The description of Fireplace Design Ideas
A fireplace is a structure made of brick, stone or metal designed to contain a fire. Fireplaces are used for the relaxing ambiance they create and for heating a room. Modern fireplaces have variable heat efficiency depending on the sophistication of the design.
Historically they were used for heating a dwelling, cooking, and heating water for laundry and domestic uses. A fire is contained in a firebox or firepit; a chimney or other flue allows exhaust to escape. A fireplace may have the following: a foundation, a hearth, a firebox, a mantelpiece; a chimney crane (used in kitchen and laundry fireplaces), a grate, a lintel, a lintel bar, overmantel, a damper, a smoke chamber, a throat, and a flue.
On the exterior, there is often a corbeled brick crown, in which the projecting courses of the brick act as a drip course to keep rainwater from running down the exterior walls. A cap, hood, or shroud serves to keep rainwater out of the exterior of the chimney; rain in the chimney is a much greater problem in chimneys lined with impervious flue tiles or metal liners than with the traditional masonry chimney, which soaks up all but the most violent rain. Some chimneys have a spark arrestor incorporated into the crown or cap.
Types of Fireplaces
- Manufactured fireplaces are made with sheet metal fire boxes.
- Electric fireplaces can be built-in replacements for wood or gas or retrofit with log inserts or electric fireboxes.
Masonry and prefabricated fireplaces can be fueled by wood, natural gas, biomass, and propane fuel sources. Ventless Fireplaces (duct-free/room-venting fireplaces) are fueled by either gel, liquid propane, bottled gas or natural gas. In the United States, some states and local counties have laws restricting these types of fireplaces. They must be properly sized to the area to be heated. There are also air quality control issues due to the amount of moisture they release into the room air, and oxygen sensor and carbon monoxide sensors are safety essentials. Direct vent fireplaces are fueled by either liquid propane or natural gas. They are completely sealed from the area that is heated and vent all exhaust gasses to the exterior of the structure.
Evolution of fireplace design
Over time, the purpose of fireplaces has changed from one of necessity to one of visual interest. Early ones were more fire pits than modern fireplaces. They were used for warmth on cold days and nights, as well as for cooking. They also served as a gathering place within the home. These fire pits were usually centered within a room, allowing more people to gather around it.
Many flaws were found in early fireplace designs. Along with the Industrial Revolution, came large scale housing developments, necessitating a standardization of fireplaces. The most renowned fireplace designers of this time were the Adam Brothers. They perfected a style of fireplace design that was used for generations. It was smaller, more brightly lit, with an emphasis on the quality of the materials used in their construction, instead of their size.
By the 1800s most new fireplaces were made up of two parts, the surround, and the insert. The surround consisted of the mantlepiece and sides supports, usually in wood, marble or granite. The insert was where the fire burned and was constructed of cast iron often backed with decorative tiles. As well as providing heat, the fireplaces of the Victorian era were thought to add a cozy ambiance to homes.