Cast iron fireplaces bring a lot of character to a home, not to mention warmth. Unlike electric or gas fireplaces, which provide a contemporary look, cast iron hearths radiate tradition, character, antiquity and cosiness.
If you have decided that a fire place made out of cast iron will be suitable in your home and is a feature you are keen to install, then you may be wondering how you fit the fireplace efficiently, effectively and, most importantly, correctly.
The flue is the name to describe the vertical pipe that that draws the smoke up and out of the fire and into the open night air through the chimney. In order for no smoke or other nasty fumes to seep into the house, it is vital that you check the flue prior to fitting your fireplace to ensure that it doesn’t leak.
You can check the flue for leakages by carrying out a simple smoke test. This test involves burning a smoke pellet in the fire opening. The smoke should draw and emerge only from the chimney. If you detect smoke anywhere in the house, you should have the flue checked out by an expert.
As a general rule of thumb, houses built prior to World War 1, are more likely to have a flue that leaks. If your house was built before WW1, it would therefore be sensible to get your flue looked over by a professional fire fitter before you install your fire.
It is also widely believed that coal and wood fires tend to be more damaging to flues than gas fires. Because many houses built after World War II had gas fires installed, the flues of houses built in this era, tend to have less damage than earlier houses.
A fireproof hearth
It is essential that you have a fireproof area in front on your fireplace as sparks will be likely to emerge from an open fire and would be potentially dangerous if they land anywhere that isn’t fire proof.
A cast iron hearth would look great with a fireplace of the same material and would provide a safe, fireproof place for sparks to land and burn away. Cast iron hearths come in a variety of styles, the most common being a polished granite hearth and a slabbed tiled hearth. Both options would be a superb addition to augmenting the character and charm of a fireplace.
Guest blogger Sally Burton wrote this article on behalf of www.castfireplaces.co.uk.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/6050055729/