Fireplace Jargon: Decoded

It seems that everywhere you look there are strange new words, or even worse acronyms, describing things that are pretty straightforward items, irl (in real life! Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Marketing folk have, for years, invented new words, and mixed words together to portmanteau descriptive one word outcomes – Frenemy, both your friend and your enemy. Brunch, breakfast and lunch hybrid, and most recently ‘Emoticon’ blending emotion with icon to perfectly describe the little smiley/sad/angry faces we can’t help sending one another all the time.

I digress however, and must come back to the topic at hand – fireplaces! There are numerous different parts of a fireplace, and while some will be very obvious such as the on and off switch, there are others that are less in the everyday vernacular.

We’ll cover inserts, flues, BTUs and more! Then, in part 2 we’ll also explain some more things from our site and our products to give you a full understanding of the quality that Fireplace Factory delivers.


Starting us off is….



This is one of those terms that can be said to have multiple meanings – and not in generally, just where fireplaces are concerned! The insert can be the whole section to fit into the fireplace if we are talking about gas and solid fuel fires. That is, the cast iron fireplace itself, the grate, the grill and the side decorations. When we are talking about electric fireplaces, as we always are at Fireplace Factory, then the insert describes the actual fire that goes into the fireplace. See for example the Bespoke 890HD+  which can be fit into a modern media wall, built to your specification, or is equally at home in one of our marble fireplaces, such as the Miami suite.



If you read our blog, which is highly recommended J, then you will no doubt have come across the word ‘flue’ a few times. We often talk about flues and the limitations that exist for fireplaces that always need to be near to an existing flue, otherwise you face extra cost and work to fit a new flue. The best part about the pain that flues can cause is that electric fires don’t need them! All of our fires are flue-free and can be situated anywhere in your house. No extra work, no extra cost, just the streamlined beauty of an easy installation in the room exactly where you want it. Also, as they don’t have flues, you never have to worry about them becoming clogged up and you never have to clean them!



BTUs? Big thick underwear?  Blue tinted unicorns? Nope, British Thermal Unit is the correct wording for this strange acronym. It is basically a measurement of heat, so that fires can have their output categorised on a standard scale. Our electric fires don’t typically have BTU readings, as they use electricity which is measured in kiloWatts (kWs) and not gas, oil or any other solid fuel. There is however a conversion available. One kW is equivalent to 3,413 BTUs. All of our fires work up to a maximum capacity of 2kW, which means they have a British Thermal Unit equivalent rating of 6,826 BTUs.


Period fireplaces

We also talk about our elegant fireplaces, hewn from the finest marble, expertly constructed by our in–house marble craftsmen to be millimetre perfect, giving your home the exclusive look it deserves. What are the periods of fireplaces though? Well they follow the same timeline as houses – which makes sense.

There are typically 4 periods of fireplaces, and they are covered below. Obviously there are more times throughout history when fires and fireplaces have been used, but we do not stock (nor do we wish to) caveman fires, or fires from the medieval period!

Starting off the periods is the Georgian period – beginning in 1714 as George the first ascended to the throne. He was followed by George’s II, III, IV, and finally by…. William IV who reigned until 1837 which is when the Georgian period ended. The fireplaces from the Georgian period are characterised by big openings , surrounded by delicately detailed carvings or marble.

Next up is the Victorian period – just the one rule here, Victoria from 1837 until 1901. Victorian era fireplaces were beautifully designed, full of ornate designs, and were known for becoming more symmetrical and shape focused.

Edwardian period fireplaces come next – which are famed for featuring tiles in a move away from the marble, with the surround instead being made from the same material as the fire – cast iron. The Georgian period lasted from 1901 to 1920.

So the next period is likely to be the Elizabethan? Well, not exactly. There was no definitive style attributed to the fireplace during this time, perhaps the biggest advance was the move to gas and then electric fires! Well, we may reflect back on the Elizabethan period in years to come, but the last period we are going to look at now is the Art Nouveau period, which ran from the late 1800s to 1905. This period saw an explosion in design with fireplaces truly becoming statement pieces within rooms, and an increase in the amount of marble used too.

Our fireplace surrounds are all crafted from marble, with a range of style available to suit any home. The classic design of the Step Elite Suite to the ultra-modern aesthetic of the Denver Suite and the Neptune Suite.


So that is the first post of our glossary of industry terms for fireplaces. We will be adding more terms in the next glossary instalment. If you have any requests, please let us know!