Space saving fireplaces for your home

I went to see my cousin at the weekend, she recently moved into a small one bedroom house in the south country 🙂


While I was there, she posed the question; can I get a fireplace that will fit in my room?

Simple answer!

A fireplace can be a centre piece to any room, but a BIG fireplace in a small room can ruin the effect the room has to offer!

Still, there are some fireplace styles that can offer a complimentary effect to a small room, for example; hole-in-the-wall and hang-on-the-wall fireplaces can be an ideal choice for a fireplace, where space-saving is required…

Brands such as; Magiglo and Newman Fireplaces are good choices!

Custom fireplace designers can tailor sizes to match your requirements… Fireplaces such as a hole-in-the-wall can be made quite small indeed, allowing the fireplace, yet again to be a centre-piece to any room!

So… As long as you take size and measurements into consideration, then there are fires and fireplaces suitable for most living spaces!

Tips for buying small fireplaces

  1. Buy from a reputable supplier
  2. Always clearly specify sizes and measurements for your room
  3. Buy a fireplace suitable for you fuel source

Ciao for now 😉

Published in: on June 30, 2008 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On top of Old Smokey, all covered in soot!

‘A chimney is a system for venting hot flue gases or smoke from a boiler, stove, furnace or fireplace to the outside atmosphere. They are typically almost vertical to ensure that the hot gases flow smoothly, drawing air into the combustion through the chimney effect (also known as the stack effect). The space inside a chimney is called a flue. Chimneys may be found in buildings, steam locomotives and ships’.


Today I will be discussing those chimneys found in houses…

There are a few different types of chimney that can be seen on houses:

  • Traditional brick-built chimneys
  • Prefabricated chimneys
  • Precast flues
  • Balanced flues
  • Fanned flues

Traditional brick-built chimneys are great for fires and stoves. They are generally deep, thus giving you the choice-in-size of fire / stove you require!

Prefabricated chimneys / flues are suitable for most stoves or gas fires – they are also generally deep, so the choice-in-size for your fire, is usually varied!

Precast flues are commonly found in modern homes – in the 1970’s builders started to install this type of flue in houses, as a space-saving method… Built into the structure of the house, they are constructed from pre-cast concrete blocks and are generally suited to smaller, more slim-line fires and stoves!

(As a note; I will not be going into any depth regarding balanced and fanned flues in this article – I have another article I am writing that I will publish soon, which covers these topics in much greater depth…)

Some helpful tips for chimneys:

  1. A well-built, well-maintained chimney can last for years!
  2. A chimney should be checked regularly by a builder for any repointing, or repairs that need doing!
  3. If coal is being burned in your fire / stove, then the chimney should be swept twice, yearly – for wood, double this figure… Soot and tar must be cleaned regularly, as if left to build up, this could easily result in a chimney fire!
  4. If solid fuels are being burning, then fitting a spark arrestor on the top of your chimney is a good idea, as rising sparks can also cause fires!

So, is a real fireplace and chimney worth all the effort?

I think its really just a matter of opinion or choice. What I mean is, its really all about what you are looking for… What kind of room-effect you are trying to achieve!

In most houses (it was the case in my parents house and in my house too), the chimney comes as an inherent feature… 😉 The upside… It doesn’t need cleaning if you don’t burn solid fuels!

Heck! It could simply be blocked off if you don’t want a fire!


If you do have the will… A real fireplace can be a commodity worth fighting for… 🙂

Over and out!

Buck 😉

Published in: on June 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How does Phurnacite differ from Anthracite?

‘ello Campers… 😉

Sorry it’s been a week or so since my last post – heck, things got hec-tic! 😉

Not a bad thing though – it’s better to be busy, than not busy ‘ey?

Right! On wit’ m’ story – Jacka’…

I was asked recently what the main differences were between phurnacite and anthracite – an inquisitive schoolboy, who had accompanied his father to look for a new fireplace…

Anyway, thought I’d post it up here as it did open up an interesting point!!

 Anthracite and Phurnacite image

So! What are the differences?

In a nut shell; Not much! 😉


Anthracite is natural!

It is one of the most purest forms of coal (i.e. between 92% and 98% carbon) and is extremely compact, whereas Phurnacite, is a tradename for Anthracite dust, compressed into a briquette…

Some useful points about Phurnacite:

  • Phurnacite is slow-burning
  • Phurnacite can be left to slumber for long periods, at low temperatures
  • Phurnacite is relatively low in cost
  • Phurnacite is ideal for solid fuel central heating systems!

Hope this is helpful? I know it’s been short, but sometimes… Short is sweet 😉

Take care,


Stone for fireplaces – Part 1

Another week has passed and yet.. I look younger! 😉


There are many stones available for fireplaces..


Limestone, slate, marble, granite – with so many to choose from, which stone is the right one?


In this article, I will be focussing my attention to Travertine, simply because I have been dealing with this particular stone alot lately and have had quite a number of questions asked by my clients 😉


Travertine has an interesting story attached, as it is formed in a slightly unusual way.


Travertine is formed when carbon dioxide-rich water passes through rocks in limestone-rich areas. The water dissolves the limestone and becomes saturated with it.

When the environment the water runs through, changes – a drop in pressure and/or a change in the temperature, the water releases carbon dioxide gas, rather like when one releases a cap on a fizzy-drinks bottle.

The calcium carbonate then re-crystallises in the form of small debris, scrub and living biotic material such as; moss and algae. – (Source:


As the living material decomposes, air holes are then formed within the rock – See Fig.1 below:


Travertine with holes


One can purchase this stone in its original form!


In fact, I did visit a client at their house recently, where travertine stone had been laid on their patio..


In most cases, Travertine is filled and honed – see fig.2 below – although generally, this is only the case with one side of the stone (the top-side). The base is commonly left in it’s natural form!


Travertine filled with arrows showing resin


The arrows in figure 2, show the areas of stone which have been filled by the resin – In my opinion, the resin does add aesthetic value to the stone, by contrasting the stones natural markings..


Travertine filled and honed


Figure 3 demonstrates clearly, the qualities that travertine can have in its finished form!


To be continued…


















Published in: on June 2, 2008 at 3:53 pm  Comments (3)  
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