from Fort Worth TX. asked:
March 7, 2016
We want to install a 36" wood burning standard recirculating fireplace in the corner of a room at a 45 degree angle to the adjacent walls atop a raised hearth. Most likely it will have a gas log set installed but we wanted it to be wood burning rated.
1. In comparing the "Builder/Value" type fireplaces to the "Performance" series type fireplaces, what should we be seeing in differences. I've noticed that the performance types usually have hidden screen pockets, and some have herringbone patterned fire brick ...but what else am I missing for the approx. extra money? Is the steel thicker gauge?
2. My closest fresh air supply will be to the right side of the fireplace do any have a knock out on that side with the gas knockouts still on the left? ...or do I need to route the fresh air supply under my fireplace to the left side since it will be raised.
3. I'm also curious about the stamped vs rolled louvers... is it a big deal to some...and why? Personally I don't find louvers all that ugly but I guess some do, so do they cover the rolled louvers with cement board and rock veneer? If so how does that effect blower performance?
4. We are planning a raised hearth of about 12" high, but then 15" is a better seating height (if it ever gets used for that) are there any performance or safety effects of different sizes of raised hearths or is it all purely aesthetics?
1. Both the Performance line and Builder series are made of the same material. The options for refractory panels and the size of the inner box ( the back width in the Performance line is wider giving a less tapered look) in the Performance line give the Performance line a more aesthetically pleasing and realistic look than that of the Builder series. The Performance line is bigger and allows for the addition of a catalytic converter. Also there are more accessory options for the Performance line.
2. Both of the fireplaces in question only have air supply knock outs on the left side however the air intake can be installed on the right and the duct can be run to the left of the fireplace.
3. Some do prefer to install noncombustible material such as rock brick or stone on the front facing of the fireplace however a radiant smooth faced version will have to be used for this application. Louvers cannot be covered. While rolled louvers are more difficult and expensive to manufacture their function is the same as a stamped louver.
4. Installing the unit on a 15" hearth should not effect the performance or safety of the unit.