Hearth & Home: Wood vs. Gas


A cold front is headed our way this weekend. That means many of you will be hunkered down at home enjoying the comfort of your fireplaces while watching the football playoffs or reading the morning paper. Some will cozy up next to a crackling wood fireplace, while others will relax by a quiet and beautiful gas fireside. Both have their place in today’s homes depending on the amount of time you want to tend to – and enjoy – the fire.

Trends come and go, but the once utilitarian wood-burning fireplace will always conjure the imagery of hearth and home. The process of building and lighting a fire from scratch is satisfying. Listening to the crackling logs and the scent of burning wood while you tend to the blaze feels primal. Watching the wood burn down to embers is soothing and romantic. And the design options are vast. Whether your taste runs more towards classic exposed brick, or you prefer the polished look of marble, your wood fireplace delivers an overall experience.

But, a wood-burning fireplace is also a time commitment. You have to work to keep it going and be prepared for the ashes and clean up. Maybe you don’t want to work today. Maybe you’d prefer to avoid the cleanup.

Which brings us to the non-wood burning options that many of our clients enjoy. Depending on the homeowner’s aesthetic and structural layout, we may recommend a gas fireplace designed with organic stonework and a wood beam mantle. Or, we may suggest a sleek, slate design. There are also wonderful ventless gas fireplaces available which require no outside venting at all – a great option for city apartments. A gas fireplace can be the ideal addition for a home office, or guest room, for example, as it requires a short “fire-time commitment,” is low maintenance, and highly functional. After all, there are times when the ease of an on/off switch just makes sense.

Both wood and gas fireplaces serve an essential roll in our clients’ homes. While the cozy ambiance of a wood-burning fireplace will always be in fashion, the clean-burning, no-chimney needed gas fireplace is an option with important benefits as well – especially in a restricted space. And both options provide timeless style and functionality to today’s most classic homes.

Stay warm this weekend!