Fireplace in Luxury Bathroom

Hi David, I love the look and warm feeling of fireplaces, but I know there are different kinds. What is the difference?

Fireplaces certainly have an appeal in the home (especially on days like we’ve had recently) and are often part of a home remodel project. The warm glow and lazy flicker from a fireplace not only provides light and heat, but a dramatic and relaxing mood. With modern fireplaces, you can bring the dramatic effect of a fireplace to your bathroom, bedroom, or any other room in your home.

Megan is correct. There certainly are different types of fireplaces nowadays. The primary difference in the three main types of fireplaces is what they burn, or their fuel source.

Wood Burning

Modern traditional wood burning fireplaces will come in two varieties: radiant and circulating.

A radiant wood burning fireplace will have no visible louvers or vents, and add heat to the room by simply exchanging the energy of its heat through radiation to the objects around it.

A circulating wood burning fireplace will have a system using vents and a fan to circulate the hot air produced by the fire into the room.

Cured hardwoods are usually best for burning in the home, as they burn slower and hotter than softwoods.

Gas Burning

Fireplaces that burn gas are, in principle, the same as their wood burning counter part. However, being a gas appliance, these fireplaces vary both in efficiency and in heat output.

The main difference between various gas fireplaces is how they are vented. B-vent fireplaces are vented upward through the roof and typically can use a smaller diameter vent than a Direct Vent fireplace. Direct vent fireplaces use a larger vent, but can be vented horizontally through a wall and typically produce more heat than B-vent fireplaces.

Gas fireplaces can also be radiant or circulating.


An electric fireplace is essentially a space heater with some type of lighting effect to simulate the flicker of flames. Although they may not look as attractive or romantic as a wood burning or gas fireplace, electric units require no venting and can easily be placed practically anywhere.

Fireplaces are warm, inviting, and comforting and with modern fireplaces, you can easily add that feeling to any room in your home.