The two primary choices for wood burning stoves include freestanding and built-in. Both of these fireplaces offer a number of advantages, from cost-effective heating all the way to visual appeal. Deciding on which option is right for your home comes down to a number of factors. Some prefer the look of an integrated fireplace that is mounted to a wall, while others appreciate the style of freestanding fireplaces that can be set up almost anywhere. Your final choice does not, therefore, depend on one type being ‘better’ than the other, but rather, which type is more suited to your own specific needs.
To help you determine which type is right for your home, we have put together a simple comparison on the two types of wood burning stoves you will come across.
Built-In Wood Burning Stoves
First up, we have the built-in stove. As the name implies, this fireplace is built into the wall of your home. It requires some help with installation, as the insert needs to be integrated within your walls according to specific guidelines. You will need to take installation and renovation costs into consideration when choosing this time of fireplace, over and beyond the cost of the fireplace. Some advantages of this type include the following:
- Modern design. Some of the new generation of integrated fireplaces are incredible in their design and shape. Unlike the old-fashioned fireplaces of yesterday, modern fireplaces are available in a range of styles and materials. A large, beautifully designed wall fireplace can transform any room. They work well on patios as well as in living areas, bedrooms and other rooms.
- Space saver. Because the insert is built into the wall, this type of fireplace can save space in smaller areas. The fireplace is out of the way and positioned against the wall rather than sitting in the middle of the room. This type of fireplace works with the space you already have, making it ideal for smaller rooms or for those who prefer a minimal interior.
Freestanding Wood Burning Stoves
The other type of wood stove is freestanding. These stoves can be installed in a few hours, as they do not require any renovation beyond flue pipes running through your ceiling and roof cavity. As they sit away from walls, they can take up more space than a wall-mounted fireplace. The look of these stoves can be modern or more old-fashioned, making them versatile for a wide variety of interiors. Some advantages to consider for this fireplace type include the following:
- Easy installation. You won’t have to pay extra for renovations, and the fireplace can be installed quickly and simply. The flue pipe will need to be run through your ceiling and roof in order for the fireplace to be functional, but this seldom takes more than half a day when installed by an expert. This means that you can enjoy your fireplace on the same day it is installed.
- Heat transfer. Another advantage is the ability of freestanding stoves to transfer heat effectively. It is essential to make sure that your fireplace is installed correctly by an approved installer however to ensure that heat can be transferred properly. You may also want to consider insulation in areas that do not trap heat. As the fireplace is not mounted to a wall, heat is spread from all sides of the fireplace as well as the top. In a colder room or area that does not have a chimney, a freestanding model is often effective.
So which one is right then? The answer comes down to your own choice. Another way to make the decision is to consider the current structures in your home. If there is already a chimney and an old fireplace or a wall that can be used for a fireplace, it can make sense to go with a built-in style. If you have a large open room that requires evenly distributed heat, or you do not have any chimney or structures within the ceiling, then a free-standing model would work. It can be very useful to make a list of criteria that you require to help you in making a decision. Of course, working out the costs involved is also a good idea.