Best and Most Authentic Looking Fireplace?

EarneditDecember 13, 2005

Hi -

I am currently building a new addition to my house and need a premanufactured fireplace. I can either go with woodburning or gas, but my biggest requirement is that the fireplace looks authentic..

I have looked at the Heatilator Icon Series, but was not impressed. The "firebrick" looked cheap and very fake.

Like I said, this fireplace is for ambience, not heating. Certainly if there was a direct vent model that looks authentic, I would consider it. But at this point, it looks like my best bet is to go with a premanufactured woodburning fireplace.

So which one is the most authentic looking?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the Heatilator Brand is built to meet the needs of the production builder. The construction comes across as being light weight compared to others in it's class.

I am most familiar with the Lennox brand. Here's my take:

LA41- True masonry look with no exposed metal or grilles and has tradional and and herringbone brick options.
Estate 48 and Colonial 36 - Clean face design ( no grilles) large fireboxes with limited. Both have 29" tall glass door openings.

Direct Vent Gas:
Montebello 40 and 45. No grilles and four fiber brick options. Great looking but is rated at 60K BTU's. You'll get heat from it. The 45 has 34" tall glass opening. Very nice!

B-Vent Gas:
LBV43 and LBV38. Both have tradional or herringbone refractory, clean face (no grilles)and operable glass doors like the above mentioned wood burning units. Good for bedroom applications where the heat from a direct vent can be over powering.

In your case, if local codes allow you to install a wood burning unit and you don't want the "radiator look" that most EPA clean burning units give you then I'd go with one of the wood burners mentioned above. If you go that route, you can always add a gas log set to them. If you choose a direct vent or B-vent gas only unit then your stuck burning gas with no wood burning option.

Here is the lennox website. Once there, you can download the spec's and other important information.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 6:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Macey -

Thanks for taking the time to give me such valuable information.

I took a look at the Lennox website, and the options look good. Of course, I will have to go and check them out in person.

I do like the Montebello direct vent aesthetically. I also like the idea of producing heat with it. However, your point is well taken concerning the possibility of throwing off too much heat in a bedroom.

A question regarding this - in cases where I don't want as much heat, could I simply run it with the glass doors open?

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Montebello is a gas direct vent style. This means you CAN NOT remove the glass. If you post your city maybe you can be directed to a dealer in you area.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am in Jersey City, NJ (NYC Metro).

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 6:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We just remodeled and went with Heat & Glo's Escape. It has cantilevered firebrick that has a blackened look, with a light in the logs you can use alone, and what's really cool is after you have the fire on for 5-10 minutes, the logs glow red. It's a frameless style, so you don't see any metal around the front of it at all. Must be a diret-vent, it has a glass door on it that's permanent. Since we live in Florida, we just want it for looks...we do NOT want heat from it. I don't know the techie stuff...I just liked it for the style and looks. I'm sure their website can give you all the specs. I know it's also larger than most...we're tiling it right now and it's going to look great.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Read the previous post re Eiklor gas logs. The most realistic product on the market today. Will go in any vented fireplace you install. Love mine!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 9:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You might like this style, as well. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Excalibur Arched Top

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 5:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks all for the helpful replies.

My contractor has recommended to me a pre-built masonry fireplace from a company in Arizona. Supposedly, it is the next best thing to a masonry fireplace as far as authenticity goes. It can be used for either woodburning or gas logs.

I think this could be good. Combine this with the Eiklor logs could be a real winner.

I don't know the cost yet, but it is supposed to be way cheaper than an onsite built masonry fireplace.

Here is a link that might be useful: Prebuilt Masonry Fireplace

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 7:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What about Town & Country Fireplaces? Sits directly at floor level, really looks like a true hearth even though it's gas... Take a look. Anyone have any experience with them?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OK - I'm a total novice here -

But can someone please deescribe what would be 'authentic-looking' and what would not? I can see how an electric fire's flame is not generally authentic-looking, but wouldn't a gas flame's authenticity be more about the logs than the fireplace? Or am I missing something totally?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


When I started this thread, my question was about the fireplace itself, not the flame. I really want the fireplace to look as much like a masonry fireplace as possible. In general, I find that the pre-manufactured fireplaces (you know, the ones that are made out of sheet metal and have the fake brick panels) look horrible. So, I was asking if someone knew of a pre-ma ufactured fireplace that looked as close to a real mansonry fireplace as possible.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I installed a Heat & Glo Exclaim 42 Woodburning fireplace with traditonal brick masonry interior (versus herringbone). I thought it was as close a look that I could get to the real thing. Even though I put in a woodburning fireplace I did put in Eiklor 30" LP logs with the 5 burner setup. The woodburning boxes generally have gas knockouts on either side. From the sofa I have to say it looks pretty darn good.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 3:59PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Xtrordinair Fireplace
We were directed to a local shop selling this product....
Bodart & Gonay Optifire zero-clearance wood FP?
While browsing around shopping for a wood zero-clearance...
Help me decide on a fireplace unit for new build
We are doing a gas Heatilator unit. Is there much difference...
Fireplace Placement Please Help
We are trying to make a decision to center our fireplace...
Gas Fireplace question
We recently bought a second home, and it has a gas...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™