One hundred ago the fireplace was a standard feature in most homes. It not only heated the interior, it also was used for cooking, boiling water, and other house hold functions.
Today a fireplace is an extra that is treasured for its charm more than its function. Although the modern hearth can be a heat source, its real value comes from the warm atmosphere it creates.
Architects and interior designers have had a love affair with the fireplace for decades. There are countless styles which range from small cozy heaths inspired by 17th century designs to sleek modern structures that incorporate cabinets and shelves. Stone masons are experts in building and reconstructing these interior fire pits in almost any home. Always seek out experts that fully understand the structural elements so it will be safe and beautiful.
An interior fireplace is made of up of several parts. It’s important to maintain and be aware for the interior elements of your fireplace as well as the decorative exterior. Let’s take a look starting at the bottom and move to the top.
Foundation – also called a footing is built under the fireplace floor and is separate from the building’s foundation. Ash pit/Ash box – This optional feature is a hollow space under the fireplace floor where ashes can be swept into and later emptied.
Inner Hearth – This is the fireplace floor where the fire burns. (The term hearth can refer to the fireplace floor as well as the fireplace interior. Outer Hearth – Now the terms can get confusing. The outer heath refers to the floor in front of the firebox.
Firebox- (sometimes referred to as the hearth) This is the surfaces and openings around the fire. Fireplace facade – This is the decorative front that dresses up the fire box. Facades can be simple or ornate. Mantle – Although technically this is the top or shelf of the fireplace facade, it is more commonly thought of as the place for trophies, knick-knacks and Christmas stockings.