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Ten Important Fireplace Terms

Fireplaces are valued for their practical uses, providing heat, cooking food, as well as the visual appeal of logs quietly burning in the firebox. If you own a fireplace, you will probably have to get it repaired or restored at one time or another; if you don't have one, you may wish to have one installed in your home. Either way, you should have a working knowledge of what their parts are called and what they do, so below are some relevant terms.

  • Mantel – The frame surrounding a fireplace or the shelf over it; also called a mantelpiece.
  • Hearth – Often made of brick or stone, the hard floor that extends outward from the opening.
  • Wood-Burning Stove – An enclosed metal appliance, often made of cast iron. A wood-burning stove is primarily used for heating.
  • Fireplace Insert – An appliance designed to fit inside, and enhance of functioning of, an existing fireplace. Considered more efficient and easy to handle than a standard wood-burning model, a fireplace insert can run on a variety of fuels, including gas and wood. They are fitted with glass doors that allow a view of its fire.
  • Electric Fireplace – An electrical installation intended to imitate a conventional fireplace. Unlike its wood or gas burning cousins, it does not require ventilation.
  • Outdoor Fireplace – One constructed outside the house, typically in the patio area.
  • Screen – A panel that blocks children and animals from getting close to the flames.
  • Fireplace Tools – The general term for pokers, tongs, and similar accessories.
  • Corner Fireplace – As the name indicates, a fireplace installed in the corner of a room.
  • Firebox – The chamber containing the fire.
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    Hearth & Home of Marin
    902 Lincoln Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901
    Hearth and Home of Marin is a family owned and operated retail store offering Marin County?s largest selection of beautiful, energy-efficient,
    (415) 479-2876
    A Villa Terrazza Patio & Home
    869 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476
    Villa Terrazza is your source for quality outdoor furnishings as well as an eclectic mix of indoor furniture, lighting, & accessories. Commercial-grade umbrellas, BBQ's, & gorgeous furnishings. Patio furniture to ""Furnish the Escape"".
    (707) 933-8286
    Universal Systems Int.
    679 Bold Dr., San Jose, CA 95111
    Fireplaces custom installation and custom built mantels. Also offering on site Tile and pre cast Mantels.
    (408) 972-1238
    Okell's Fireplace
    1300 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94107
    (415) 626-1110
    Fireplace Safety Services
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    (415) 252-0676
    California Villa and Garden
    101 Cargo Way, San Francisco, CA 94124
    (415) 695-0838
    Blaze Fireplaces
    101 Cargo Way, San Francisco, CA 94124
    (415) 495-2002
    Witten's Chimney Service
    Sausalito, CA 94965
    (415) 331-8541
    Protect Your Life Chimney Sweep & Repai R
    1587 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94612
    (510) 635-9990
    Chimney King
    Oakland, CA 94615
    (510) 420-7037
    American Chimney Services
    431 Grand Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080
    (650) 583-2393
    Fire Place The
    1117 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606
    (510) 834-9250
    Creative Energy
    3419 Regatta Blvd, Richmond, CA 94804
    (510) 237-2300
    London Fireplace Shoppe
    267 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley, CA 94941
    (415) 380-0336
    Roberto Varialle Art Studio
    332 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941
    (415) 381-8441


    Fireplaces provide a contained and controlled space where people can enjoy the warm crackle of a fire. While outdoor fire pits filled with fresh wood often come to mind, when many people refer to fireplaces they are referring to indoor electric or gas options. Historically, household fireplaces were constructed to provide heat or cook food much like a brick stove. Today, many people install fireplaces simply to surround themselves with the outdoor feel of burning wood. The practical application of removing the screen door and inserting food into the fireplace, as if it were a stove, is far less common. Still, even a gas or electric fire could easily burn anyone who gets too close, or touches a hot accessories or tool that has recently been in the fire pit. As such, a household fire should still contain a proper ventilation system for smoke. When you restore your fireplace this is one area to check for repair, as you don’t want log residue clogging your vent. If you’re looking to add the ambiance of a fire to your home, you’ll need to decide on the mantel that matches the look and feel of the room. It could be a stone, glass, or cast iron mantel, and it could possibly go in the corner of your living room or the patio. Either way, you’ll need to consider how the style decisions will affect your ability to insert tongs or other accessories into the fireplace. For help choosing the right design, you can call an interior decorator, or research different styles online. Again, though, you’ll first want to find a space in your home where a fireplace can reasonably function.
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