Fireplaces can be tricky in apartments. While some period buildings may have been converted into apartments with their original fireplaces still intact, modern day living often doesn’t allow them to work as planned!
For example, if your chimney needs repair works, this can sometimes impede on your neighbours. Changes to apartment interiors could also affect the efficiency of chimney drafts, which can become complicated to correct.
However, there are some fantastic alternatives for those living in apartments to enjoy a fireplace, including:
- Electric fireplaces
- Flueless gas fireplaces
- Balanced flue gas fireplaces
Take a look at our guide to having a fireplace in an apartment to find out more!
The Best Fireplaces for Apartments…
What fireplace can you have in an apartment? There are a few things to consider if you are thinking about installing one.
Most importantly, do you own your apartment or are you a tenant? Secondly, how much work are you able to carry out? Are there any building regulations that could restrict the changes you make?
Read on to find out which fireplace is best for your apartment…
Can You Have an Electric Fireplace in an Apartment?
Yes! Here’s why…
- They require no chimney
- You can save on floor space
- Only minor drilling work is required
- They’re even possible for apartment renters
Electric fireplaces are perfect for apartments. They don’t require any use of a chimney or a lot of building work – just a plug and minor drilling. As there is no combustion or flame, electric fires are completely safe for apartments and don’t carry a carbon monoxide risk.
Another reason electric fires are great for apartment living is how little space they take up – a key concern for those living in tighter spaces! Many free standing electric fires can sit very flat against the wall, or if you are prepared to carry a little more work out, you can get inset electric fires, too.
For the best space-saving electric fire for you apartment though, consider a wall mounted electric fire. Not only will they add an eye-catching modern centrepiece to your room, but they also take up none of your precious floor space, so you can maximise your room!
Electric Fireplace for Apartment Renters
If you are renting an apartment, having a fireplace may seem like a luxury out of your reach.
However, if you really want to enjoy one, an electric fireplace might make it possible. If your landlord gives you approval to carry out some drilling, a wall mounted electric fire can easily be hung up. Since you can easily remove it and take it with you if you move out, too, it also means your investment won’t go to waste.
However, remember that you will have to repair any damage caused by your electric fire at the end of your tenancy. This may mean patching up a few holes or even a new lick of paint, so bear this in mind!
Can You Have a Gas Fire in an Apartment?
Yes! Here’s why…
- Flueless fires are easy to fit in apartments but do have some restrictions
- Balanced flues require more building work but offer further possibilities
- Gas fires feature real cosy flames without needing an open fireplace
A gas fire is a good option for apartment owners. There are plenty of options of gas fires without chimneys available, too, which can easily be fitted into an apartment. Unlike electric fires, they feature a real flame, giving you a more authentic fireplace feel.
Flueless Gas Fires
Flueless gas fires are a great idea for apartments. Like with electric fires, you don’t need to attach them to any chimney or flue at all. Instead, they use a catalytic converter to turn fumes into safe gasses that are then released back into your room. Flueless fires are also available in an array of styles, including flueless inset gas fires and wall mounted flueless gas fires.
You can find out more about how flueless gas fires work here.
Some minor building work will be required to fit a flueless gas fireplace. They will need to be connected to a main gas supply and fixed safely to the wall. Most importantly, though, you will need to have an air vent at least 100m2 fitted directly to a fresh air supply. This shouldn’t be a problem for most apartments, but it will be noticeable from outside, so you might want to check whether there are any restrictions.
Balanced Flue Gas Fire
While flueless gas fires can be a fantastic way to enjoy a fireplace in an apartment, they do have some downsides, such as:
- Your room must be bigger than 30m2
- There must be a permanent openable window in the same room
- They should only be used as a secondary heat source, so you must have central heating working alongside your fire
Some of these points may prove to be sticking points for certain apartments.
Alternatively, a balanced flue gas fire could also be a great solution – providing you can carry out some building work through the wall to fit the balanced flue and can easily access your gas supply.
There are also few considerations you will need to make before you install a balanced flue in an apartment, including:
- Are you working with a load bearing wall? This is even more important in a block of flats, as you could cause serious damage if you alter an important part of the structure. Check with a surveyor if you are planning on adjusting your room to fit in a new fireplace.
- Do you have access to an external wall? A balanced flue needs to exit through an outside wall to deposit fumes. If you are fitting it in a room enclosed by neighbouring apartments, this might be an issue.
- Is there room for your flue’s fumes to exit? The exit point of your flue needs to be a safe distance from any windows or doorways – between 30cm and 60cm. In apartment blocks, be aware of your neighbours’ windows.
- Are you allowed to make changes to the building exterior? A balanced flue terminal will be noticeable on the building’s exterior, so check there are no regulations on altering the outer facade. If your building is listed, it may not be possible.
Find out more about how to have a gas fire without a chimney here.
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