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If you had a choice - wood burner or gas fire? Help!

(39 Posts)
Grockle Sun 29-Dec-13 18:29:46

I don't have a chimney or hearth but want to install a fire.

I've always wanted a wood burner but, thinking about it, a gas fire seems like a better option:

No fuel to source
No cleaning
No lighting it then worrying if I have to go out
No ugly flue

The gas fire I've seen is beautiful - with a tiled surround, iron looking grate, just like the one that should be in my Victorian/ Edwardian house. But would a wood burner be better/ nicer?

Ragusa Sun 29-Dec-13 23:01:22

I am not sure about venting it through a wall though. The fitting cost may well put you off.

guccigirly Sun 29-Dec-13 23:09:08

I have done a lot of research on this lately and the best way to go is multi fuel. It gives you the flexibility of not just using wood. WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes you can get an inset multi fuel log burner to fit into an original cast iron surround. I have found one by Esse that can convert my victorian fireplace to a log burner.
Also it is important to get one with the largest window you can with no bars across as the joy of watching the fuel burn is part of the experience. Some log burners have a type of glass that doesn't tarnish so that it is much clearer to see your fuel burn, but I have forgotten the name, Esse do them though.

HicDraconis Sun 29-Dec-13 23:11:29

We have a see through real flame gas fire - original plan was woodburner but then the council refused permission for new builds so then we looked at pellet burners (cleaner, easier to use, more Eco friendly). Then I saw a see through gas fire in the wall at one of the local pubs, loved it and insisted we get one smile love it, it's warm and friendly and cosy and easy! We have a part wall dividing an otherwise open plan living/dining room and it's in there.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Sun 29-Dec-13 23:15:58

Thanks Gucci - I must admit I haven't seriously looked into it, but the opening is only about 18" wide by 24" high so I assumed too small. Our hearth is too small as well and we haven't really got room for log baskets, although we could just carry through a few at a time from the other room.

Agree with having multifuel, we only really use wood with ours but it's good to have the option of solid fuel. Also to minimal bars, ours is a two door design and the one in the showroom had each window divided into 4 squares, we asked for it to be just one pane in each and am glad we did so.

Ours is supposed to self clean the glass but doesn't, however a damp wad of newspaper dipped in the ash pan and rubbed over the glass does a brilliant job of cleaning it.

Follyfoot Sun 29-Dec-13 23:17:20

We've got a multifuel burner and a gas fire that looks like a multifuel burner. The multifuel is fab - it warms the bones of the house up, wouldnt be without it. It works best with a layer of ash in it anyway so only needs clearing out when both ash pans are full. As for cleaning the glass, its as simple as pulling out the airwash knob. It overrides our central heating too, so saves loads of money as we can get wood for nothing.

We never use the gas stove. It looks nice (because it looks like a wood burner), but it just isnt the same as the real thing.

Having said all that, a real fire does make the room a bit dustier and its a faff carrying wood up from the wood store. If both of those are an issue, I wouldnt go for one.

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 29-Dec-13 23:21:35

I've got one I hardly use - it's lovely, but I no longer have the free wood supply that I had when I first had it installed. I find that even if I forage for bits when I'm out with the dogs, it isn't enough to keep it fed.

It doesn't help of course that if I do pick up a nice chunk, the Labradors spend the rest of the walk slathering around me, jumping up, desperate for me to throw it for them!

ShrekTheHalls Mon 30-Dec-13 01:28:10

havent read the whole thread sorry, just the last few posts. we have both in 2 diff rooms obv. the living flame gas fire gets used daily. the woodburner gets used rarely as it's a pita although lovely when it is on. mucho faff in reality and hangs on availability of nice dry wood and the motivation to bring it in blush blush

Grockle Mon 30-Dec-13 09:54:46

Thank you so much for all the info. I think, because of my health, sadly a woodburner would be too much work and end up a bit pointless. So, that leaves me with gas or electric... does anyone know which is going to be better?

ShrekTheHalls Mon 30-Dec-13 10:17:41

are you thinking living flame type thing or fakey woodburner sort? there are good ones of both around. if you like the look of a woodburner then some nice (other fuelled!) ones - trying to reactivate my brain cell and remember where I saw them blush

PigletJohn Mon 30-Dec-13 10:36:39

The gas ones certainly do look better because they really do have flames. Although some of the heat goes up the chimney, electricity costs three times as much as gas so you will still come out ahead.

The glass-fronted ones are higher efficiency but do not look as good.

guccigirly Mon 30-Dec-13 10:59:35

Look at www.chesneys.co.uk and select gas stoves. They look like woodburners but are gas run. You can buy online. They are top quality stoves.

peggyundercrackers Mon 30-Dec-13 11:11:32

we made the mistake of putting in a gas fire when we renovated our house. the gas fire is rated at 11kw but to be honest if we put it on full and stand any more than a foot away from it you cannot feel any heat from it AT ALL - it is a complete waste of money. we have central heating so the fire is really just for show but isnt even good for that - it wastes lots and lots of gas too. we have now blocked the chimney off for the time being as all that happens now is we get a draft down it.

we live in an old victorian house so we have a chimney, hearth etc. but if i didnt i wouldnt put one in, I personally dont think its worth it.

Showtime Mon 30-Dec-13 13:22:26

We had a woodburner years ago, but even after paying top price for good, seasoned logs cut to size, we were always at mercy of supplier dumping big, green lumps on drive while we were out, and DH reckoned another winter feeding it would probably finish him off. I've a pretty live-fire-effect gas fire now, which I just don't bother using as radiators are so efficient and I prefer to block chimney to avoid draughts (altho these are not as bad as with woodburner).
Congratulations OP on making a wise choice, and thanks to PigletJohn for fuel-cost info.

Ragusa Mon 30-Dec-13 16:49:07

There should not be draughts with a properly installed woodburner wink

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