Guide to Cast Iron Combination Fireplaces
Do you want to create a fireplace that harkens back to the Victorian or Edwardian eras? Then you can’t really do better than installing a cast iron combination fireplace. These fireplaces are not only stylish, but they’re highly practical too. If you’re interested in buying one for your home, then keep reading and the Direct Fireplaces team will tell you everything you need to know about cast iron combination fireplaces…
What is a cast iron combination fireplace?
A cast iron combination fireplace is a fireplace which incorporates the main fireplace and mantel into a single, solid piece of cast iron (also known as a casting).
Whereas some cast iron fireplaces feature separate mantels, inserts and other parts, a cast iron combination fireplace offers everything in a single, convenient package.
Many combination fireplaces are on the smaller, compact side. This dates back to the Victorian era when combination fireplaces would be used in bedrooms, and as such, didn’t need to be as big as the main fireplace in the living room.
In fact, cast iron combination fireplaces were used in bedrooms to the extent that they became known as bedroom fireplaces - a name by which they are still referred to today.
Note - whilst cast iron combination fireplaces are single units, they don’t come with a hearth. So, when you’re buying one of these fireplaces, be sure to select a hearth to go with it.
What are the benefits of cast iron combination fireplaces?
You may be wondering what type of cast iron fireplace is right for you. Should you buy a combination fireplace, or should you go down the route of buying a cast iron insert and mantle separately?
Well, there are many good reasons to go for the combination fireplace option. Here’s why…
Ease of installation
Because cast iron combination fireplaces are made out of a single piece of cast iron, they are simple to install!
There’s no fiddly connections, trying to get the mantle and insert to align etc. You just need to place the combination on the hearth and affix it to the wall using the fixing lugs that are normally attached to the fireplace.
Ideal for smaller spaces
Because combination fireplaces tend to be narrower than other types of fireplace, they are ideal for use in small, confined spaces.
So, whether you need to install one in the bedroom of a period property, or just happen to have a very small and narrow chimney in your living room, a cast iron combination fireplace often makes the perfect option.
Because of the way combination fireplaces are ‘cast’, they are able to incorporate extensive, intricate, and often very beautiful designs.
It’s for this reason that cast iron fireplaces have become so popular in new and old homes alike. They really do add an attractive focal point to any room in which they are placed.
What’s more, many brands, such as The Gallery Collection, are now experimenting with contemporary, modern designs which you wouldn’t normally associate with cast iron fireplaces.
Contemporary or traditional; whichever style you prefer, there’s almost certainly a cast iron combination fireplace that’ll suit.
It’s possible to buy combination fireplaces that are compatible with solid fuel, gas and even electric fires.
So, if you have a preferred heat source, then you’re bound to find a combination fireplace that can accommodate it.
Because these fireplaces are made from cast iron, you can be sure that they’ll last for a considerably long time.
In fact, you’ll regularly find cast iron fires from the Victorian period still in regular use today!
Cast iron combination fireplaces are also highly collectable and, as such, tend to have a decent resale value.
Should you decide, for whatever reason, to sell your cast iron combination fireplace after a couple of years, it’s likely that you’ll find plenty of eager buyers on the second hand market.
What brands make cast iron combination fireplaces?
There are a number of brands that manufacture cast iron combination fireplaces. Here at Direct Fireplaces we stock three of the best; Carron, Cast Tec, and The Gallery Collection.
You’ll find out more about each of these brands below.
Located in the heart of Lincolnshire, Carron has a long history of crafting some of the finest, most-ornate combination fireplaces available.
Using British craftspeople, Carron is dedicated to producing the highest quality cast iron fireplaces.
With a history stretching back to the early 1980s, Cast Tec has established itself as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of cast iron combination fireplaces.
The company has a dedicated workshop where all welding, grinding, polishing and power filing is carried out in-house.
The Gallery Collection
The Gallery Collection from Percy Doughty includes an extensive range of traditionally-crafted cast iron combination fireplaces.
The Percy Doughty group of companies have been manufacturing traditional fireplaces for over 60 years, and this experience certainly shines through in their combination fires.
They’re a company which also isn’t afraid to experiment and they’ve released a number of cast iron combination fireplaces featuring striking, contemporary designs.
How much do cast iron combination fireplaces cost?
If you’ve got your heart set on a cast iron combination fireplace (and we don’t blame you if you do!), then how much will you need to budget?
Well, at the time of writing (April 2022), you’ll find cast iron combination fireplaces on sale here at Direct Fireplaces ranging from just under £490 up to just under £1,000.
Our range of fireplaces is always changing however, so it’s worth checking this page regularly if you’re looking for a cast iron fire at a particular price point.
What finishes are cast iron combination fireplaces available in?
The beauty of cast iron is that it’s a material which can be finished in a number of different ways, the most common of which are:
- Fully polished.
