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The mantel and surrounding wall are integral to your fireplace design. Make a statement with a stone surround or exposed-brick chimney. Consider the style of your home when choosing materials. Cut stone or brick complements a formal space, while river rock or stacked stone is good for a more relaxed room.
Wood-burning fireplaces aren't very energy efficient. Get the most out of your existing fireplace by installing an insert. You can keep the original structure and vent through the chimney. Inserts can burn wood, gas, or wood pellets, and they have an insulated glass door that prevents hot air from escaping up the chimney.
Let a crackling fire warm a chilly basement. A prefabricated gas fireplace is the most efficient option and doesn't need a chimney. A direct-vent unit can easily be installed on an exterior wall with a short section of pipe to release exhaust fumes and get fresh air. Hire a professional to connect it to a gas line and an electrical circuit.
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