A fireplace in an apartment is the dream of most city dwellers, who are deprived of the opportunity to look at a real flame in the firebox, as owners of private real estate can do. A well-chosen and tastefully placed hearth is not only a heating device. This structure can radically affect the style and interior of the room, becoming its main detail. To make the right decision about which fireplace to choose for an apartment, you need to familiarize yourself with the types, operating principles and installation rules of these beautiful and presentable objects.
The main criteria for choosing
When choosing fireplaces for an apartment, you should take into account a number of aesthetic, technical and legal factors. These structures have a specific design and require a different approach to installation and subsequent operation.
The main parameters that you should pay attention to before buying or making fireplaces with your own hands:
- Type of fuel. The decisive role is played not even by its availability and price in the region, but by the volume and toxicity of combustion products. If the electric hearth does not produce any waste, then when wood and gas burns, carbon dioxide is formed, which requires the installation of a chimney or an exhaust hood.
- The size. The dimensions of the product must be proportional to the room where it will be installed. Otherwise, the hearth will either get lost in the interior, or it will look cumbersome and ridiculous, making it difficult for people to move around the room.
- Weight. In urban apartments, floor slabs are designed for a certain load. Exceeding it will lead to uneven shrinkage, up to deformation of the walls and destruction of the foundation.
- Furnace type. In open-type constructions, the flame is not closed by anything; only a grate separates the hearth from the room. These fireplaces are beautiful, exotic, but extremely dangerous in terms of fire. In addition, there is always a risk of smoke due to poor traction. Stoves with closed hearths are equipped with hinged, sliding or hinged doors. The solution to the issue with the visibility of fire is solved by installing transparent doors. Such foci are absolutely safe and more economical due to the installation of fuel afterburners.
- The layout of the premises. The choice of the shape and volume of the fireplace depends on it. For narrow rooms, wall-mounted models are a good choice. Corner structures are suitable for hallways and small bedrooms. Island and hanging structures will look great in spacious kitchens and living rooms.
- External design. The decor of the product is selected in accordance with the style of the room. In this case, one should be prepared for the fact that the design of the room may change. Based on this, it is advisable to take universal classic models with clear lines and minimal colors.
- Appointment. If the fireplace is purchased as an element of the interior, it is better to opt for products with simulated flame and fake wood. There is a wide range of products on sale where the fire is reproduced on a monitor or a backlit steam generator is used. If the hearth is needed to heat the room, it is better to give preference to models with a closed chamber, operating on fuel with high heat transfer and equipped with a long burning function.
After comparing all the criteria, it remains to remove unacceptable positions and select the desired option.
Documentation for installing a fireplace in an apartment
The desire of apartment owners in multi-storey buildings to have their own real, and not an artificial fireplace, is quite understandable. No approval is required for the installation of biofuel-fired fireplaces, electrical and electronic devices.
For the installation of wood and gas equipment, you must obtain a special permit, in the preparation of which several authorities are involved.
The first condition for obtaining a building permit is the total area of the apartment. According to the current regulations, it must be at least 50 m². In addition, housing should be on the top floor of the house so that the chimney can be removed, and the products of fuel combustion do not get into the windows of neighbors.
The next limitation is the weight of the structure, which cannot exceed 150 kg.
To obtain permission for a fireplace, the property owner needs to prepare the following papers:
- Application to the management company indicating the request for redevelopment and its volume.
- Technical passport of the apartment received from the BTI or its notarized copy.
- Project documentation. It shows the location of the fireplace, electrical wiring, ventilation ducts and a chimney diagram.
- Help on the composition of the family. The presence of small children is an obstacle to the installation of a gas and solid fuel hearth.
- Certificates from a psychiatrist and a narcologist. Registered persons are not allowed to use devices with an open flame.
- A situational plan for the location of a multi-storey building with an indication of the nearby residential buildings and their characteristics.
- A certificate from the center for monitoring the hydrometeorological situation with information about the concentration of harmful substances in the area where the building is located.
Given the large volume and complexity of obtaining the required securities, you can contact an intermediary firm. However, they will not be able to give an absolute guarantee of obtaining permission due to various objective and subjective circumstances.
Types of fireplaces for an apartment
In retail outlets and on Internet portals, a wide range of fireplace-type appliances is presented.
- Electric fireplace. Structurally, it is a spiral or pressure type heater, stylized as a fireplace. Since there is no open flame, no chimney is needed. You should only place a container with water near the heater to maintain the required humidity in the room. The advantage of this option is that the device can be installed in any place where there is an outlet of the corresponding power nearby. A well-chosen electric fireplace in the interior of the apartment looks beautiful and organic, complementing it and being the center of attention. An alternative to a bulky heater is electronic devices with the function of supplementing the flame with the sound of burning logs.
- Gas fireplace. Equipped with an open or closed combustion chamber and an efficient exhaust hood. Products work from cylinders or from a household line. To be able to move devices within the apartment, the gas pipeline is laid within the housing.
- Biofireplace. The flame is formed by burning denatured alcohol of vegetable and animal origin. The volume of combustion products is negligible, therefore a hood is not necessary. The usual supply and exhaust ventilation is sufficient. Due to the absence of a chimney, all the heat produced is used for heating, and the natural color of the fire is obtained by adding special additives to the fuel. Some models have an additional heating mode. The combination is achieved by installing a fan heater in the lower part of the hearth.
- False fireplace. These are purely decorative items that do not have a heating function.Inside the portal there are fake firewood with steam, light or electronic lighting.
If there is sufficient free space, you can not be limited to one hearth and purchase for each room a product that is best suited for it by all criteria.
Rules for installing fireplaces in an apartment
With regard to the location of fireplaces, not only aesthetic priorities apply, but also technological standards.
Basic installation rules:
- the presence of effective ventilation;
- installation of a separate chimney;
- reliable fencing of an open firebox from falling out of smoldering fragments;
- placing heavy appliances close to the wall or in the corner;
- installation of a fire-prevention blind area around wood-burning structures;
- reinforcement of the floor under the island hearth;
- durable slab for suspended structures.
If there is even the slightest doubt about the choice of the place of installation and connection of the fireplace, you should consult with specialists.
Making fireplaces and finishing with your own hands
A good way to save a lot of money is to make a prefabricated hearth with your own hands. The advantage of this solution is that the product can be dismantled at any time to be moved to a new location or for storage.
The manufacturing process consists of the following stages:
- Design, approval, if necessary. Calculation of needs and purchase of building materials.
- Preparation of the base. Treatment with antiseptic and fire retardant. Reinforcement of load-bearing structures when needed.
- Making a frame from metal or wooden beams.
- Installation of an open or closed firebox.
- Installation of decorative elements, connection to communications.
- External finishing of the portal.
In conclusion, the quality of the work performed is checked and the test run of the created structure is carried out.