Gas Fireplace Insert

What A Gas Fireplace Looks Like (With Real Examples)

In Gas Fireplaces by James O'KellyLeave a Comment

Gas fireplaces have a number of features that help set them apart from other types of fireplace but are often designed to look much like a fire burning solid fuel, such as wood.

Although modern gas fireplaces can look very much like the real thing, a gas fireplace still has its own distinct features that can help you to identify a gas fireplace from a wood burning one.

Typical features of a gas fireplace, commonly indicating what a gas fireplace looks like, include the firebox, firefront and the media often found in the form of coals or logs. Natural vent gas fireplaces can be open on the front while direct vent gas fireplaces can have a glass frontage.

We have two gas fireplace inserts but have recently removed one of them to open the masonry fireplace it was installed into back up again.

We’ve shown below what both of these gas fireplaces look like from the outside.

What Does A Gas Fireplace Look Like?

What a gas fireplace looks like can largely depend on what type of gas fireplace it is, such as whether it’s:

  • A built-in model or insert version
  • Natural vent, direct vent or ventless

We’ve owned and used gas fireplace inserts and so in this article we’ve primarily covered what a gas fireplace insert looks like but will still apply to other forms of gas fireplace.

The gas fireplace below is an insert that was installed in an existing open fireplace before the house was bought.

Gas Fireplace
Our example of a gas fireplace

As part of the overall fireplace package it has a:

  • Hearth
  • Timber mantle and surround (painted white)
  • Slabs of non-combustible material between the surround and the gas insert.

(You can find more information on the above in our articles on fireplace hearths and fireplace surrounds.)

Another example of a gas fireplace insert (that we’ve since removed from our kitchen fireplace) is shown below.

An older gas fireplace that we’ve since had removed

Looking closer at our gas fireplace inserts highlights the main elements of a gas fireplace.

Gas Fireplace

The elements of a gas fireplace you can see in the picture above include:

  • Firebox (the whole area where the fire is contained)
  • Media (in this case it’s coals)
  • Trim (covering the gap between the insert and the surround)
Looking down at our gas fireplace from above

The media fuel bed for this particular model of gas fireplace is coals, but can also be commonly found as logs, both of which are made from non-combustible materials and so don’t burn and are only for show.

These are arranged in a particular pattern and order on top of the ceramic combustion matrix, which in turn sits on top of the burner tray.

Gas Fireplace Coals

This particular gas fireplace insert has an open vent hood at the top where all waste air from the fire is removed from the home thanks to the natural movement of air up the chimney known as the draft.

Gas Fireplace Chimney
Waste air leaves this gas fireplace up the chimney

As the base of this gas fireplace is the two-piece firefront which acts both as a decorative part of the fireplace and as a cover for the controls to the fireplace behind.

A gas fireplace firefront

There may also be a gas line close to where the gas fireplace is installed.

An example of a gas line serving a gas fireplace

As this gas fireplace is live and operational we can’t remove it to show any further detail of what a gas fireplace look like from either behind or the sides.

However, we have another gas fireplace that the previous house owner never connected up the gas mains that we’ve since removed from the open masonry fireplace in our kitchen.

Gas Insert With Surround
The gas fireplace we’ve had removed

The picture above shows what a gas fireplace looks like with the removable components taken out, such the media in the form of coals and the firefront.

The images below show what this gas fireplace insert looks like on its own.

Gas Fireplace Insert Removed

The examples of gas fireplaces we’ve shown in the article are natural vent gas fireplaces but many gas fireplaces are direct vent with glass fronts and are sealed systems with no mixing off air between the room and the fireplace.

Although we don’t personally own any forms of direct vent or ventless gas fireplace, examples of what these types of gas fireplace look like are shown below.

Direct Vent Gas Fireplace
Gas Fireplace Real Flames
Ventless Gas Fireplace

Further Reading

What’s Inside A Gas Fireplace

How To Know If You Have A Gas Fireplace

Can You Burn Wood In A Gas Fireplace?

Do Gas Fireplaces Need A Chimney?

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