How to Decide Between an Inbuilt Fireplace and a Freestanding
Well folks, this is a tough question. There are so many variables that need to be considered when choosing between an inbuilt and freestanding fireplace. Both fireplaces will make your home warm in winter and provide a cosy space for friends and family to congregate. The difference between the two fireplaces mainly has to do with aesthetics. Freestanding fireplaces have a more traditional look whereas the inbuilt fireplace has a more modern appeal. In this post, we will compare and contrast the two fireplaces to help you make the tough decision.
My love affair with freestanding fireplaces, especially wood fuelled, dates back to my upbringing in the country. My parents had an old potbelly in the lounge room that we used to sit around to keep warm in the winter time. The crackling of the fire was like the soundtrack to my childhood, as we sat around and gazed at the fire, getting lost in the magic that was contained in the potbelly. The heat emanated through the room as my brothers and I would sit around and play board games in front of the fire, while the family cat and dog would stretch out on the rug. It was the only time they would get along.
The whole experience of going to collect firewood with my dad, cutting it up and bringing it into the lounge room was part of the fun. It was always a fight between my brothers I to see who got to stoke the fire next.
For me, it’s all about the nostalgia and the rustic appeal with freestanding fireplaces. The act of cutting the wood and getting back to your primal instincts has a certain appeal – although not all freestanding fireplaces are wood fuelled. Nowadays you can get gas powered as well, which is ideal for those who want the rustic looks without the hassle of cutting and storing wood.
If you ask me though, if you’re going to get a freestanding fireplace you may as well go the whole hog and get a wood fuelled fired fireplace. It’s more of a sensory experience as you feel the warmth, look into the flames, and hear the fire crackle as it bursts through an air pocket in the wood. You also get to smell the slight aromas of the burning wood. Some freestanding fireplace models also come with cooking facilities, so you can have some nice homemade food cooking on the cooktop as you sit around the fire basking in the warmth.
Freestanding fireplaces do take up more room than their inbuilt counterparts, so if you’re lacking in space you might want to opt for the latter.
Inbuilt fireplaces are very modern looking and sit flush into the wall of your home. They are very sleek in design and usually are only available in gas powered. Inbuilt fireplace has a variety of what they call “media’, which means faux logs and rocks. To be fair, they have done a great job in replicating the natural logs and rocks that would be used in a wood burning fireplace.
Inbuilt fireplaces have all the modern conveniences such as temperature control, remote, and fans. Some are even fully programmable and have a set and forget format. Set and forget means that once you set the schedule the fireplace will turn on and off to conform with the schedule.
As I said before, they look great in modern looking houses and will do everything the freestanding will do and a whole lot more. Inbuilt fireplaces are often more efficient than freestanding as they have fans to push the air out and have the capacity to warm larger spaces. They can also be hooked up to a central system that can warm the whole house through a series of vents.
Some freestanding fireplaces have fans, but it’s highly unlikely that you will find a freestanding wood fuelled fireplace with a fan as it’s too dangerous. Imagine a fan blowing embers around your living room and burning the carpet and maybe even the cat!
Making the choice between a freestanding fireplace and an inbuilt fireplace comes down to a few factors such as functionality, style, and efficiency. As far as functionality goes, some freestanding will have cooktops which you won’t find in an inbuilt unit. But the inbuilt unit will come with a remote and can be more efficient. As far as style goes, freestanding has the more traditional rustic appeal whereas Inbuilt are more suited to a sleek modern appeal. As far as efficiency goes, inbuilt and freestanding are quite efficient, it all depends on the model and efficiency rating, so it pays to do some research when it comes time to making your purchase. Usually they will have an efficiency rating clearly marked on the fireplace in the store and if they don’t ask the attendant.
Choosing between freestanding and inbuilt will come down to your own personal preference and the features you require. They will both keep you warm and that’s what counts.