While a “traditional-style” fireplace immediately conjures the image of a wood-burning hearth, it’s far from the only option available to builders and designers.

Electric, propane, and natural gas-powered burners have enabled and inspired a new range of design options for in-home fire features. Contemporary fires are characterized by their stone, metal, or reflective glass media bases. Glass-enclosed fire inserts can be placed almost anywhere in the home, and modern venting technologies allow users to direct heat away from the front of the feature. And new experiments are already breaking the contemporary style mold, from five-foot walls of flame to fire pits in the center of waterfalls. (Conversely, for those who want a traditional style without the required maintenance, a log set and a brick or stone front can emulate the look and feel of a wood fireplace.)

These eleven manufacturers are using gas burners to expand the scope of fire features in design:


The Sky T MKIII Direct Vent Fireplace is a five-foot vertical glass enclosure with tube-style burners and heat output ranging from 9,200 to 47,800 BTU per hour. Its E-Save Control system allows users to adjust the flame’s height and intensity via wall switch, remote or smartphone control, potentially reducing fuel use by up to 45%.

The fixture requires a 5 by 8-inch direct vent, and may be fitted for use with propane. Anthracite, reflective black and concrete-style interiors are available, and media options include gray stones, Carrara pebbles, log set, fire glass, and black quartz. europeanhome.com


The value-engineers Lyric contemporary series is designed for easy installation and strict code compliance. It uses a flat, stainless-steel burner to create a balanced flame height, and a four-inch burner depth to create the look of a real, wood-burning flame. Its heat release technique allows the walls around the fireplace to remain cool, and it is compatible with fabric or wood wall finishes.

Lyric is available in wide variety of Ortal’s contemporary fireplace styles, including front, corner, peninsula, three-sided, see-through, or stand-alone, pictured here. ortalheat.com


The Luxuria is the premier linear fireplace in Napoleon’s new Linear Series. The Dynamic Heat Control feature allows users to redirect the fireplace’s heat to any other area of the home, or outside, in order to maintain a comfortable temperature and enjoy the fireplace year-round. With no heat at the fireplace opening, the Premium Glass Guard system is entirely safe to touch, and any finishes or TVs can be installed right up to the edge. Media options include birch logs, nickel sticks, wrought iron globes, and glass embers in a variety of colors. napoleonfireplaces.com


The ProBuilder Clean Face Series adds two new traditional gas fireplace options to the economical ProBuilder Series. The ProBuilder 36 Clean Face, available in August/September, measures 32-3/4 by 28-1/4 inches, and can heat up to 1,150 square feet with a maximum 25,000 BTU input. The larger ProBuilder 42 Clean Face will be available later this fall.

Each Clean Face fireplace is available in Standing Pilot Millivolt, GreenSmart® Basic Electronic IPI, or GreenSmart® Deluxe models. The Ember-Glo feature – standard on the Deluxe and optional on the MV and GSB – adds adjustable under-lighting in the ember-bed, creating the appearance of glowing embers. fireplacex.com

Hearth Products Controls

The H2OnFire Fire On Water fixture combines fire and water into a single outdoor feature. The core basin is made from polyurethane with a choice of a copper or concrete bowl, and may be can be covered in stone, veneer, stucco, or any other kind of enclosure. Buyers may choose between a round bowl with 360 degree water flow or a four-scupper bowl with separate water flows. The gas-operated fire ring is completely submerged in the surrounding water, with a patent-pending burner design that serves to protect the controls from the water flow and a maximum output of 65,000 BTU/hr. hpcfire.com


With the introduction of the mid-size FullView 42, Mendota’s modern-style FullView series is now available in five sizes, ranging from 22 3/8 to 33 inches wide. The FV42 has a viewing area of 828 square inches and a heat output of 14,100 to 44,000 BTUH. It doubles as a certified ANSI/AGA high-efficiency wall furnace, and users can direct the fire’s heat to any room in the home. Fire base options include birch and Norway spruce logs, and a number of fronts, doors, and interior linings are also available. mendotahearth.com

Heat & Glo

The Phoenix TrueView, a finalist for Best Indoor Living Product at the Best of IBS Awards, offers builders and buyers a traditional-style gas fireplace that does not require a glass front. The Phoenix uses the same clearances and horizontal venting as a gas fireplace, and its three-part WhisperTone technology creates airflow, minimizes sound, and stops air movement when the fireplace is off. Brick or black glass interiors are available, and TVs may be installed 12 inches or higher above the fireplace without a mantle. heatnglo.com


The contemporary City Series is available in three trim styles: the single-side New York View, the Chicago Corner, or the three-sided San Francisco Bay. The manufacturer’s cool wall technology allows for any finishing material, TV, or art to be installed up to the edge of the console. Because the system does not function on powered fans, fireplaces with heat-sensitive finishes may be operated safely during power outages.

The hearth framing kits are available with optional compact or extended chase frames, with finishing panels available in five styles: vintage oak, Sonoma oak, loft, dark loft, and iron gray leather. regency-fire.com

Blazing Beats

The Blazing Beats Original fire pit combines an integrated audio system with a patent-pending sound-driven fire burner to sync the movement of the console’s flames with the sound waves from the 6.5-inch speakers.

The 14-gauge 304 stainless steel burner uses micro-perforated holes to guide the movement of the propane or natural-gas powered flames. Users can stream audio from the “dancing” fire pit via Bluetooth, AUX, or microphone input. Each of the fire pits is made from a hand-painted fiber-reinforced concrete product, and the audio components are engineered for weather-resistance and coastal applications. blazingbeats.net

Kozy Heat

The Bayport 41 direct vent gas fireplace features a choice of thin-line, handcrafted frames with screen, full screen or full door fronts. Homeowners can use the included Comfort Control remote to adjust the temperature, control the distribution of heat in the home, and modulate the fan or flame height. Refractory options include brick, masonry, and black enamel, and media options include traditional or birch logs, copper and clear beads, driftwood/rock accents, and glacier, amber, black, or seabreeze crystals. kozyheat.com

Innovative Hearth

The Taurus multi-view vent-free gas firebox by Astria Fireplaces measures 40 inches tall and approx. 44 inches wide. It features a black heat deflection hood, white-stacked refractory panels, and mesh fire screens surrounding a multi-sided northern red oak log set. The fireplace is available as a peninsula circulating louvered feature or a see-through model in smooth-faced or circulating louvered configurations. An optional outside air kit is available, as well as a pre-wired electrical “J” box for use with an optional blower system. astria.us.com

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