What Are The Best Types Of Fireplaces? [A Buying Guide]

Blog, Electrical & HVAC

Yes, it’s time to prepare for the winter chills, as you want all rooms, offices, or spaces to be warm and cozy during this period. While there are numerous ways to do this, nothing quite beats the coziness and stylishness of a fireplace.

Fireplaces provide warmth, light, and ambiance for relaxation and entertainment. However, the options in terms of the types of fireplaces are wide, and picking the right type for your home could be a really tricky task.

If you find yourself searching for the right type of fireplace for your home, don’t fret. This article discusses fireplaces, the various types, their pros, and their cons. So, without taking too much of your time, let’s dive right into it.

What is a fireplace?

A fireplace is a structure that is designed to contain fire safely and emit heat in a designated space or radius. This structure can be freestanding or built into the architecture of a building or a dwelling place. Fireplaces have been used for a long time for their visual appeal and functionality and as a focal point for gathering.

The fireplace carries various components, including;

  • A firebox – A box where the fuel (wood, coal, gas, etc) is burned
  • A chimney – A place that creates airflow to feed the fire while allowing smoke and toxins to escape
  • A fireproof screen or door – A fireproof screen or door to help prevent sparks and soot from entering the home
  • Fireplace tools – Another component includes fireplace tools, such as poker, tong, shovel, and brush. These tools are used to build a fire or clean up afterwards

What are the types of fireplaces?

So, what are the types of fireplaces, and how can one differentiate them? Well, here are the most popular types of fireplaces.

1. Wood-burning fireplace

The wood-burning fireplace is more like the old-fashioned fireplace option that is known by many. This traditional fireplace burns wood to create an irreplaceable multi-sensory experience of cracking wood. Along that, a particularly distinct smoky aroma adds to the nostalgia and rustic vibe of the home.


  • Cost-effective to run since wood is the fuel
  • Wood-burning fireplaces have a very distinct aroma
  • The cost of installation is relatively very affordable


  • Wood-burning fireplaces release the most pollutants into the house and atmosphere
  • You will need to hire a professional chimney sweep from time to time
  • Higher fire outbreak risk
wood burning fireplace

2. Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are among the most used types of fireplaces in recent times because they mimic the slow burning of wood-burning fireplaces. They are plugged into the wall and use coils and a fan to distribute heat with flickering fake flames to replicate the look of traditional fireplaces.


  • Cost-effective
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • They are ventless, so installation is also affordable
  • Some models are even portable


  • Not as effective as other types of fireplaces
  • Because of the low maintenance requirement, it is easy to forget maintenance; this could be an issue later on
Electric fireplace

3. Gas fireplace

A gas fireplace is a structure designed to replicate a traditional fireplace but without the hassle of using wood as fuel. Rather, gas fireplaces make use of either natural gas or propane as the fuel source. Flames are produced as the gas burns, resulting in a constant and steady heat output that can heat up the entire home.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Can heat more efficiently than other types of fireplaces
  • Provides the ambience of real flames


  • You will need a gas line for you to have this type of fireplace installed
  • There is also the risk of the fuel source releasing too much carbon monoxide into the home
gas fireplace

4. Ethanol fireplaces

The ethanol fireplace is another popular type of fireplace. This type of fireplace uses bioethanol as fuel, which burns in a container to create real flames. It is used mostly as a decorative type of fireplace as its effectiveness is somewhat lower than other fireplace types.


  • Ethanol fireplaces offer one of the best aesthetics
  • Does not produce smoke, so vents are not needed if this fireplace is used
  • Easy installation


  • The cost of bioethanol fuel can be high, so running this kind of fireplace can prove costly in the long run
  • Not as effective as other types of fireplaces
ethanol fireplace - Types Of Fireplaces


Which type of fireplace is cheaper to run?

The electric fireplace is considered to be one of the most cost-effective fireplace options.

What is the safest type of fireplace?

Electric fireplaces are also considered the safest fireplace type.

Which type of fireplace offers better aesthetics?

In terms of aesthetics, gas and ethanol fireplaces have the most commanding aesthetics.

Choosing the right fireplace for your home

Choosing a fireplace type can sometimes be a hassle. When choosing, we recommend considering a few factors to help narrow the list. Firstly, consider the cost, not just the cost of installation but also the cost of running the fireplace after installation.

Wood-burning fireplaces are costly to install, but the cost of running and maintaining them after installation is relatively low. Electric fireplaces, on the other hand, are less costly to install and also fairly affordable to run.

Another factor to consider is the structure of the architecture itself. Is the structure large enough to carry a chimney? Or would you have to go for a fireplace that does not require one? Is there a gas line, or do you have to think of other fireplace alternatives?

Lastly, consider the space that has to be heated. Some fireplace types are not as effective as others. If the space to be heated is large, you will have to consider using one that is effective enough or has more than one installed.

I hope this article was able to guide you through the process of choosing a fireplace for your home. Have other questions? Visit our Get Info page to get your answers.

Thanks for reading.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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