Our guide to “wall fires”. All you need to know.

Wall fire with limestone facia

We made this wall fire and limestone facia to a bespoke size and with a remote control gas burner.

 

This style of fireplace has become popular and clearly they are very different from a traditional fireplace. They look stylish and cool, reflecting the change in our values over the years. So, they not only keep you toasty, they can also improve the look of any indoor room – or even an outdoor space.

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Wall fires can be gas-fired, electric or they can run on bioethanol, a liquid fuel. Many do not require a flue or chimney.

Some can hang – just like a picture – or they can be semi- or fully-recessed into the wall construction like this bioethanol burner, below.

EVOBox

Balanced flue gas fireplaces come in many shapes and sizes and it’s not difficult to find a style that will suit one’s home, such as this three-sided room divider:

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Bioethanol fireplaces create a real fire with realistic flames but without having emissions, although electric fireplaces these days are also very realistic as shown below:

EFire

They all have the capability of producing enough heat to reach a comfortable temperature in the room, especially to boost central heating on the coldest days. They save floor space too.

It is a great feeling to know that you can enjoy the warmth of a fireside after returning home from work. They start producing warmth in minutes, some can even be timed to come on before you get home!  Find all the details on our website.

And why not enhance your outdoor entertaining area? There is a huge range of outdoor wall fireplaces these days, like these Escea gas & woodburning models.

EF5000 outside fireplaces

Escea EF5000 Outside Fireplace in a free-standing enclosure

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It’s nearly Spring. Time for an outside fireplace?

Winter has scarcely started and before you know it, it’s officially Spring. But not to worry, the weather can be more settled by the end of April, so there’s still plenty of time to upgrade your outdoor entertainment area with an outside fireplace.

Of course, it helps if you have a beautiful alfresco setting but even if it’s just a regular patio or deck everyone will love an outdoor fire to extend the time you can use the outside space – and the BBQ!

The number of people installing an outdoor fireplace has grown quickly over the past three years. But what to choose? Fireplace, firetable, firepit or firebowl?

The choice will usually be made based on personal taste, perhaps tempered by the setting itself. You can sit around a firetable, firepit or firebowl, but you may get a little more useful heat from a fireplace, such as this bespoke model below.

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How you install your outdoor fire can be a major consideration. Modern fires do stand alone – but they are more and more often part of an outdoor kitchen set-up. Or they may be integrated with your deck and outdoor seating as in the image above.

Popular fireplace options include plastered concrete surrounds, rendered concrete blocks or maybe faced with stone or tiles. But it’s the gas burner that counts. Giving at least 15kW of heat (the equivalent of seven electric fan heaters) your choice will be from a range of faux ‘fuel’ – ceramic pebbles or logs, for example – or just a really minimalist flame.

Fireplaces come in standard sizes, like this Escea EF5000 below, or they can be made to measure – up to 3m wide in some cases – and can be modern or traditional in style.

Escea EF5000 outside fireplace

A free-standing outside fireplace enclosure clad with limestone

Of course, the fire is probably just one part of your outdoor living area, which will include some furniture, probably a BBQ and often an awning or pavilion-style area that can provide protection from the rain. There are even motorised louvred roofs.

w-350_h-350_m-cover_s-any__the-umbris-zone You shouldn’t need to worry too much about the fire in bad weather, good ones are designed to withstand the UK climate and usually come with a weathershield or weathercover that fit over the fire when it is not in use.

And what fuel to burn? The choice will be from mains gas from the house (NG), cylinder gas (LPG Propane), wood or perhaps liquid bioethanol, if the others are not an option for any reason.

Propane cylinders are usually delivered by your local LPG supplier.

If you have a plentiful supply of wood, this might drive your decision but think about the possibility of smoke annoying the neighbours and the inevitable clearing up of the ashes. If burning wood, you may have the option of using the fireplaces as a BBQ like this Escea EW5000 woodburning cooking fireplace below.

Escea EW5000

Escea EW5000 woodburning BBQ and outside fireplace

Whatever you choose, a few a few tips won’t go amiss. Find an experienced supplier whom can give you all the necessary technical advice and maybe provide a registered engineer to do your installation. Make sure you can get your fuel choice delivered promptly.

For the maximum convenience, choose a gas outside fire wherever possible. Make sure the installation offers the correct drainage and ventilation to protect your investment – most good outside fireplaces these days are full of electronics for ignition, safety and control of the flame. Some can even be connected to home automation.

