In many areas, gas fireplaces are now more popular than wood-burning fireplaces. In spite of that, many homeowners with gas fireplaces miss the opportunity to curl up in front of a traditional crackling fire with the pleasant scent of burning wood.
If you are looking to convert your existing gas fireplace into a beautiful wood-burning fireplace, you are not alone, and you may have plenty of options. However, you will need to do some research and consider your finances before you can make such a significant change.
Can Your Gas Fireplace Be Converted to a Wood-Burning Fireplace?
It’s possible to convert some gas fireplaces to wood, but not all of them. The factory-made gas fireplaces in many newer homes were never meant to burn wood, so if you have this kind of unit, you will need to fully replace it. This can be extremely costly if your home lacks a working chimney.
However, some other types of gas fireplaces can be converted to wood. Many homes, especially older ones, have gas-burning inserts installed in traditional fireplaces. These types of fireplaces can be fairly easily converted back to wood-burning fireplaces at a relatively low cost.
To convert a fireplace with a gas insert back into a wood-burning fire feature, you will need to:
- Inspect the chimney. Unlike some types of gas fireplaces, all wood-burning fireplaces need proper ventilation. You should always get your chimney inspected before converting a fireplace back to wood, especially if you haven’t used or maintained it in a while. It’s easy for a chimney to become broken or damaged, which may make a wood-burning fire unsafe.
- Hire a contractor to convert your fireplace. Unless you yourself are a fireplace professional, it’s best to hire a contractor to convert a gas fireplace into a wood-burning one. The contractor will check that your fireplace is in good enough shape for the conversion, remove the gas logs or insert, and cap the gas line for you.
- Budget for future maintenance costs. Wood-burning fireplaces generally need more maintenance than gas fireplaces. If you don’t maintain your fireplace, you can get flammable creosote buildup that may lead to dangerous flames or failing ventilation that leads to smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Wood-Burning Fireplace Design Ideas
If you want to take the opportunity to redesign your fireplace when you do your gas-to-wood conversion, you have a world of ideas to choose from! Here are a few fireplace design styles you may want to consider:
Some homeowners like to show off stacks of wood as part of their decor. You can add a display of firewood in a case or a neat pile near your fireplace to create a stunning decor statement and add to the rustic vibe.
Modern Fireplace Designs
You can make your new wood-burning fireplace look very sleek with a modern mantel design. Minimalist modern designs can be incredibly elegant, especially if you choose high-quality materials and tiles. These designs work especially well in homes with modern or contemporary interior design influences, although we’ve seen them work well in more eclectic homes as well.
Classic Wood-Burning Fireplace Designs
A classic fireplace mantel can be an excellent choice for a traditional wood-burning fireplace, especially if your home’s interior design is mostly classic or transitional. The fireplace is usually the centerpiece of the room, so feel free to go all out with stunning brickwork or an ornamental neoclassical design.
Shelving Above the Fireplace
A fireplace remodel or conversion is a great time to add a shelf above the fireplace. Many people like to display collections, photos, travel mementos, candles, or seasonal decor on a floating or built-in shelf. Just be careful about what you choose to display — it is not safe to keep electronics around a wood-burning fireplace. For an extra rustic feel, consider installing a live edge mantel shelf.
FAQs About Converting a Gas Fireplace to a Wood-Burning Fireplace
How much does it cost to convert a gas fireplace to wood?
For the simplest gas-to-wood conversions, it may cost just a few hundred dollars to convert to wood. However, this is only the case if you have a fully functional chimney already in place, such as if your gas fireplace is really a gas insert installed into a traditional fireplace.
If your chimney is not in good condition, the cost of repairs and maintenance can quickly add up. And if you don’t have a chimney at all, you will need to install a completely new fireplace and pay for masonry work, which can be quite pricey.
Can you replace a gas fireplace with a wood-burning fireplace insert?
Generally, no. Burning wood in a fireplace that was originally intended for gas can be extremely dangerous. However, if your gas fireplace was originally a traditional wood fireplace that had a gas insert or gas logs later installed, you can easily convert your gas fireplace back to wood.
Can you burn wood in a fireplace with a gas line?
If your fireplace was previously used as a gas fireplace, you will need some special safety features before you can burn wood again, even if your chimney is in good condition. The gas line will need to be capped. Without the property safety precautions, it will not be safe to burn wood.
Get a Quote on Your Gas-to-Wood Fireplace Project
Deciding who will help you with your fireplace project can seem overwhelming, especially if you want to do a full redesign, but Four Day Fireplace can make it easy. We will handle the whole project for you, from project inception to design to completed installation.
Four Day Fireplace has been in the fireplace business for over 30 years and has the experience to make your dreams come true. We pride ourselves on our ability to complete high-quality projects much faster than is typical in the industry, including complete fireplace installations in four days or less.
Contact us today to get a free quote on your new fireplace!