Fireplace Design Ideas

Are you trying to find some inspiring information about fireplace design ideas? There are some basic elements to any fireplace that are generally addressed in turn, in order to come up with a complete fireplace design. There are three main components to any fireplace design.

The three primary components to fireplace design include the hearth, the firebox and the type of opening that is employed between the firebox and the room in which the fireplace is located. The hearth is the area outside of the firebox, in general. The firebox is the area in which the fire itself will be burned.


Let’s first talk about hearths. A hearth may be flush with the floor, raised above the floor, or sunk down lower than the floor. Additionally, there may be no hearth to speak of at all. In these cases the firebox should be at least two inches above the floor, as the hearth is what helps protect the floor from the heat of the fire.

Another type of hearth may include hearth seats of various kinds. The most traditional and popular type of fireplace with hearth seats are the kinds that feature simply two blocks on either side of the firebox opening.


As with the hearth types, the different kinds of fireboxes generally have mainly to do with the height relative to the floor and / or hearth. There are raised fireboxes, flush fireboxes that are the same height as the floor, and there are dropped fireboxes that are somewhat lower than the hearth and / or floor in front of the fireplace.

Fireplace Openings

Of course the most widely utilized type of fireplace opening is the rectangular opening. Generally, a rectangular opening will be just that: rectangular in shape. However, even with rectangular openings, the sides typically flare outward from the firebox toward the face of the fireplace.

There are flat arch top openings where the sides are straight, yet the tope of the opening has a slight arch to the shape. As with the traditional rectangular opening, the sides typically flare outward from the firebox toward the face of the fireplace.

There are full arch fireplace openings where the opening contains no straight lines. These types of fireplace openings have one continuous curve all around the fireplace opening. This is the type of opening you are probably used to seeing in American Southwestern style fireplaces.

There are also corner fireplace openings that allow for there to be two open sides to the fireplace. As the name suggests, a corner opening fireplace is situated in such a way that an entire corner section of the firebox is exposed.

There are U-shaped fireplace openings where the firebox is exposed on three sides, the front, as well as the two side areas. These last two types of fireplace openings will generally produce better heat radiation. If you will be using your fireplace to heat your home, and not merely as decoration these are certainly worth looking into. For images of these various fireplace styles, take a look at

Jon Malech
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