If your project is part of a larger landscaping scheme, new build or a major renovation, find a supplier that will work closely with your on-site professionals.

Once it’s all done, you’ll wonder how you ever did without one!

You’ll find information on many of the products mentioned here at the Sky House Design Centre – a one-stop shop for kitchens, bathrooms, home automation, decking, glass products, fireplaces of all kinds, modern furniture, doors and windows – all things contemporary.

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New firebowls & firepits for 2016.

Investing in an outside fireplace allows one to make full use of a deck or patio area, as you won’t need to retreat indoors when the sun goes down, or when the evening turns a little chilly.

Whether you’re a landscaper or a designer whose clients want an outside entertainment area to extend their home space, you already know that an outdoor fireplace can bring a fantastic ambience to any garden project.

If you’re a homeowner looking to make your outside space more comfortable and inviting without having to invest in design skills, you’ll all find that our latest range of ready-made firebowls and firepits will be your simple solution.

Benny 800 Concrete firepit Benny810Corten Mito Robot 1800 (2)

We love fire pits.

Fire pits are more than just beautiful features for outdoor spaces, they are vehicles for bringing people together. Few things are more fundamental, or more enjoyable, than sitting around an open fire with family and friends.

They are designed to operate in virtually all weathers, are durable long-term and proofed against nuisance shut-downs caused by excessive wind, for example.

Most outside fireplaces are of course also intended as source of heat, although you’ll find some elsewhere which are made almost solely for their decorative function.

Real heaters!

The latest Urban Fires range of easy-to install gas-powered 15kW-25kW firepits – no need for a builder, just a registered gas installer – and will run using LPG bottles or mains gas.

As a heater, an outdoor fireplace can be used to make spring, autumn and winter feel more like a summer evening to draw the family out of doors on cooler yet still quite reasonable days – and to share some real quality time together.

MitoTabletopSome can even double-up as a coffee table – we are offering tabletops for our modern fire pit models Benny, Mito and Luca. They are made of heavy gauge, 5mm aluminum and are finished in one of our three standard powder-coat colours. Aluminum means light weight, durability and corrosion-resistance, whilst maintaining the crisp, modern aesthetic that defines these products.

Our firepits are available in a wide range of finishes including coloured concretes and stainless or corten steel. Ready-made firepits can be up to 2100mm in length, or we can bespoke other designs. See the website.

Whatever the weather.

And they are of course all designed to withstand the worst of our UK & Ireland climate. , These quality items have benefited from more than five years’ experience in designing and supplying the best outside fireplaces.

We are proud to have worked with a wide breadth of design professionals and to have been specified into so many prestigious projects and TV programmes, in addition to many private residential clients.

Priced from £3400, these new outdoor fireplaces will enhance any garden project.

 

 

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Firebowl, firetable or firepit?

You may have been thinking about adding a fire feature to your garden or landscaping project.

Outside gas and woodburning fires have become very popular in the UK & Europe, but as this acceptance has increased, so has a demand for different styles to evolve.

We started by importing the Escea EF5000 outside gas fireplace and subsequenlty launched custom-built ‘frameless’ versions to satisfy the minimalist requirement of many designers and home owners.

Urban Fires then introduced locally-made firetables and firepits to the UK & Ireland market last year.

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These bespoke models can be made to virtually any shape or size and from almost any noncombustible material, such as granite, engineered stone or rendered blockwork.

We partner with designers and landscapers to create a different mood for every project.

Now, we have introduced a range of firebowls that, although not bespokeable, there are sufficient options in the range to make every garden a little bit different.

2014-07-10 15.12.44 2014-07-10 15.13.05 (1)

First, we offer two sizes, 850 diameter and 1090 diameter.

Then, our gas burners can operate on either mains gas (NG) or LPG (propane cylinders). Optionally, the 850 model can also be supplied with a bioethanol burner, if no gas connection is available.

There is also a wide choice of feature ‘fuel’. As standard, both models are supplied with Volcanic Rock as the gas media (see above).

Different ‘fuel’ can be specified to sit on top of the Volcanic Lava – Crystalight, Pebbles, or even High Definition ceramic logs.

Installation is simple, all that is needed is a gas supply as ventilation, drainage and piezo ignition are built in. The 1090 model even comes complete with a weather cover (optional on the 850).

Our own technicians are trained to commission & certify these great products, or onsite personnel should be able to easily connect and commission.

Finally, the standard finish can even be re-coloured in different shades by using exterior house paint.

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Firepit or firetable?

