Recommendations for clean face gas fireplace

californiagirlFebruary 2, 2010

Please offer us your best recommendations on a clean face, louverless, decorative fireplace.

We are looking for a 36" or smaller gas fireplace (direct vent or b vent) for our new build master bedroom. Heating and efficiency are not a priority; a clean face and realistic look for the box, the logs, the flame and the face are. We would like to keep the box depth to 2' or less.

We received a materials and install bid on a Town & Country for a little over $6000, which we think is too high for what will be a decorative feature in a private room. So now we are looking for alternatives to the T&C and to that shop.

Looking forward to the recommendations!

Here is a link that might be useful: Town and Country 36

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Direct vent provides serious heat, and is the gold standard for safety and energy efficiency. The quality of their flames vary. We have a direct vent insert that we love, but the flame is not really dazzling.

If a terrific flame is the highest priority, I think you should look at the Eiklor gas logs. They are not direct vent, just regular vented gas logs. DONT, DONT, DONT GET VENTLESS. When we were shopping for our gas direct vent, we were most impressed by the realistic appearance of the Eiklor system. But they do use a lot of gas, probably twice as much as any other conventional vented gas logs system, and most of the heat goes up the chimney.

But, again, if appearance is the priority, and cost is an issue, perhaps you should consider an electric system. They are cheaper in materials and installation; they do not need to be vented. They do give off some heat, and I leave it to you to decide whether the appearance of the flame is acceptable.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 5:51PM
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I am also looking for a nice looking gas fireplace for a MB addition. I looked at the 36" T&C today with the chalet burner. It was about $4600 and install and vent pipe was $2500. For me, I am either getting this one or nothing. I feel that it looks the most natural, gives off heat and adds a lot of charm to a room. If I try to save $$, I know I won't be happy. Our friends have one in their BR and it looks really beautiful. So, hopefully it fits in the budget. That is my opinion..get what you love!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 4:31PM
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We looked at the Heat & Glo Escape 36. It is really nice, especially the way they made the bricks inside. It also gives up great heat and has a 75% steady state efficiency. We got quoted $3k including installation, which seems to be a great price. The only thing I don't like is that there is no option of using a blower. I am not sure if I need one, but it just feels stupid buying an expensive fireplace and then realizing that the other connected room (our kitchen) would really benefit from a blower...

Napoleon has the HD35, which is even cheaper and has a slightly higher efficiency. You can also add a blower if needed. Only problem: I haven't found a dealer yet that has it on display. I guess it is a more recent model and not very common yet.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 4:42PM
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Try the Lennox Crestline 36" or 42"

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 12:20AM
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I am still confused.

DH has dragged me to 5 shops in a week and we've seen and felt a lot of fireplaces. I have another thread where I am looking for explanations of the remote/thermostat choices, but we still don't have a fireplace picked.

From this forum, I understood that B vent fireplaces are less expensive and less likely to blast us with heat in a bedroom (yes, yes, they use room air and are less efficient, too -- got that). So we got some b-vent bids.

Macey, we now have a bids for the Lennox B-vent Crestlines and they are about $4900 total for the 42" and $4660 for the 36", compared to $3810 for the Lennox direct vent Elite 36". Why is the direct vent less expensive???

Please help us sort our bids out before our contractor kills us.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 4:05PM
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What city are you near?
The venting run (one story vs. two story) can vary on the final price. But these prices would be above full MSRP for the fireplace, pipe and glass door. Their not doing you any favors.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 10:59PM
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I'm in Madison, WI. Those bids include the labor for installation. From looking at price lists I've found online, I can tell we're getting charged MSRP or more on every bid we've gotten and they are from multiple shops. My husband is inclined to skip this and install later, if at all.

But it keeps snowing. The season for using a bedroom fireplace is very long around here, so I would really like one in the master.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 10:56AM
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What kind of price did you get on the Valor. It sure saves us on the electric and gas bills, as we don't have to run the forced air furnace being that we are in your "Old
Stomping Grounds" The Valor is more than adequate to heat the whole downstairs.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 6:52PM
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I'd have to pull the notes up on the Valor but we didn't get a formal bid on that one yet. The unit costs less than the Town and Country, I know, but it only comes in one size. It's a great looking fireplace and packs a lot of heat, but this is for a master suite and the total square footage is not that large. We are worried it is too hot. How successful are you in adjusting the amount of heat it puts out? We loved the adjustability.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 7:09PM
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Even with the remote, you can adjust the flame down to a flicker---it is the only one made that you can do that with. There is another manufacturer that uses 2 burners and you can turn one off via remote, but still doesn't vary continuously like the Valor. In the remote is the temp sensor You can set that by the bed, or wherever, and it will adjust the fire up/down to maintain the temp you want. At the lowest setting, the fire is little more than a flicker. We ordered the fan kit for it, and that too is adjustable (continuously variable) but not from the remote.
Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 8:42AM
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sounds like you are hooked on b-vent, but in case you reconsider. we also just visited 4 shops and now made up our mind to get the Mendota FullView 41. It has a big glass viewing area, really high efficiency and you can adjust the output between 12,000-40,0000. The last one probably sold us. It is a two burner system and you can turn off the back burner while still having a really nice flame appearance for looking at the fireplace during not-so-cold days. remote regulates BTU, accent lighting and blower. MSRP is about $4k.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 4:51PM
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