Frequently Asked Questions
What should I think about when selecting a new fireplace?
The fireplace will most likely be the centrepiece a room where you will spend many hours, or to which most visitors to your home will be invited. Your choice will say a lot about you.
Much care is needed in making that choice. That is why you should study the range available and talk to experts, not just slick salesmen.
What factors are important in making my choice?
You should think about matters such as the size of the fireplace in relation to that of the room, your preferred wall colours, harmonisation with the colours of carpets and soft furnishings, the nature and style of timber used in furniture and fixtures.
What are the basic choices open to me?
Simply described, these fall into the options of timber or non-timber surrounds, traditional or modern. Slane Fireplaces can source at competitive prices all types of surrounds, including the wide range of timber styles from Balrath Designs.
What sort of working life should I expect?
With careful use, a well-built and professionally installed fireplace should give many years’ service. Fireplaces traditionally were expected to last 50 years or more but modern trends suggest that a change might take place every 5-10 years.
What should I bear in mind when looking at different materials?
Timber fire surrounds tend to be more conservative in style, even modern designs in light-coloured woods. Timber, though, is a reliable material that will retain its charm and beauty, and will mature gracefully as it ages.
In comparison, other materials can look eye-catching and exciting when new but they may not age well. Some materials retain dirt that is hard to remove; others wear badly and may become unsightly.
Alternative materials to timber may wear well, but equally they may need replacement earlier than you would wish. By comparison, timber is dependable and very likely a cheaper investment in the long run.
Is it easy to fit a new fireplace?
Many fits are straightforward but problems can occur which is why it is essential to use experts.
We recommend that you talk to us before an order is confirmed. It might be necessary to measure the space available and to try to identify any possible sources of problems in advance of the fit.
Will the fitting of new fireplace be very disruptive?
The fitting of a new fireplace can be time consuming and dirty. Particularly in older properties and a lot of dust and rubble can result. You are advised to prepare the room in advance, and here are some hints:
- Fireplaces can be bulky and hearths heavy; our fitters need room in which to work
- Remove all breakable items from the room e.g. paintings, ornaments, vases, china
- Cover any furniture that cannot be removed from the room, especially fabric furniture
- The carpet should be rolled back, or at the very least covered with protective material
- The same protective treatment may be necessary for porches and hallways.
Pets and children find the fitting of a new fireplace interesting but it is better for all concerned if they are kept out of harm’s way!
Why should I employ fitters from Barry’s Fireplaces?
We are proud of our products and we try to ensure that the quality of our workmanship is matched by the professionalism with which our fireplaces are installed.
Experience has shown that it is best for the craftsmen who have built your fireplace to install it also. Their accumulated skills makes them additionally well qualified to install fireplaces made with other than timber material.
When is it best to have my new fireplace fitted?
We have normally found that evening fits are most convenient for our customers. Nevertheless, we will schedule a fit at the time best suited to you.
Will my fireplace require special care?
All natural products are prone to shrinking, warping, and staining; it is important that your fireplace be introduced to its working environment as gently as possible, and that it is used with care.
The following precautions will ensure that your fireplace remains an efficient and beautiful addition to your home:
- No solid fuel fire should be lit for at least seven days after fitting and for the next month it is advisable to have only small fires – this will allow the fitted materials to “settle in”
- Remember that any substance spilled on your fireplace can leave lasting damage if not cleaned off immediately – e.g. red wine on white marble, a hot cup on a timber surface, or hot cinders on a man made or natural hearth can spoil the fireplace forever.
Can smokeless fuels cause problems?
Yes. There is unfortunately no quality control on the substances that might be used with this type of fuel. Fire backs in particular can suffer badly from smokeless fuels, with severe cracking not uncommon.
For this reason, we regret that cannot guarantee any of our products against damage that might result from using modern smokeless fuels.
Are there any other factors to be considered?
Yes. You may need the services of a builder or qualified gas fitter to prepare or complete the location for the fireplace.
We regret that cannot undertake any plastering work that might be necessary following the fit.
Are there any building limitations or regulations to be considered?
Not normally. However, if a solid fuel fireplace is to be installed where there is an existing timber floor or in an upstairs room, to meet fire safety and insurance regulations, it might be necessary to engage a builder to install a concrete platform to support the hearth and fireplace.