Many of our clients love the idea of a firepit.

These great-looking features really do add value to your outside entertainment area.

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A square, rectangular or even circular firepit is really nice to sit around, warming you and your friends far into the night.

A firepit can be powered by gas – either propane or piped natural gas – or even convenient bioethanol fuel, which is easily stored and the burner topped up before each use.

Compared to burning wood, gas or bioethanol firepits are quickly becoming one of the most common options for outdoor fire pits. They are more environmentally friendly since they don’t release smoke into the atmosphere as is the case with traditional wood burning fire pits.

Not only is this beneficial to overall air quality, but it can also make the outdoor experience more enjoyable.

Gone is the unpleasantness of having smoke directly in your face when the wind suddenly shifts over your outside fireplace. Gas firepits are also easier to operate. Simply touch the control pad to ignite the gas and start enjoying your personal outdoor heater.

But, have you thought about a firetable as an alternative?

545911_10151625739442533_1036953437_n (1)A firetable offers the same great look of real flames and runs on either gas or bioethanol fuel, but also delivers the very real convenience of a table in your garden – so useful for parking your wine glass, beer bottle or plate of food, whilst chatting to your guests!

And you can do-it-yourself. If you or your local builder can build the masonry, we can supply the technology to create your very own gas or bioethanol firetable.

Our own firetables are made to measure from durable engineered stone in a range of finishes and colours. The stone tabletops are fabricated to a size to suit your garden furniture layout – and we make them to look as though they are 80mm thick!

The base can be simply made from lightweight concrete masonry blocks which are then rendered to provide a nice finish in the colour of your choice, or it can be clad in matching or contrasting stone – or even decking materials.

The weatherproof EF5000 gas burners can be finished off with Crystalight in a choice of four colours (see Black, above) or click here for the full range of options. The Crystalight can also be topped off with ceramic pebbles, if required.

Control and electronic ignition is by a weatherproof touchpad which can be mounted in a concealed position.

So, firepit or firetable? The choice is yours. There is a huge range of possibilities based around the materials that you choose. Then there is the contemporary look, or something more rustic. Has that got you thinking? What would you do for your garden?

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Our grand design for Grand Designs!

Most people would be delighted to live in a charming old boat-house by the Thames, but not Lysette and Nigel Offley. They decided to knock the whole thing down and start again – with a new house that took inspiration from the river with waves and curves – and a huge glass porthole of a roof-light.

“House-by-the-Water”

Their plan to build a dramatic new cutting-edge home by the River Thames proved difficult, costly and not very popular with their neighbours.

And just a few weeks into their project, the problems begin. They couldn’t find a contractor willing to tackle the difficulties of building over water; their architect unexpectedly left and the costs came in much higher than anticipated.

Not only that, but they then decided on a minimalist garden to match the dream home they were building. With no previous experience.

And of course, along came Kevin McCloud and the CH4 Grand Designs team to film the whole thing!

To assist the couple, Student of the Year (2011/12) of the Oxford College of Garden Design, Ana Mari Bull, produced the fabulous garden design already seen by viewers.

To complement this design, we made a frameless firebox and combined it with our EF5000 weatherproof gas burners and touch-sensitive controls. DSC_0170 (1)

Building our gas fireplace into a masonry enclosure integral to various other feature structures within the long, but narrow, garden created a natural focal point for entertaining or just chilling with a glass of wine.

​First broadcast in October 2012, the garden wasn’t actually finished in time for the show, but it is now in absolutely pristine condition, as you can see by viewing the images on this page or the larger gallery on our website.

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Full details of the different types of outside fireplace that are available can be viewed here.

We believe that Kevin will be going back to see the finished article some time this year.

So, hopefully, we’ll see you soon on Channel 4!

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Case Study – a unique outside fireplace in a London fifth floor rooftop courtyard

When we were asked to create an appropriate fireplace setting for a rooftop courtyard located in the heart of London, we wanted to complement the outstanding architecture of this significant listed building.

It was up to us to make the fireplace a centre
of attraction.

The rather bare courtyard had fantastic
views all around the city – and it was about to become a great place to sit, talk, relax and drink a glass of wine.

Outside fireplace in a rooftop courtyard

Our solution was a bespoke gas fireplace interior, using Escea EF5000 waterproof burners and concealed controls to sit within an architect inspired black granite fire opening in a classic mantel with tiled detailing.

