The firebox is the heart of any fireplace and stove. It must be durable, reliable, with high heat dissipation. And in the case of a fireplace – also beautiful, because it will be clearly visible. Our advice site will tell you what materials the furnaces can be made of, deal with their pros and cons.
The most traditional material for fireplace inserts and stoves is natural stone. It was from it that our ancestors laid out the first foci. The stone always looks beautiful, differs in a variety of textures and special nobility.
But there is no need to talk about durability! The firebox heats up unevenly, the stone cracks, soot and soot will penetrate into the microscopic holes of this porous material, which will deprive the firebox of all its attractiveness. The only exceptions are basalt and granite, but only a few decide to use such an expensive material for the construction of the firebox. That is why today stone furnaces are a rare phenomenon, this material has given way to more modern “colleagues”. And the stone is most often used for decorative cladding of a fireplace or stove..
The most common option for building fireplace inserts and stoves is brick. Its thermal conductivity is slightly less than that of a stone, but a way out was found. Today, special fireclay bricks are usually used, in which the thermal conductivity is high, and the heat resistance is noticeably increased. In addition, fireclay bricks have the property of accumulating heat, so a fireplace or stove turns out to be more economical in operation..
Perhaps the only drawback of brick fireboxes is the rather large weight, the home hearth will need its own foundation. In addition, not everyone can cope with the construction of such a furnace; specialists are usually invited. However, all these disadvantages are fully inherent in stone furnaces..
The most inexpensive material for heating a stove and fireplace is metal. Note that the furnaces can be steel and cast iron, they can be bought separately and lined with brick or stone. Or you can buy completely metal, ready-to-use models and not think about having to deal with masonry and cladding.
Metal fireboxes weigh a little; for finished models, a separate foundation is not needed at all, which is also a clear plus. The metal heats up quickly, the firebox will effectively heat the room. And the price, we repeat, is not as high as that of natural stone and fireclay bricks, the services of a stove-maker are also not needed.
There are also disadvantages to metal furnaces – steel will deform at high temperatures, it can be soldered at the seams and burn out. Therefore, we advise you to choose furnaces made of more heat-resistant and durable cast iron. Cast iron furnaces are cast, there are no welds, but there are size limitations – up to a meter in length and width.
Metal fireboxes serve less than brick ones, but it is easier to replace them in case of damage.
The most aesthetic are glass fireplaces. It should be clarified that there are no completely glass furnaces. In the case of a stove, it is just a glass door, while panoramic and island fireplaces, to which the portal has devoted a separate article, have three or four walls. Glass for furnaces, of course, is special – quartz, heat-resistant, tempered. In this case, they cannot protrude from the glass as a supporting element of the furnace wall! If the fireplace is island, the chimney and smoke collector will have to be suspended. Or install a glass bio fireplace, which does not need a chimney at all.
Heat from the glass door and walls immediately spreads around the room – this is a plus. But such a firebox cools down quickly, heat does not accumulate, therefore the heating capacity of the stove and fireplace decreases.