Gas fires

Gas fires have evolved from the functional appliances of the 1960s and 70s into luxury purchases that add design, atmosphere and value to a huge number of family homes.

Early gas fires were basic in design, slotted into a standard chimney opening and produced a warm glow around a ceramic element at the front of the fire.

From the early 1970s onwards, manufacturers such as Flavel, Valor and Robinson Willey began to produce more decorative freestanding gas fires that echoed the ornamental appearance of traditional fireplaces and acted as a focal point in the living room.

As most homes were converted to gas central heating, the gas fire became less important as primary sources of heat, and used more as something nice to look at and gather around on cold winter evenings.

Living flame gas fires

From the mid-1980s onwards, gas fire manufacturers started to design fires that resembled traditional coal fires, with a simple insert arrangement that fitted the Class 1 chimney but with a natural flame and glow.

This format, together with stand-alone basket fires, remained in fashion until the mid-90s, when more contemporary versions of the standard insert were developed. This included gas fires with imitation logs and pebbles as well as coal. Gas fire inserts started to be raised up the wall and converted from portrait to landscape shapes, heralding the popular ‘hole-in-the-wall’ gas fire.
 

Balanced flue gas fires

The next major change came at the beginning of the 21st century, with the production of continental-style balanced flue gas fires.

A balanced flue gas fire requires no chimney for installation, as it has an integral flue that can be inserted through an outside facing wall. The assembly is normally housed inside a false chimneybreast, with only the fire aperture visible.

Th advantages of this system are plentiful: the fire is not restricted in size by the chimney opening; many variations in size, shape and configuration can be designed; because it is room-sealed, with a glass front, it is more comfortable and energy efficient; and the flame picture that is produced is very realistic.

Since 2000, manufacturers such as DRU, Faber and an increasing number of British companies have produced balanced flue gas fires across the whole spectrum of sizes, materials, price points and efficiency standards. It is these gas fires that have become the appliances of choice all around Europe and the UK.

The ultimate panoramic fire
Classic 2-sided gas fire
Luxurious and affordable gas fire

Good examples of balanced flue gas fires are the DRU Maestro and Metro series or the Global 60XT and Global 100 Triple

Conventional flue gas fires

A new generation of conventional flue gas fires has followed on from the growth in balanced flue gas fires.

Like their open-fronted predecessors, these gas fires are compatible with standard UK chimney sizes, but there the similarity ends. They are all glass-fronted and much more energy efficient than older gas fires; there is greater variation in design, size and shape; they have more realistic fire beds and flame pictures; and they have substantial heat outputs, contributing more to home heating rather than being purely decorative.
 

Transform your worn-out chimney
Learn to love your chimney
Rustic stove with convenient gas

Good examples of conventional flue gas fires are the Global 55XT CF, the Global 90 CF and Global Beau gas stove.

Freestanding wood stoves

Traditional cast iron wood stoves have been around for decades, but until the early part of the 21st century, their popularity was mainly restricted to rural areas, often where mains gas was not available. They have also been perceived as a more sustainable form of heating than gas or electric fires.

Cast iron stoves are still in fashion, but they have largely been superseded by new steel fabricated models, which offer much greater flexibility in terms of design, price and location.

The most popular installation option for a freestanding wood stove is to hollow out the existing chimney opening to create an ‘inglenook’ chimney. The stove fits perfectly into this space, imitating a classic farmhouse look with a modern twist.

Versatile wood or multi-fuel stove
Versatile high capacity stove
Wood stove with a classic look

Good examples of this are the Dik Geurts Ivar and Aste stoves

Alternatively, the freestanding wood stove can be connected to an outside facing wall and stand alone in a living room, kitchen or any other living area. This arrangement offers greater flexibility in the size and design of the stove, resulting in many of the impressive tall cylindrical stoves that are now fashionable, with variations in window aperture, interior finish, external colour and design.

Freestanding modern wood stove.
Lofty, tubular wood stove
Tall, 2-tone wood stove

For good examples, see the Dik Geurts Folke or the Spartherm Selection series

Wood fire inserts

It is relatively recently that it has been possible to install glass-fronted wood fires into modern homes. This has followed the trend for balanced flue gas fires, with consumers that are looking for a more organic form of heating, whilst retaining the appearance of a contemporary fireplace.

As with gas fires, wood fire inserts can be installed into standard chimneys or false chimneybreasts. This flexibility has seen the development of wood fires with larger apertures, 3-dimensional formats and even see-through ‘tunnel models that can be inserted into room dividing walls. Providing the flue can be routed through an outside wall or through the roof, the possibilities are almost infinite.

1 metre wide wood fire insert
Superior, widescreen wood stove
Deep, 3-sided wood fire.

For good examples, see the Dik Geurts Instyle 1000 and the Spartherm Premium Edition.

Recent developments

To keep you informed on compliance and regulations that influence choices, innovations that help you move forward and inspiring projects DRU started a blog geared towards architects that will be updated regularly,

DRU contemporary fires are on live display in fireplace showrooms all around the UK. By completing our contact form, you will be put in touch with your nearest DRU approved dealer.

Alternatively, if you require help in specifying fires for a new development, you can contact our technical support team on 0161 793 8700 or email us today.
Hide popup
Compare