Metal fireplaces have always been a worthy alternative to brick structures. There is an opinion that they have a modest appearance and will not be able to organically fit into the room. But it is worth remembering the Demidov fireplace and other cast iron masterpieces made by Kasli craftsmen, and all doubts about this will disappear. Modern metal fireplaces are not as rich in decoration as their predecessors, but they will no less successfully complement the interior of a country house or apartment.
Among the main advantages of metal fireplaces are the following:
- compactness. Compared to a solid brick fireplace, metal ones take up much less space in the room. They are lightweight, so they do not require foundation preparation, except for leveling the surface;
- ease of maintenance… Metal fireplaces are easy to clean and wash. Their small dimensions allow access to the smoke collector and the firebox to remove ash and soot from there. Also, the outer surface of the fireplace does not require careful maintenance. You can wipe it with a dry cloth, and if necessary, sometimes polish it with toothpaste or materials from specialized stores;
- high heat transfer. In order for such a fireplace to heat the room, a small amount of fuel is needed. The metal walls of the fireplace body easily transfer heat to the environment. But it should be remembered that for the same reason the fireplace cools down quickly.
When operating a metal fireplace, be careful when you are near it. The walls of the fireplace body are heated to high temperatures and can cause burns if they come into contact with it. It is also recommended to protect the wall behind the fireplace with a heat-resistant sheet.
Metal fireplaces differ in the material used in their manufacture and are:
Cast iron fireplaces look impressive and rich. They are able to retain heat for a long time even after they run out of fuel. Their manufacture is a long and painstaking work, because such fireplaces are assembled from individual parts obtained by casting. But getting an exclusive product in this case is guaranteed;
Their weight is lighter than that of cast iron, which means that there are more possibilities for installation in apartments and small rooms. They are made mainly of sheet metal, which allows you to give the body a different shape: classic rectangular, round in the form of a barrel, or something of a modern design;
Non-ferrous metal fireplaces are more expensive than cast iron or steel. But they allow you to bring warm copper shades into the interior. A bronze fireplace is less prone to corrosion and rust. And the plasticity of the material allows you to make parts of any complexity and filigree from it, which allows you to make a fireplace a real work of art.
By purpose, metal fireplaces are divided into the following groups:
heating devices. This is the most common group of fireplaces that perform only the main function - heating the room
fireplace stoves. The top surface of such ovens is a hob. Thus, you can even heat food on small fireplaces or, for example, boil a kettle
brazier. It turns out that this is also one of the varieties of metal fireplaces. The main function in such open-top structures is to cook food on coals or wood with low combustion
decorative fireplaces.They do not give much heat, but in metal decorative fireplaces you can watch the play of live fire. There are very compact models of decorative fireplaces, suitable for installation in the smallest niches
Depending on the location in the room, fireplaces are:
wall-mounted. The fireplace can be located along any wall of the room. This arrangement is beneficial in that the chimney can be brought out into the street through the wall, and this will have an aesthetic appearance. It is not recommended to install them under a window or opposite doors - drafts can make the fireplace work unsafe, especially with an open fireplace insert. Also, when installing a wall-mounted fireplace, you should take into account that the walls behind it will become dirty due to soot and dust released during combustion. The problem is partially solved by the installation of heat-resistant screens, from which dirt and dust can be easily removed
corner. The most common installation option lately. It is good at saving space and creating a special atmosphere in the room. Corner fireplaces are usually compact, and also make it easier to get into the work units when cleaning them
suspended. In small houses, to save floor space, fireplaces can be installed not on the floor, but suspended on special durable structures. Hanging fireplaces are usually lightweight, look futuristic and do not require additional enclosures such as wall fireplaces
central. Such an arrangement for metal fireplaces, although possible, is highly undesirable. The smoke collector will need to be raised to the full height of the room and taken out into the street through the roof, and the location of the firebox in the center of the room will create a danger of fires or burns
Device and design
Structurally, a metal fireplace is a firebox that fits into a body of any shape - rectangular, cylindrical and sometimes even triangular. The power of the fireplace depends on the size of the firebox - the larger the fireplace, the more area it can heat. The body with the firebox is installed on legs that fix it stably on the surface.
The firebox is divided into two chambers by a damper. In one, fuel combustion occurs, in the other - the accumulation of gases. There is a grid in the lower part of the firebox - this is done so that the ash after burning wood falls through the grate into the ash pan.
