Choosing and installing a fireplace or stove

A fireplace and a stove or gas fire adds a warm and welcoming focal point to an interior, but where should you start? Paul Chesney, Managing Director of Chesneys, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of luxury fireplaces and stoves, offers advice…

A traditional style old fireplace mantel with a natural gas and faux log set creates a beautiful fireplace, reminiscent of an antique fireplace

What is the role of a chimney sweep?

To sweep the chimney clean of any blockages and to test the integrity for gas or real fire use.

Why would you need the chimney relined?

If the chimney is leaking in its existing state then it must be relined before use, as this can be extremely dangerous and leaking gas could prove fatal.

A wood stove in a contemporary style living space. Wood stoves are a great way to create a cosy living room.

When is it better to install a wood burning stove rather than a gas fire?

Wood-burning stoves are designed for clean burn and efficiency; gas fires are a great way to create the look of an open fire with the ease of gas. It is a matter of preference. If you choose to install a wood-burning stove, you must ensure that your stove is DEFRA exempt (as all Chesneys’ stoves are) and that you burn kiln-dried logs.

How do you choose a fire surround from the wide range available?

Observe the architecture of your property and the width of the chimney breast. This can help you to decide which style of fireplace would best suit your home. Chesneys also offer a bespoke service where customers can have a completely original fire surround in a special material and size unique to you. Consider the style of the working fire, the material of the fire surround, if firedogs are required, as well as practical factors such as the size of the fire chamber and working capacity of the chimney – information the chimney sweep can provide.

Chesneys have aDesign a Fireplace  online service. This will allow you to pick and choose different hearths, baskets, fireplaces, slips and more to help you select the perfect combination.

Chesney's Design a fireplace service helps customers to choose the type of fireplace and matching fireplace accessories such as log sets and gas fireplace inserts. A useful tool for choosing and previewing the perfect fireplace designs for your projects.

What do you need to consider when selecting a hearth?

You need to consider what fuel source you will be burning and how much mess will be made. Burning real logs can leave quite a lot of debris, so a slate hearth is best for wood-burning fireplaces.

What is a register grate and why choose one over a fire basket?

A register grate fills the opening in the surround and works well in a setting where there is a small opening and a small chimney – therefore a poor draw. A fire basket is a more contemporary look but does require a larger flue. Your personal preference is also important.

How do you determine the size of stove suitable for your interior?

The way to determine the size of stove for a room is by taking the volume of the room you wish to heat in cubic metres (W x L x H), then divide this number by 14. This will determine how many kW of heat you will need for the room and you can then drop down to the closest smaller stove size. It is best to install a smaller stove and use it more often. If you install a stove which emits too much heat for the size of the room, you will never want to use it!

Could you summarise the preparation required for installing a stove or fireplace?

There are many key issues to think about when considering the installation process for a new fireplace or stove. In the first instance, it is imperative to arrange for someone to check and sweep the chimney. If the chimney needs to be relined then a gas fire, an open fire or a stove is a possibility. The interior chamber of the existing fireplace should be opened back to the wall of the original building. The volume of the room must be considered alongside the output of a gas appliance; and additional ventilation may be required for smaller rooms with the insertion of an air brick on an external wall.

The customer service team at Chesneys are always available for help and advice on choosing and installing a real fireplace. You can email pictures and questions to or call the showroom on  +44 (0)20 7627 1410 to talk through what is required.

We hope this blog has provided a useful introduction to the types of fireplaces and stoves available and proves helpful when choosing the right fireplace for your project. For more interior design inspiration and insights, explore our blog archive.

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