Common Terminology Every Fireplace Owner Should Know

Fireplace Tools

When it comes to installing a new fireplace you’re often inundated with unfamiliar terminology, which can make communication between you and your fireplace supplier at times difficult. For this reason I have started to compile a list below of common terminology used when installing a new fireplace, which I will continue to add too in the future.

Hearth –

The floor of the fireplace where the fire is built. It can also include or refer to the portion of that floor that extends into the room.

Surround –

is the material that surrounds the fireplace to enhance its beauty and safety, usually made of polished granite, marble, slate, tile, stone, non-heat conductive metals and specially treated wood.

Mantel –

an ornamental facing surrounding the fireplace or simply a shelf above a fireplace.

Fireplace Insert –

this is an appliance (wood, gas, or pellet) designed to fit or insert into your existing fireplace to make it more efficient.

Flue –

a duct, pipe, or chimney for discharging combustion waste from a fireplace to the outside of the building/home.

Grate –

a frame of metal bars for holding fuel (such as wood logs) when burning in a fireplace.

Direct Vent –

a type of firebox with a venting system that pulls in outside air to fuel the fire and then uses the flue to efficiently vent combustibles out and away from the room. This type of firebox can vent from the back of the firebox, through an exterior wall, thus eliminating the need for a standard chimney system.

Heat exchanger –

a device within the fireplace or stove that exchanges cold air in the room with heat generated from the firebox.

Ashpan –

a receptacle fitted beneath the grate in which ashes collect and are removed.

Airwash System –

Waste products from combustion will condense onto any cold surface inside a stove. This can leave a blackened/dark deposit on the window of the stove that blocks the view of the fire.
A stove with an airwash system has air vents that direct a flow of air down across the glass which helps to stop waste products being deposited on the glass.