The second important part of the metal fireplace stove is the chimney. Through it, the resulting smoke leaves the furnace space. Sometimes, to imitate a chimney tooth, preventing smoke from getting back into the room, the chimney is made somewhat curved using metal elbows. The chimney must go outside through the roof at least 50 cm, and must be protected from snow or rain.
What fuel to use
The main fuel for metal fireplaces is wood. Deciduous wood (birch and ash) will quickly warm up the fireplace and the room where it is installed. And coniferous firewood (spruce or pine) will fill the room with the specific aroma of coniferous resin. However, it is often not recommended to heat the fireplace with coniferous wood, since the emitted resins quickly pollute the chimney and the grate of the fireplace.
Sometimes peat pellets can be used in wood-burning fireplaces. But coal cannot be used as fuel. In addition to the increased pollution of the room, it very much heats up the working elements of the fireplace, which can lead to their deformation and damage to the fireplace.
In some cases, by modifying the design of the fireplace, natural gas can be used as a fuel source. But it must be remembered that the installation of gas equipment is possible only subject to the preliminary approval of the project with the gas services.
If you wish, you can make a metal fireplace yourself according to drawings you have drawn yourself or selected on the network.Its production will not take long. For a homemade fireplace, you will need a little skill in welding, construction and installation work, as well as the following materials:
- for the base of the fireplace and protection of the walls - sheets of heat-resistant coating, as well as heat-resistant tiles or steel sheets 5 mm thick;
- for the fireplace body - steel frame corners and sheet steel;
- for the chimney - pipes, if necessary - metal bends to them, as well as heat-insulating material;
- to complete the work and design - a grate, a glass door of the firebox, as well as fasteners.
An approximate step-by-step installation guide will look like this:
Before installing the fireplace, it is necessary to prepare the surface of the floor and walls in the place where it will be installed. As a rule, thermal insulation is made with mineral wool and a metal sheet of heat-resistant steel is laid. To make the space around the fireplace more aesthetically pleasing, you can lay it out with tiles or bricks.
The firebox of the stove is made on the basis of a frame welded from metal corners and installed on legs. The walls of the stove must be made double for more efficient afterburning of fuel and longer heat retention in it. In the front wall of the stove, it is necessary to make a hole for loading fuel there, and at the bottom, install a grate and an ash pan.
After creating the stove body, it is necessary to build an exhaust hood with a smoke collector. Depending on the location of the fireplace, the chimney will either directly exit through the roof to the street, or it will be stepped. In the second case, it is necessary to use transitional elbows, which bent the chimney and allow it to be “hidden” in the wall. All joints must be coated with heat-resistant mastic and laid with mineral wool.
After completing the installation of the main parts, you can proceed to the framing of the fireplace - tiling it with tiles, bricks, attaching the firebox door, arranging a firewood log next to the fireplace. After that, you can enjoy the result of the work done and the view of a living warm fire in the house.
Helpful hint: if you want to have a beautiful and fashionable stove in your house, sketch a layout on paper before starting work, focusing on the diagrams of modern fireplaces. Then "try" it on your space. Perhaps, at the initial stage, an idea that seemed brilliant will be swept aside simply because it does not fit into the interior of the house.
Review of popular manufacturers
One of the Russian manufacturers of metal fireplaces - MetaFire and their line fireplaces Angara. It produces ready-made metal fireplaces from sheet steel, designed for heating rooms of 100-120 sq.m. The models are made according to European technologies and can accommodate a water circuit or cooking system. Consumers note the affordable cost of the line, the ability to manually adjust the heating and ease of use. Among the disadvantages is the rapid formation of soot on the firebox door.
Metal fireplaces Thermophore have a functional rather than aesthetic function. The company has been on the market for many years and produces several modifications of wood-burning stoves at an affordable price. Also in their line you can find barbecues and a cooking stove. Reviews of some consumers speak of a quick loss of the appearance of the oven. But a guarantee is provided on the furnace, according to which the manufacturer honestly replaces the failed components.
Pleiad of European manufacturers Traforart, Boley, Cheminees Philippe and Fugar combine the quality and beauty of products. The fireplaces of these companies are finished with classic and modern materials, and fit perfectly into any room style. Their main drawback is their cost, which is significantly higher than their Russian counterparts.
Interesting interior design solutions from a designer
Metal fireplaces look especially good in industrial style apartments as well as in rustic interiors.