Close up of a fireplace with wood pieces

What is a Zero Clearance Fireplace?

The process of picking out a new fireplace, or upgrading your current one, can be overwhelming. There are so many choices of materials, styles and sizes, where should you begin? A good place to start is by learning the definition of a zero clearance fireplace.

Zero clearance fireplaces come in all shapes and sizes. Zero clearance means the fireplace has its own insulation and it needs zero inches of clearance (distance) from combustible materials in the home. Basically a zero clearance fireplace is a self-contained firebox that is designed to be installed almost anywhere in your home. It doesn’t require the use of tile or stone surround the fireplace and you can even run sheetrock right up to the edge of the firebox.

There are a couple of different styles of zero clearance fireplaces. The traditional style resembles older masonry style fireplaces. Traditional style fireplaces can use wood or gas logs or inserts to heat a room. Blower fans can help to circulate warm air throughout the home. Newer models are designed more as efficient room heaters. Generally using only wood fuel, these fireplaces usually have heavy cast iron doors to minimize the loss of warm air up the chimney.

Zero clearance fireplaces do require a chimney for venting, but installation may be easier than you think. Usually, a few sections of stainless steel chimney pipe are run out of the top of the fireplace and up through the roof. The chimney pipe can be integrated in to the siding of you home, concealed with a masonry chimney chase, or just left as is.

A zero clearance fireplace can be installed almost anywhere in your home that needs some extra warmth or the ambience of a glowing fire. But they’re not for everyone. Stop by one of our showrooms to see if a zero clearance fireplace is right for your home.