The Difference Between a Fireplace and Fireplace Insert


Whether you’re building from scratch or remodeling an existing space, adding a fire can be a daunting challenge. Many people only know that they want their fire space to be the focal point, they want it to fit in with the space’s style, and they want it to be warm and comforting. Making this dream a reality comes with a lot of questions, but one of the first to ask yourself is: what type of fireplace do I need?

When questioning the difference between if you need a fireplace or a fireplace insert, we’ve gathered a few quick tips to help you make your decision.

Why Choose a Fireplace

Fireplaces (a.k.a. zero clearance fireplaces) are typically installed during the construction of a new home or as part of a remodel project. As opposed to an insert, the housing (or firebox) of a fireplace is composed of an inner and outer metal shell. The term “zero clearance” refers to the fact that the framing (studs and subfloor) can come directly in contact with the firebox; no clearance is required, allowing lots of installation flexibility.*

Add a new fireplace when you are…

  • Building a new construction
  • Remodeling a space that’s never had a fireplace
  • Removing/Replacing an existing fireplace
Fireplace Insert

Why Choose a Fireplace Insert

Fireplace inserts are designed to transform virtually any masonry or zero clearance (metal) fireplace into an efficient source of heat. Traditional, open fireplaces can have efficiency ratings as low as 15%, and depending on the condition, can actually draw the heat out of your home for a net heat loss.**

Add a fireplace insert when you are…

  • Filling in an existing, open metal or masonry fireplace to improve efficiency
  • Replacing open gas burning logs and/or glass faces
  • Removing/Replacing an existing fireplace insert
  • Convert your existing masonry or zero clearance fireplace into a clean-burning source of heat with a wood, gas, or pellet-burning fireplace insert

Still got questions regarding whether your home needs a fireplace or a fireplace insert?

Get in touch with us! We’ve worked with hundreds of families, so we can help you find the solution that best fits your home and lifestyle.


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