Designing the layout of an indoor fireplace can be fun. You get to pick the fuel you want, the style of the fireplace, and how it will look with your other décor. Though, when it comes to location, it can be a bit challenging. Often, where your fireplace is located has a huge effect and what type you can install. So, it could be said that location is the first and most important aspect of choosing an indoor fireplace for your home.
- Dimplex electric fireplace with bookcase
In this article, we will walk you through five different scenarios you may face based on the type of space you have available for a fireplace. Then show you which ones will fit best in that space. If the idea of figuring out which fireplace is right for you stresses you out, don't worry, we have you covered. Happy reading!
1. Indoor fireplaces if you have a dividing wall in the middle of a room:
For many people, closed-off floor plans are a thing of the past. Most modern homes have limited dividing walls between the kitchen, living room, and dining areas so families can interact with each other no matter what part of the house they are in. So, if you have an older home with a dividing wall that you cant get rid of, but would like to create a line of sight through it, you should consider adding a double-sided or peninsula fireplace.
With a double-sided fireplace, you can enjoy the warmth of crackling flames while creating a beautiful visual between rooms in your home. It makes the space feel more connected and flows effortlessly. As another bonus, double-sided fireplaces can be customized with different surrounds so each side matches the décor on that side of the room.
See-through fireplaces also have a wide variety of fuel options. You can choose from gas, wood, ethanol, and even electric options. This gives you total control over the look and heat level you want to incorporate into your space.
2. Indoor fireplaces for small spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms:
During the winter months, it is so hard to peel yourself out of a warm bed or relaxing bubble bath and have to face chilly temperatures and cold floors. Some people think the only option is throwing on a heavy robe, warm socks, and darting to the kitchen to warm up with a fresh pot of coffee. Thankfully, that isn't true. Several indoor fireplaces are rated for use in your bedroom or bathroom. So, you never have to shiver while getting out of the bathtub or freeze while getting ready for work again.
For small spaces like these, electric fireplaces are the easiest option. They require so little maintenance and range between 5k BTUs and 10k BTUs, you're guaranteed to find one that will suit your needs. Plus they're often operated remotely, so you don't even have to leave that nice bubble bath to turn it on.
- Napoleon electric fireplace
But what if you don't want a "fake fireplace" with electric flames? What if you want the real stuff? Well, that will make things slightly more complicated. Wood fireplaces can never be used in a bathroom for safety and sanitary reasons. Though, propane or natural gas fireplaces are commonly used in bedrooms and bathrooms. You will need to do a little bit of math and research to figure out which style/size fireplace will work in your space.
To figure out what is the max BTU's your space can handle, the general rule of thumb is to use this equation: square footage of the room x 40 = the max BTU output a fireplace can safely have in your room. Though, if you have high ceilings, harsh winter temperatures, or poor insulation, the multiplier may need to be increased to 50 or 60. Use this BTU calculator to give you a better idea of what your bedroom or bathroom can handle based on your specific needs.
3. If you want to add storage or decor around a current indoor fireplace:
So, let's say you already have a gas or wood fireplace that you love, but it is time to spruce it up a little. What do you do? Well, a fireplace mantel is a great place to start. Fireplace mantels come in many sizes and, styles and colors. Mantel shelves are pretty popular and easy to install. They are one piece that attaches to the wall above your fireplace. You can get a mantel shelf in wood, stone or a concrete cast that mimics other high-end materials. They can be painted white, grey, cherry, brown or distressed to make them modern and trendy.
- SEI Gallatin electric fireplace
Another option is a full fireplace mantel. Full fireplace mantels surround the entire appliance and have a more traditional look. If you want a mantel for storage space, a full mantel could be a better option as some of them come with bookshelves attached. Full fireplace mantels come in similar colors and materials as mantel shelves and range anywhere from 30 to 60 inches long.
One last option you can explore for storage and décor is built-in shelving. Sometimes, a built-in fireplace can have large, unused space on either side. Instead of wasting that space, you can build shelves to display photos, decorations or books. Especially in smaller rooms, this would be a great way to take advantage of the space you have and use it to its full potential.
4. Indoor fireplaces made more for the look than the heat:
As we mentioned earlier, electric fireplaces are great for small spaces because they put off around 5k to 10k BTU's. But that is not the only place they are limited to. If you live in a warmer environment or want a fireplace only for the ambiance, then an electric fireplace is a great option. Electric fireplaces can be mounted easily on a wall and linear models bring a beautiful focal point to large open walls in big rooms.
- ethanol fireplace
Some models mimic the look of a traditional gas fireplace with wood logs. It's all the style you'll need with none of the hassle of maintaining a gas fireplace. One other option for a modern fireplace with less heat is an ethanol fireplace. Ethanol fireplaces put off anywhere between 5k to 20k BTU's. They are fueled by ethanol made from corn, beets, and other renewable resources. Ethanol fireplaces often come enclosed in a glass case so you get a great view of the flames and a unique centerpiece for your room.
5. Indoor fireplaces for large rooms and / or open floor plans:
If you've read through this article and seen all the great tips about indoor fireplaces for small spaces and low heat options but wondered, "What about the fireplaces that actually put off some heat and can handle a large room?", don't worry, we have you covered. Wood fireplaces can heat up to 3,000 square feet and wood stoves can heat about 3,200 square feet and even a little over. These bad boys pack some punch! If you need an indoor fireplace that can handle a harsh winter or heat up more than the immediate area around its base, a wood fireplace or stove is your best option.
- wood stove
If you need a lot of heat but aren't ready to compromise on style, then a gas fireplace is your next option. Gas fireplaces can heat up to around 1,500 square feet so they are great for a large living space that includes the kitchen, sitting area, and other community rooms nearby. A linear gas fireplace will complement modern décor and look great on a large open wall surrounded by cozy couches and chairs. Don't forget, if your room has high ceilings, keep this in mind when choosing which fireplace will be able to heat it. High ceilings can absorb a lot of the heat so use the BTU calculator to make sure you get what you need to fully warm up your space.
Now that we have discussed fireplaces for small spaces, low heat fireplaces, electric fireplaces and others, this is where we will wrap up this discussion for now. If you have questions you can always browse through our catalog of articles here.. Another option is to call our NFI-certified techs at 800.203.1642. They would love to help you pick a fireplace you can enjoy for years to come.