KEEPING THE HOME HOT: A Fireplace Facelift

The fireplace has been an important part of the home for centuries. Once relied on for cooking and warmth, the fireplace has come a long way from being a necessity to becoming an art piece. While fireplaces these days are less of a functional necessity, there are new trends in both style and performance that continue to make them a focal point in the home. 

People update their fireplace for many different reasons. Some undertake a complete conversion of their wood-burning fireplace to a gas for the convenience, while others are simply removing dated brass accents. Also consider that modern fireplaces are taller than many older models, which can mean that the mantel will also require some updating at the same time. Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and pre-cast mantels are the leading materials for an upgrade. In modern or contemporary homes, natural finished oak veneers are the most popular finish for the beam if the wall is not being finished with a porcelain slab tile from floor to ceiling.

When refacing or updating your fireplace, there is more to take into consideration than what materials to use for the project. First, consider what a finished space will look like, as this can alter the appearance and type of fireplace one chooses. Other possible considerations include hanging artwork or a TV above the mantel, how much heat should come from the fireplace, and how the fireplace design will fit the overall style of the home. 

When deciding whether or not to renovate your fireplace, consider the energy efficiency of your current system and whether your fireplace will be used for heat or ambiance or both. When it comes to energy-efficient fireplaces, gas options have classic wood-burning fireplaces beat. Gas fireplaces are clean burning and do not rely on electricity to run. They’re also an eco-friendlier way to heat your home than wood and have the ability to function without a chimney, making this a popular option for condo/small space living as well as full-sized dwellings. 

As for 2020 trends, the linear fireplace (rectangular in shape) is expected to continue to dominate the renovation scene. One very popular design is the linear looking fireplace with an open view on the sides. Another twist on that trend? Purchasing a linear fireplace and using interior log options to add a traditional touch to their newly purchased modern piece. Choosing the logs, glass embers, and other details for the final project is the fun part with making a fireplace your own.

Also popular for 2020 – large and in charge. Traditional gas fireplaces are expanding in size, adding a prestige to the home that smaller fireplaces can’t match. Light stonework is being used to accentuate darker inserts. Woods and stones are also being mixed – whether it’s a light stone and dark wood, or white wood and darker stone. The goal is to brighten the space while also drawing your attention to the frame of the fireplace. In addition, smart remotes are being incorporated into newer fireplace models, allowing temperature control with the click of a button.

For those looking to renovate on a budget, there are many options available. Save expense by using new stone facades or tiles to clad an existing fireplace or installing a new mantel using wood materials or pre-cast stone. Or paint over old brick while also adding a new mantel.

Whether you’re chasing after the hottest trends for your new fireplace or simply looking to restore it to its original glory, remember to have fun with your renovation. The fireplace is a hot-spot of the home and your renovation shouldn’t leave you feeling cold. 

TopFire Fireplace & BBQ, Aurora

The Fireplace Stop, Schomberg

Snowball Hearth & Home, Snowball

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