Construction of an outdoor fireplace

As the Escea burners do not need any flueing, the fireplace construction was quite simple, using standard building techniques for the internal masonry and a bespoke limestone mantelpiece.

The on-site builders also used real craftsmanship when creating the stunning mosaic floor.

The firebox was constructed from Absolute black granite and incorporates a raised granite Twin outside fireplace gas burnershearth which conceals the gas connections and electronic controls. The twin burners are mounted in a bespoke stainless steel support tray.

Our EF5000 burners are operated by a combined ignition and High/Medium/Low waterproof touch-pad membrane control switch, which in this case is mounted in a purpose-made stainless steel escutcheon plate rebated into the masonry.

Following connection to the gas and 240v supplies, the burners were tested for gas Outside gas burner controlssoundness (below, right), correct operating pressure and the correct operation of the remotely-mounted electronic controls.

A specialist craftsman added tasteful pale blue ceramics – almost the final touch (below). These ceramics complemented the mosaic flooring and – suddenly- this bare courtyard came alive!

Tiling provides a finishing touch to an outdoor fireplaceBut the real finishing touch was in fact the use of our latest High Definition ceramic log set, placed on a selection of black Crystalight moulded ceramic glass pieces and creating a contemporary vibe by avoiding the rather tired ‘gas log’ cliche.

High definition ceramic outside fireplace logs

The burnt log effect becomes increasingly realistic in the evening light, when the lambent flames become more prominent.

Landscapers added some planting in the space and – surrounded by walls and windows as it is – the courtyard can now be used throughout the year, with the fireplace offering warmth on a chilly Spring evening or in the depths of winter, as well as a very welcoming aesthetic at any time of year.

And this is the finished product – a stunning outside fireplace for a stunning building!

Combining Bespoke outdoor fireplacethe vision and skills of the project architects, interior designers and landscapers with Urban Fires’ experience and expertise has produced a unique outdoor space in the heart of the city.

One that can be used virtually all-year ’round and one which will surely provide the owner with many years of pleasure. Cheers!

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How to integrate an outside fireplace into a garden landscaping project (updated).

Want an outside fireplace to warm a patio or deck on those chilly evenings – or to extend the use of an outdoor entertaining space into winter – but unsure how to start the design, or where to place it?

Whatever the style of the outdoor space, our range outdoor gas fireplaces will make a great focal point, with wide aspect openings and high heat output – these units are in a class of their own.

They are designed to operate in virtually all weathers, are durable long-term and proofed against nuisance shut-downs caused by excessive wind, for example.

We have two, very different, design options, the first is our standard-size EF5000 stainless steel gas fireplace. The EF5000 comes in a choice of colours with the option of adding stone or marble inserts into the facia.

It will be necessary to build a suitable enclosure to house this fireplace, such as the one shown below or choose from our gallery.

The Escea EF5000 in a free-standing enclosure

An alternative is to design a bespoke fireplace to your personal specifications using our unique, fully waterproofed, outdoor gas burner system – similar perhaps to this design (below, right):

These 850mm wide burners may be used singly for fireplace openings up to 1.2m wide, or doubled up (or even trebled) for much wider openings. The choice is yours.

We will bespoke a suitable burner-mounting tray to suit your design, or even a complete firebox using our patented render-up edge, which allows a perfect finish to your fireplace design.

You can view these burners & controls and download CAD drawings here.

Our waterproof burners will operate on either natural gas (piped mains gas) or LPG (propane cylinders).

To replicate burning fuel, we can supply logs, pebbles, our stunning Crystalight jewelled fuel bed – or even a purpose-made sculpture for the adventurous!

If a completely bespoke setting is required within an extensive garden remodelling exercise, or perhaps as part of a home extension project, the enclosure can be completely integrated into your chosen masonry or decking layout (below).

Integrate the enclosure into an overall design (Courtesy of The Design Studio Ayr)

The  EF5000 heat engine is ‘zero-clearance’ – which means it can be installed right up against combustibles in your enclosure construction – like 2″ x 2″ timbers – without difficulty. However, one could also use lightweight building blocks.

Escea EF5000 outside fireplace
The EF5000 can be placed against a wall

As a further simple installation option, a free-standing enclosure can be created using our ready-made Kitset enclosure frame (below). Just clad it in marine ply and render it – or face it with contemporary limestone panels, ceramic tiles, or any other suitable material or finish of your choice – even decking.

Esacea Kitset support frame
Use the Kitset frame to create a free-standing enclosure

Think about placing the fireplace near to the seating or eating area – but not too close as this unit can produce up to 15 kW/hr of real heat!

