Built-in vs freestanding wood burning fireplaces: which one is right for you?

words Al Woods

You have finally decided to add a wood fireplace to your house. You get to the store and you realize that you actually have a choice to make between a built-in and a freestanding version. A few different factors should point you in the right direction. It will come down to what is best for your house and, of course, your personal preference.

wood burning fireplaces

Choosing According to Your Needs

Some of us automatically think of a wood fireplace build into the wall while others picture the freestanding version first in their mind. This is highly cultural and depends on which one you are used to see. However, faced with the decision, you may end-up choosing differently than you might have thought originally because, in the end, the most important reasons to choose one over the other is what you intend to use it for.

Of course, the appearance will still play a role in your decision. In fact, no matter which one you choose, the aesthetic will be the ultimate factor when you finally decide on a model. Otherwise, the location in the house will be one the most appropriate question to ask yourself. Let’s take a deeper look at both.


The number one element to take into account, when choosing a built-in fireplace, is the cost of the installation and renovation. Since it will be built into the wall, it will require construction work. You will also need assistance with the installation since the insert needs to be incorporated within the walls, according to detailed and precise guidelines.

The one thing that may surprise you is the variety of styles and materials the new generations of integrated fireplaces offer. Their unique designs & shape will make it harder for you to choose the model for your house, as you will surely hesitate between a few of them. But there is no doubt that, in the end, the designed wall mounted fireplace you choose will elevate the beauty of your room, and add to the resale price of the house.

It is worth noting that the built-in fireplace is the perfect option for smaller room, since it doesn’t take up, being positioned inside the wall.


The biggest advantage with the freestanding fireplace is that you only have to run the flue pipes through the ceiling and the roof. Therefore, it only takes a few hours to install, as there no other renovations needed to the house. No renovation also means a smaller budget allocated to your purchase. But that doesn’t mean you should do the installation by yourself. The use of a professional is necessary to guarantee that the heat generated by the unit will be transferred accurately and efficiently through the pipe system. This installation should take the technician about half a day.

Contrary to the built-in fireplace, the freestanding model does take up some space inside a room. Since they are positioned away from the wall, you may enjoy its different views according to its position in the room. Their appearance can be modern or old-fashioned, which makes them quite easy to integrate in various environments and style.


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