By Julie Curnow

Types of Wood and Gas Fires

There are two types of fire – inbuilt and free standing fires.

As their name implies, free standing wood and gas fires stand alone, separate from the wall. 

Inbuilt wood and gas fires are built into the wall or inserted into a fire place.

Inbuilt gas fires may be installed with a gas fire insert or a zero clearance box.

Wood fires have to be installed within a brick or stone wall or enclosure as they radiate more heat than a gas fire does.

A gas fire insert:

  • is used to fit a gas fire into an existing fireplace opening. 
  • can go in a chimney or replace an old inbuilt gas fire or space heater. Space permitting, the flue may run inside the chimney.
  • eliminates the cost, space and hassle of building a new structure to house the fire.  
  • reduces installation costs. 

Zero clearance box:

The same model fire as an inbuit fire

The same model fire as an inbuilt fire

  • surrounds the gas fire so that the clearance required for, and thus the amount of space used by, the fire is kept to a minimum
  • allows the fireplace and flue to be enclosed within the new wall structure.  
  • enables the gas fire to be fitted flush into a plaster board wall
  • can be installed in an existing home or added as part of the design stage of a new build home.
  • provides maximum gas fire design flexibility, e.g. more modern style wider profile gas fires and see through (double pane) gas fires.
  • eliminates fire risk
  • add a mantel and your home will have a new centrepiece for you to enjoy.

The gas fire insert and zero clearance box are constructed of metal to reduce fire risk so that the hot sides of the fire cannot burn the adjoining wall.    

Inbuilt and free standing wood and gas fires use a flue to expel unburnt gases outside. The flue is a metal tube which has several layers (skins) which may be insulated. The flue is connected to the fire and goes through the ceiling and roof. The end is capped with a top hat.

To build a wall to house a fire you must use the appropriate materials and allow sufficient clearance (as per the manufacturer’s specifications) to avoid the structure or objects close by catching fire.

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