Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association research shows that gas fireplaces are still hot in the home market. The HPBA also reports that two-thirds of the 3.2 million hearth appliance shipments in 2005 were gas-fueled models, and 53% of fireplace owners consider them to be major design features in their homes. In fact, fireplaces rank among the top three features desired buy new-home buyers. The current average age of a wood fireplace is 23 years, so they're likely remodeling targets, too. Whether homeowners are looking for traditional or modern models, the manufacturers listed here have all manner of styles for them to warm up to.
DESA Hearth Products. When homeowners want the homey touch of a gas fireplace but can't stretch the budget enough for the largest model available, Versa Fire provides a solution. With gas-log designs in two sizes and three variations, the upgradeable direct-vent system from the Vanguard line lets users trade up to a larger log set when it's economically convenient. 866.672.6040. www.vanguardheat.com.
Lennox. The Elite Series Gas Fireplace is now available in a direct-vent, louverless design. New technology gives the fire a more natural look with an enhanced glow and high “campfire” flame with 25,000 to 30,000 BTUs. Available in 35-, 40-, or 45-inch sizes, the fireplace can easily fit into existing specification plans and construction drawings. Several finish options are available. 800.953.6669. www.lennoxhearthproducts.com.
Exhausto. Used with the RS Chimney Fan, the EW 40 wireless control allows users to adjust ventilation to improve chimney efficiency and keep smoke from entering the room. Available with a sensor, the wireless control can function automatically to ensure the fan is switched on at the proper time. It will also serve as an alarm in case of chimney fires, and can note when fuel should be added. The fan can also run in the absence of a fire to increase room ventilation or rid a room of cigarette smoke or other odors. 800.255.2923. www.chimneyfans.com.
Travis Industries. Bring the comfort of a fireplace to any room with the 21DV Bed & Breakfast model. The “portrait style” fireplace measures 20 1/8 inches wide, 34 1/8 inches tall, and 15 inches deep, and is designed for corner or flush-to-the-wall installations in walls or cabinets. Perfect for kitchens, bedrooms, and even bathrooms. A variety of faces and options are available. 800.654.1177. www.travisproducts.com.
SPARK Modern Fires. Inspired by the sleek appearance of home electronics, the Fire Ribbon direct-vent fireplace has a distinctive flame-only aesthetic. With no need to construct a chimney, the fireplace is approved nationwide for use in common rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and commercial applications. Situated behind a rectangular pane of glass, the Fire Ribbon can be framed in almost any designer-specified material. 866.938.3846. www.sparkfires.com.
Heat & Glo. Transforming basic gas fireplaces with eye-catching designs, Modern Collection surrounds offer a sleek European look. Three styles — Echo, Luna, and Athena (shown) — feature seamless one-piece polished concrete construction with a natural gray, textured finish. All three surrounds are available in 32- and 36-inch sizes, and can be installed on furnace-rated gas fireplaces. 888.427.3973. www.heatnglo.com.
Dimplex. Echoing the growing popularity of slim-line TVs while maintaining a sense of family room ambiance is the Entertainment Console electric fireplace. The 69½-inch–wide unit holds up to a 60-inch television, and associated electronic components, DVDs, and CDs. The heat is directed through the front of the unit, keeping the cabinet and stored accessories safe from heat. The flame and heater operate independently, making the piece suitable for year-round use. 800.668.6663. www.dimplex.com.
Miles Industries. The Valor brand Alhambra Horizon Series fireplace features contemporary inner cast trim that complements the wrought iron Alhambra doors, giving the fireplace California style with a touch of Spanish influence. The powdercoat finish offers durability, while the realistic bricks and logs set the stage for a gas fire that could be mistaken for a wood-burning flame. The direct-vent fireplace measures 38 inches wide and 30 inches high. 800.468.2567. www.valorfireplaces.com.
For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog, at www.ebuild.com.