplaces

The installation of insert fireplaces best takes advantage of already existing fireplaces. The option to modify it into an insert fireplace primarily increases the efficiency of the already existing fireplace. This happens when the insert provides a seal around the walls of the fireplace, which concentrates the flow of warm air through one point, lessening the heat loss.

If you are starting from scratch, an insert fireplace will often be made out of an insert box fitted into a surrounding structure, usually made of wood. These are more common in newly built homes or homes that are undergoing renovation. Venting these types of fireplaces only requires a system that can direct the air to the outside through the wall. The vent can be placed horizontally to ease the assembly process.

Other than practicality, the decision to go with an insert fireplace can satisfy an aesthetic need. Insert fireplaces lie flat against the wall, making them look sleek and giving them a more modern feel. Simultaneously, they are a lot less obtrusive as their presence is relegated to an out of the waypoint in the room, rather than sitting front and centre as is the case in freestanding fireplaces.

With fireplace inserts, you also retain the look of a traditional yet more efficient fireplace, something that is difficult to achieve with the freestanding option.

Technological advancements have made both insert and freestanding fireplaces viable options for all those trying to choose. You can finally have the fireplace you have always wanted; with the help of an expert, all you have to do is make a choice.

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