No need to worry about flueing either, the EF5ooo doesn’t need a flue at all – not even an exhaust exit above the fireplace – and nor do our waterproof burners.

Just supply either Natural Gas (mains gas) or Bottled Gas (LPG Propane) and a set of D-cell batteries to power the ignition (or use the optional 240v mains transformer kit).

The EF5000 outdoor fireplace comes with options of three facia finishes and two styles, plus a choice of four different fuel beds, to customise any project.

Both the EF5000 and our waterproof burners can be ignited by way of touch pad electronic controls which give the option of three different heat settings. The touch pad can be mounted up to 1.5m from the burner in a suitable position. Optionally, a remote handset can be paired with the burner controls.

EF5000 is made of 100% marine-grade stainless steel which needs only cleaning and an occasional hose down – yes, even the electronics are water-resistant!

Visit the Urban Fires website for more information or to find a local reseller.

Want a wood-burning version? Check out our EW5000 outside fireplace which can be supplied in either a contemporary or traditional look – and it doubles as a BBQ!

Escea EW5000

Escea EW5000 woodburning BBQ and outside fireplace

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Yes, you CAN have a TV above your fireplace!

Many fireplace products do not allow the installation of a flatscreen TV above, but don’t be put off – at Urban Fires we have a series of gas, bio-ethanol and electric fireplaces that can be used in conjunction with a modern TV – and we have a wealth of experience in designing suitable systems

gas hole in wall firerplace

Frameless Hole in Wall gas fireplace

Our gas fireplace technology allows the fitting of a TV above, preferably as part of a renovation project or new-build, but also when installing into an existing masonry chimney breast.

Usually, a site visit will be required, but our Escea ST900 balanced flue gas fireplace is approved to have a TV installed above every installation provided the installation instruction are followed carefully.

The ST900 is the only UK gas fireplace to carry such approval.

Ferro ST900 balanced flue gas fireplace in Bronze

The ST900 is available with a number of facia options including stainless steel, piano black, cream and with granite or travertine inserts – and can be installed in homes with or without chimneys.

Finally, it is almost always possible to install a TV above one of our bespoke electric fireplaces (below) as part of a renovation or new build project. With heat and flames, or just flames, these remote control fireplaces offer a magical but flexible addition to homes without a gas supply.

Bespoke electric fire

Bespoke granite-faced electric fireplace

Many of our products can be bespoked to suit your taste or style, just call to find out what we can do for you.

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Five reasons why developers should always install fireplaces in higher value homes.

EScea ST900

Escea Ferro balanced flue gas fireplace

(1) Many developers already understand the importance of designing a home that is in synergy with a buyer’s individual preferences, whilst accentuating those visual aesthetics that enhance property values. Don’t make that fireplace an option!

(2) A fireplace within the living space can create a special ambience. Humans seek warmth. The infrared warmth from a fireplace satisfies that primeval need. The developer that offers buyers a variety of stylish energy efficient gas fireplaces that complement their home designs will always win against those who ignore this fact. Outside gas fireplaces are also becoming popular with those who enjoy entertaining out on the deck or patio, even when it’s cool outside.

(3) Home owners have always had many fireplace options to choose from, but in these these days of ever rising fuel costs, the day-to-day running costs and thermal efficiency of balanced flue fireplace technology is driving purchasing decisions. Balanced flue and flueless gas fireplaces which can be installed just about anywhere in a home or renovation project – and don’t need a chimney – are the most efficient of all gas fireplaces. These products will also assist the developer when complying with demanding SAP ratings and sustainable design.

(4) A balanced flue fireplace doesn’t have a traditional chimney that runs through to the roof; instead, a simple metal factory-made flue exits from the back of the fireplace directly through an outside wall – or it can be routed up to 10m horizontally or vertically to a suitable exit point. The balanced flue design reduces installation costs, keeps most of the heat produced by the fire inside the home and – when choosing carefully – offers far lower running costs. The best balanced flue designs even allow the siting of a flatscreen plasma, LCD or LED TV above.

(5) Homebuyers are already choosing from a variety of fireplace styles, which include minimalist frameless hole in wall gas fires, ribbon gas burners, bio-ethanol burners and sometimes two-sided or even three-sided corner styles that allow the fireplace to be easily positioned in different locations within a room – don’t miss out on this trend!

See some modern and innovative balanced flue designs and outside gas fireplaces here and there’s more technical information and advice in previous blogs.

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