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Fires & surrounds buying guide

Add warmth and style to your home with a cosy fire

There’s nothing like sitting round a relaxing fire during the colder months. Having a fireplace in your home is a great way to create a striking focal point in any room, whatever the weather. If you’re looking to transform your home into an oh-so cosy and inviting space, our new range has plenty of options. Think inset fires, modern wall-hung designs, and cosy stoves.

Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing a fire? We’ll take you through your options based on the kind of home you live in. Often people who live in new builds or flats think they can’t have a fire, but that’s not the case. We’re here to help you uncover the variety of fires we have to offer, whilst explaining how they work and the different fuel types they might require.

We understand that your new fireplace has to be just right. That’s why a lot of our range is available in both gas and electric options, meaning you won’t need to compromise on style. Plus, you can mix and match your fire with sleek back panels and hearths to create your perfect personalised fireplace. Come on in…

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What to consider before buying a fire

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need a chimney or flue in your home to have a fireplace. Certain fires will only work with the correct chimney, whereas others can be used without a conventional chimney or flue. We’ll talk a bit below about what options you have, depending on whether you have a chimney or not. 

What type of chimney flue do I have?

A chimney is the pipe that helps with ventilation, releasing your fire’s gases or fumes outside. The flue is the space within the chimney that helps with this process. The first thing you’ll need to do is find out which type of chimney or flue you have – this could be a traditional chimney, a pre-fabricated flue or a pre-cast flue. If you aren’t sure, consult a professional installer for advice. 

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1. Traditional brick or stone chimney. If your home was built before the 1960’s, it’s likely to have a brick or stone chimney. This means it will have a traditional chimney pot on your rooftop – more than one indicates that there are several fireplaces on different floors sharing a chimney.

2. Pre-fabricated flue. Was your home built after the 1960’s? Do you have a narrow metal pipe sticking out of your roof? If so, it’s likely that this is your flue pipe used to ventilate your fireplace area. We call this a Class 2 pre-fabricated flue.

3. Pre-cast flue. A lot of newer properties no longer have chimneys, but some are fitted with pre-cast flue. Pre-cast flue has a raised ridge tile or metal flue pipe on the roof, and is generally much shallower that a traditional flue.

4. No chimney or flue. Don’t worry – you’ll still be able to have a fire in your home even if you don’t have a chimney or flue. Our flueless gas and electric options will work in any home, and unlike those with chimneys, you won’t need to worry about draughts – all the heat will stay in your home.

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Inset or outset fire?

There are two ways your new fire can be installed – inset or outset. We’ll go into a bit more detail about the two options below so you can make the right design decision for your home.

  • Inset fires sit inside the wall, rather than hung on it. Traditional gas fires are often inset, although not all inset fires have to be traditional in style. Our new range features contemporary inset fires that add style whilst saving space in your home.
  • Outset fires protrude away from the wall. They can sit on the hearth or be wall mounted if you don’t have a fireplace. Outset fires are a great option if you are looking to install or upgrade an eye-catching surround in your living space.  

Types of fire

There are a few different options when it comes to the type of fire you can choose for your home: gas, electric, and solid fuel. You can also opt for a complete fireplace suite, which includes a fire and a surround, or you can choose to mix and match the components separately. We’ll go into a bit more detail below about each type of fire, including some of the stylish options in our new range. 

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1. Gas fires

For a clean, efficient way to bring instant heat to your home, choose a gas fire. Gas fires combine the look of real flames with the ability to have instant heat, as well as controllable temperature. They are the cheapest to run and come in a wide range of styles. Certain models don’t need a flue or chimney – all you’ll need is a working gas supply.

To ensure their efficiency, gas fires must be installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer - for more info go to the Gas Safe register website. For our most energy-efficient options, as well as a way to control your energy bills, look for the green gas logo on the packaging.  

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Wall hung gas fires

As the name suggests, wall hung fires can be placed on the surface of any wall, at any height you desire, creating a focal point in your room. They don’t require a chimney or flue, making them an ultra-stylish choice for new builds or apartments.  

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Inset gas fires

Inset gas fires are a classic focal point to any room set. Although inset fires are a go-to option for those with period properties, inset fires have become a popular choice for modern apartments too. The ‘hole in the wall’ inset fire sits within the chimney breast, and boasts a super sleek, contemporary look.

You'll need to know what type of inset gas fire is right for you. Take a look at the different options below...

  • Inset wall - Choose this if you’ve got a class 1 or class 2 chimney or flue, and don’t want to add more ventilation.
  • Inset multiflued - These have a slimline design that works with several types of flue. They also allow you to install your fire a little higher than an inset wall, without the need for additional ventilation (but only if you have class 1 or class 2 chimney).
  • Inset flueless - These chimneys allow you to have a gas fire when you don’t have a chimney, and are 100% fuel efficient, as all the heat stays within your room.
  • Full depth - Suitable for class 1 chimneys only, full depth gas fires look the most like a real fire.
  • High efficiency - Converts more of the gas into heat, saving you money on your gas bills.  

2. Electric fires

Our electric fires give you the option of having flames in your room, with or without the heat. An electric fire pumps heated air into the room whilst displaying realistic flames on a screen. They are easy to install, meaning you won’t need any professional help or to add ventilation. Simply plug in your electric fire and you’re good to go. Keep reading below to find out more about the types of electric fires we have on offer. 

