Friday, 21 December 2012

Open Fireplaces Explained

NB: The diagram below dissects a traditional open fireplace, but there are several other types, including ‘all-in-ones’, those with hob grates and register grates, and ‘hole-in-the-wall’ designs.
Cross section diagram of an open fireplace
1. Brick Arch/Lintel: The masonry above the RECESS is supported by an arch or lintel. Older examples are often of oak, whilst modern lintels are usually made of cast concrete.
2. Mantelshelf: The top shelf or ‘cill’ of the fire surround. May be plain edged or moulded.
3. Header: Also called a lintel, it carries the MANTELSHELF. May be an architrave moulding to match the JAMBS or a plain or decorative panel.
4. Jamb: Supports the HEADER and MANTEL SHELF to form the fire surround. May be of columns, pilasters or mouldings.
5. Hearth: A base that isolates a heat-producing appliance from people and combustible items. The hearth’s thickness is dependant upon the appliance. For an open fire with a DOG GRATE, you can obtain the substantial thickness of material necessary by providing a constructional hearth, topped with a decorative hearth.
6. Flue: A passage within the CHIMNEY BREAST that carries the smoke and fumes produced by the fire from the RECESS to outside air. Old flues were often lined with lime mortar or nothing at all, but all new chimneys have to be built with a flue lining to protect the masonry and improve the flow of fumes. It is usually constructed of stainless steel.
7. Chimney Breast: The masonry section of the interior wall that projects into the room and encases the FLUE – of which it may contain more than one – along with the RECESS.
8. Gather Hood: Installed at the base of the FLUE to provide a smooth transition of the fumes and smoke between the RECESS and FLUE. Modern hoods are of stainless steel.
9. Recess: A structural opening also called a builder’s opening — it is recessed in a wall or CHIMNEY BREAST, and has a hearth at its base. Made of masonry or stone, inserts are usually added for protection.
10. Dog Grate: Also known as a fire basket; a freestanding device on legs that holds coal or logs over the HEARTH; may be of cast iron, steel or brass. Many modern versions are gas fuelled but with coal- or log-effect fires.

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