If you’ve made your way to this website, you probably already understand that traditional American wood-burning fireplaces are extremely inefficient and often pull more heat out of the home than they put back in. Most traditional fireplace in the US are built into exterior walls, which makes the conversion of the actual fireplace structure into a masonry heater less than desirable. In this situation, we most often recommend placing a soapstone masonry heater in front of the existing fireplace opening, if tying into the existing flue and chimney is advantageous.
If you have a free-standing fireplace that is not against an exterior wall, we can often convert your fireplace structure into a thermal mass radiant heating system. The process of converting a traditional fireplace into a masonry heater can take many forms, depending on the size, type and design of your existing structure. Only fireplaces that are completely constructed of stone, masonry and other non-combustible materials, are able to be converted. If your fireplace is an insert, surrounded by a combustible wood frame structure, conversion is not possible and we would recommend removal and replacement.
For free-standing masonry structures, if the footprint of your structure is at least 30” x 48” and the exterior stone or brick is structurally separate from the interior core of the fireplace, we are often able to build a masonry heater from the inside out, without the mess and expense of complete demolition. You will also save on the materials and installation of the shell of your masonry heater system.
There are many additional variables that impact our ability to convert any given traditional fireplace. Please call, email or fill out our online quote form to start the conversation surrounding your project.