A fireplace adds a certain coziness to your home. When you're deciding on a fireplace, you have to think about the space you have available, the aesthetic you're trying to create and fuel type that will work best. There's no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to fireplaces.

Fireplace Fuel Types

Electric Fireplace

electric fireplace with white hearth and hantle

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Electric fireplaces might not be the classic option for a fireplace, but they have grown in popularity for a number of reasons. They are easy to install and safer than having a live flame, because electric fireplaces simulate a flame instead of producing a real one. They might not provide the full ambiance of a real fire, but they do provide certain conveniences -- for example, you can control the heat and size of the flames via a remote. Most models will also come with the option of setting a temperature or a specific runtime before automatically turning off.

Because electric fireplaces don't require venting or a connection to a gas line, they are the easiest and most affordable fireplace to install. They're also relatively affordable, making it a great low-maintenance option.

Gas Fireplace

gas fireplace with stone frame

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Gas fireplaces are not as easy to install as electric fireplaces are, but they're still relatively easy to manage and are a great economical choice.These types of fireplaces can be installed in existing wood-burning fireplaces or put into new locations. Most models require ventilation, so a vent will need to be installed if a chimney isn't already available.

If you've decided on gas, you'll ultimately need to decide on natural gas or propane. They produce the same final product, but just use different sources of fuel -- either a propane tank or a gas line.

Wood-Burning Fireplace

wood-burning fireplace in stone frame

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Wood-burning fireplaces are timeless, and they are the ultimate atmosphere enhancer. The crackle of logs burning and the quintessential smell of fire is reason enough for many people to install this type of fireplace.

Although they're the most authentic, wood-burning fireplaces are the least efficient,come with the highest costs and require the most maintenance. Installing a new wood-burning fireplace is an elaborate process because it requires a chimney, which will also need to be installed. They'll need to be cleaned yearly, and you'll need a consistent supply of wood. If you're tight for space but don't want a gas or an electric fireplace, maybe consider a wood stove instead because a chimney is not required and it has a smaller overall footprint.

Mounting Styles

The mounting style you choose will ultimately determine how functional your fireplace will be and the aesthetic it will create in your home.

Traditional Hearth Fireplace

rustic wood-burning hearth fireplace in log cabin

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This is s the classic wood-burning fireplace style. Hearth fireplaces are often made from stone or brick, take up a fair bit of wall and floor space and are only used with wood-burning fireplaces. Make sure you have plenty of space before installing one of these into your home.

Wall-Mounted Fireplace

wall mounted fireplace underneath television

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This is a popular option for people with limited space. A small-to-medium sized gas or electric fireplace can be mounted on a wall and take up no space in the room. You can even mount it underneath a television. Wall-mounted fireplaces make great focal points in a room and are relatively easy to install as well.

Tabletop Fireplace

portable fireplace

For the ultimate portability and a modern style, consider a tabletop fireplace. They're designed to be lightweight and easy to move throughout the home. It's common to see them being used outdoors, but they're just as viable of an option for a coffee table inside your home.

Two-Sided Fireplace

two sided fireplace in a wall

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If you're looking to capitalize on a fireplace's function and style in two separate spaces, a two-sided fireplace might be your best option. Install this fireplace on a wall that separates two rooms and it can be enjoyed from either space and enhance each room. It's more economically viable than installing two separate fireplaces.

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