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Wall hung electric fires

Wall mounted electric fires are great for when space is limited. Fitted directly into the wall of your room, our electric fires are easy to install and provide your home with realistic flickering flames found within a real fire. Choose an electric fire which uses a thermostat to help to maintain heat levels efficiently and reduce running costs. Some are also available with a remote control for ease of use. 

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Inset electric fires

For the look of a traditional fire, complete with a surround, choose an inset electric model. Features can include a coal effect visual, as well as silent flame option designed to replicate the cosy glow of a real fire. Inset electric fires also offer the ability to use the flame without the heat, so you can add a relaxing glow to your room any time of the year. If needed, a chimney balloon can be used to block off an existing flue.  

3. Stoves

Are you looking to achieve a cosy cottage feel that’s hot with character? Look no further than a stove. Stove fires are not only a great way to heat your home, but they also add a unique character to any room. Find out more about the different types of stoves available for your home below.

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Gas stoves

With a gas stove, you can enjoy the look of a real log burner without the related cost, mess, installation, or building regulatory factors. All of our gas stoves are flueless, which makes them a great option if you live in a newer building without a flue. Don’t forget, gas stoves do require a minimum ventilation of 100cm2 surrounding the stove.  

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Electric stoves

For the perfect combination of traditional look and feel with modern technology, pick an electric stove. With no need for a surround, these freestanding models can be placed wherever suits – you can even move them from room to room if you fancy. Opt for an electric stove if you enjoy the look and feel of a traditional log burner but without the hassle of lighting the fuel each time. 

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Solid fuel stoves

For a more traditional experience, a solid fuel stove is an efficient and eco-friendly solution. Plus, there’s nothing like sitting around a real fire on a cold winter evening! You can save money choosing a solid fuel stove as they use up to 25% less fuel. Stoves also collect all the ash in a tray underneath them, so cleaning after use is easy.

Solid fuel fires can also use smokeless fuel. Smokeless fuel provides the same great benefits as a traditional coal fire without the harmful smoke – which is much better for the environment. Plus, the higher heat output and longer burn time of smokeless fuel makes it more efficient than other fuels.  

Don’t forget – you can only have a wood burning fire if you have a brick or stone (class 1) chimney or flute. All solid fuel stoves must be fitted in accordance with current regulations. For a list of approved fitters in your area, visit the HETAS website.

Surrounds, back panels and hearths

Choosing the right surround, back panel, or hearth for your fire is the key to finishing off your stylish fireplace area well. We recommend opting for a surround if you’re looking to achieve a stunning period fireplace aesthetic. Fancy something a little more luxury? Choose a fire surround with lights.

Not sure which is right for your space? Keep reading below to find out more about fire surrounds, back panels, and hearths.

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Surrounds 

The surround, or mantelpiece, plays a vital role in making sure your fire works perfectly with the look of your room. Whatever your inspiration, we’re sure to have a fire surround that’ll enhance your room.

We offer a variety of different finishes, ranging from marble, limestone, granite, and wood surrounds. Decide whether you’d like a plain surround, or maybe something a little more ornate – it really all depends on the style you’re going for, as well as your chosen fire.

You can opt for a complete surround set that gives you all you need. Alternatively, you can choose from our range of separate surrounds, back panels, and hearths to create a unique look that works with your chosen fire and surround.

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Back panels and hearths

Our back panels and hearths are available in a range of colours and effects to suit your room, such as laminate and MDF. Take the time to make your back panel and hearth choices – these are the closest elements to your fire and therefore need to be complementary. They also set the tone for the whole style you’re going for. Be sure to check that the surround you choose is suitable for your type of fire.

Finishing touches

So you’ve picked your fire, chosen your surround, and have decided where it’s all going. Now it’s time for the finishing touches. It’s true what they say, the devil’s in the detail – so it’s just as important to get your fireplace accessories right as it is the fire itself. We’ve listed some of the hottest fireplace accessories below to make sure your fireplace space looks cool and cosy.

Fire screens and guards

If you’ve got children or pets, and your fire is at a level that they can reach, you may want to consider getting a fire screen or guard to stop them getting too close. These are also an excellent way or preventing any hot debris popping out of an open fire and into your room. Most of the products in our range are hinged, so they can be easily folded away when not in use, ensuring that your room stays free from clutter. Alternatively, you can keep your fire screen out all the time as a fashionable fireplace accessory!  

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Log baskets & coal buckets

Chosen a solid fuel fire? Keep the wood, kindling or coal by the fire in a decorative bucket or basket to help you refill your fire with ease. Log racks are a stylish way to hold logs. Opt for a more traditional coal chute if you’re looking for something that comes with handles, allowing you to pour your coal straight into the fire without having to get your hands grubby.

Even if you’ve got an electric or gas fire, log baskets can be used as a chic finishing touch in any living space. We have a range of traditional and contemporary log baskets that will be sure to finish off your cosy fireplace aesthetic flawlessly.  

Companion sets and tidies

Having a solid fuel fire requires a little bit of maintenance to keep it clean, as well as ensuring that it keeps working at its best. You’ll need to sweep away the ash and redistribute the fuel to make sure it’s burning effectively. To do all this, you’ll need the right tools – our companion sets are just the ticket and they aren’t just practical, they are stylish too.