A fireplace can give your home a traditional feel, with a warm and cosy interior.
But if you are looking for something which offers that warmth and style but within a modern setting then a contemporary fireplace design is what you need.
Making the choice between a stone surround, a wooden one or even no surround at all depends entirely on the type of fire you are able to install and this all depends on the type of chimney you have.
Class one flue
This is the standard brick chimney which exits through the roof. The flue liner will usually be 180mm which will allow almost any type of fire to be installed.
Class two flue
This is a metal flue box which is attached to a metal pipe which exits through the roof. The internal diameter is usually 127mm. Most fires will be able to use this system, but not all.
Found in more modern homes, this involves the use of hollow flue blocks and a ridge vent on the roof. In most cases the fire needs to be up against a wall, limiting the types of fire which can be used.
Once you know your type of flue you can choose the type of fireplace which you want to install. These days, there is so much more available than simply having an open fire.
Direct vent fireplaces
These do not require a chimney and simply vent to the outside via hole in the wall. These are very efficient as they combust in a sealed environment with little heat lost to the outside.
Most of these might be described as heaters rather than fireplaces, but are included as they often have a fake flame effect which gives the illusion of a proper fire. The advantage of this type of fire is that it can be placed anywhere in a room and there is no cleaning or maintenance to be done.
Once again this is a clean and simple way of providing warmth to a room. They are economical and have little maintenance required and can be placed anywhere providing there is a flue or an outside wall for venting.
Fireplace surround materials
A fireplace surround can come in nearly any material you wish, providing it has the thermal properties required. For example a metal surround might not be a good idea as it is likely to heat up more than other materials.
Granite, marble, slate and stone are all very popular and can be carved into a number of modern designs. The simple quality of the stone is often enough without having to add further detailing. Each piece of stone will have its own colour, and individual quality.
Wood can have a more traditional feel, but modern designs are also possible to find. With wood a chunky and simple design will work well combined with a granite or slate hearth. The black and wood make a striking combination.