You can leave a cast iron fireplace in its immediate ‘post-cast’ state, which is essentially a deep, matt black. Or you can choose to polish it to varying degrees.
Some cast iron combination fireplaces are available in a ‘highlighted’ finish, where only the detailing is polished, allowing it to really stand out against a deep black background.
Other cast iron combination fireplaces are available in a full-polished finish, which provides an incredibly brilliant, shiny effect.
How to fit a cast iron combination fireplace
As we mentioned earlier, installing a cast iron combination fireplace really is a simple job.
Below is a very quick overview of the typical installation process:
- Remove the old fireplace (and if you’re going to be replacing the hearth, that too).
- Install the new hearth in place.
- Place the combination fireplace on top of the hearth.
- Fix the fireplace to the wall using the attached fixing brackets.
- And, that’s it!
That’s obviously a simplified explanation, but it does give you an overview of how simple installing a cast iron combination fireplace can be.
What are the best cast iron combination fireplaces?
Is a combination cast iron fireplace right for you? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you’ll want to see what your options are.
To help you select the perfect cast iron combination fireplace for your home, we’ve detailed some of our most popular models below.
Gallery Nottage Cast Iron Combination Fireplace
Redolent of the cast iron fireplaces that could be found in homes across Victorian England, the Nottage from The Gallery Collection is a beautifully detailed, yet not overly intricate, fireplace.
The Nottage comes with a choice of fire options including solid fuel or gas. If you prefer, this fireplace can also be used for purely decorative purposes.
It’s also available with a choice of hearths and finishes (black, highlighted), so it’s easy to get a cast iron combination fireplace, at a brilliant price, that’s perfect for your home!
Gallery Collection Barcelona Cast Iron Combination Fireplace
Standing apart from the majority of cast iron combination fireplaces thanks to its unusually sleek and modern design, the Barcelona is the perfect fireplace for the style-conscious homeowner.
If you want a cast iron fireplace, but don’t want to settle for the Victorian aesthetic, then the Barcelona is the fireplace for you.
Available in a stunningly brilliant polished finish, this fireplace really will take centre stage in whichever room it is placed. And, thanks to its plain inlaid fascia, it has a modern look.
It’s available with a choice of heating options including solid fuel, gas or electric fire. So, it’s highly flexible too!
Carron Jasmine Polished Cast Iron Combination Fireplace
If you want a fireplace that encapsulates the Art Nouveau movement of the late-Victorian era, then the Jasmine from Carron is the perfect option.
With its arch framed by a delicate orchid design, the Jasmine is ideal for smaller living rooms or bedrooms.
Handmade by craftspeople in Lincolnshire, the Jasmine has a truly beautiful fully polished finish, which makes it really stand out as a focal point in whichever room it is placed.
The Jasmine may feature century-old styling, but it’s more than capable of acting as either a solid fuel or gas fire. So, you can have traditional styling with the convenience and comforts of a modern gas fire.
Carron Victorian Large Cast Iron Combination Fireplace
Whilst many combination fireplaces are on the smaller side - thanks to their legacy of being ‘bedroom fires’ - brands like Carron have recognised that many people also want the choice of larger combination fires.
Enter the Carron Victorian large cast iron combination fireplace.
Featuring beautifully detailed and ornate artwork and a sunken archway, complete with a small but striking canopy, the Victorian from Carron is a quintessential period fireplace.
It’s exactly the kind of fireplace you would expect Sherlock Holmes or other period characters to sit around…
Whilst it may have traditional styling, the Victorian does have modern functionality as it can accommodate a 6.3kW gas fire (requiring a Class 1 chimney flue). If you prefer the old ways however, it can also be used for solid fires. Just select the option you prefer at checkout.
Gallery Collection Tregaron Cast Iron Combination Fireplace
The Gallery Collection is renowned for producing high-quality, yet great-value cast iron fireplaces, and the Tregaron is no exception.
Featuring elegant Victorian-inspired detailing, which is highlighted for maximum effect, the Tregaron is available with a choice of fire options including solid fuel, gas or even electric.
So, if you want traditional styling, matched with modern convenience, the Tregaron should be on our shopping list!
Great deals on cast iron combination fireplaces
Are you looking for the very best deals on cast iron combination fireplaces? Then you’re in the right place.
As one of the UK’s largest online retailers of cast iron combination fireplaces, we are able to offer fantastic prices on a range of leading cast iron fireplace brands.
But that’s not all. When you buy a fireplace from Direct Fireplaces you can also benefit from free mainland UK delivery, 14-day no hassle returns, and 0% interest finance over 12 months, to make buying your dream fireplace easier than ever!
Shop cast iron combination fireplaces at Direct Fireplaces now
For more fireplace buying guides, information and advice, read the Direct Fireplaces blog…