Are Fireplaces Made in Three Panels Or Is The Fire Surround One Piece?
Answer: Will look better in one piece
Unfortunately most homeowners are first time buyer of fireplaces and do not obviously have industry wide specialist knowledge about fire surrounds. We often hear of cases where by buyers are mislead by online retailers who claim to be cheaper but offer unquestionably poor products.
1. A fire surround can be described as different things by many websites and companies, and it is important to clearly understand what you are getting for your money. Some companies only regard the main body of the fireplace as the “Fire surround” and the hearth (base section of fireplace) and back panel (section where fire is recessed) is not included. At Creative Fireplaces, we define the term “fire surround” to include all the sections that you may require to install your fireplace excluding the fire. This means the hearth and panel are included unless clearly stated otherwise.
2. The Back panel is usually manufactured in three sections when imported from low cost countries (as it uses less material and is easier to transport). We believe that marble fireplaces look incredibly more appealing when the back panel is solid and made from one section (without a joint). This means that the back panel cannot be put into the same crate as the fire surround (as it will not fit) and has to be transported separately.
A 3 piece pack panel is legitimately needed for solid fuel applications (burning coal or wood) as it creates the expansion joints needed to allow the heat to disperse and eliminates the risk of the back panel cracking. You do not need a 3 piece back panel if you are going to install a gas or electric fire
3. Fires (gas or electric) are usually never included unless specified otherwise. Many websites and companies may have special offers for gas fireplaces and electric fireplaces which comprise of a packaged fire surround and fire for a reduced price