What are the Main Parts of a Fireplace?

Fireplaces come in various shapes and designs, but they all have some main parts that make a fireplace. A wood-burning fireplace is the original anatomy of fireplaces. It has parts that modern fireplaces also have. Each part has a function, and you should note that all these parts depend on each other.

The main parts of a fireplace are the firebox, surround, chimney throat, mantel, hearth, and damper. Each part has a specific function that makes it possible for another part to work. Here is an article that will describe how all these parts work, including their functions.

Main Parts of a Fireplace


If a fireplace was a football game, the firebox would be the playing ground. Here is where the magic happens. You always receive heat or warmth on your end, but it comes from the firebox. A good firebox must have fireproof materials around it. The type of fireplace also determines how a firebox is built.

Most fireboxes are painted black to cover up the soot. At the top of the firebox, you will find the opening to the chimney. A wood-burning fireplace has a visible firebox where you place wood and ignites the fire. For an electric fireplace, the firebox is hidden at the back, where you will find the fan and the heating coil.

Will it still be called a firebox if you insert an electric fireplace in the firebox for wood-burning? The answer is NO because these are two different heating systems. You will have a glass screen in front of the firebox with the gas fireplace. A vented gas fireplace has a firebox with a chimney, while the ventless one does not have a chimney.

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The hearth

This is the firebox floor that extends to the outside of your room. The hearth is always raised a little above the standard floor to help protect your floor from excess heat. For a wood-burning fireplace, the hearth helped to hold embers and ashes. It is made with fireproof material that can handle excess heat.

The hearth is divided into the outer hearth and inner hearth. The inner hearth is inside the firebox while the outer hearth is the extension of the firebox. The screen is placed on the outer hearth to prevent flying embers from entering the room. An electric fireplace can survive without a heart, but a gas fireplace only uses the hearth to control the heat.

The hearth is the part that requires maximum follow-up with the local construction authority rules. First of all, it must be built with non-combustible materials like stone, brick, ceramic, and concrete. The size and depth of the hearth depend on the type of solid fuel that will be used in the fireplace.

The mantel

This extension on top of the firebox brings up a small shelf-like appearance. The original intention of the mantel was to prevent smoke from entering the room. Today, it is expected on a wood-burning fireplace.

The mantel makes the whole fireplace look lovely. Nowadays, you can use it to place pictures, trophies, and other decorative things. The mantel adds value to your home, especially if it is made from quality material. Most of the time, a mantel is painted to match the color of the walls.

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The surround

This is the part between the external hearth and the mantel. It can be built from combustible or noncombustible materials. The main purpose of this part is to add aesthetic value to the fireplace. The design is constructed to match the mantel and outer hearth. The fireplace surround can also protect the fireplace from external damage.

Chimney throat and damper

This is the intersection of the chimney and the firebox. It is found on top of the firebox. This part is made from fire-resistant materials like metal or ceramic. The chimney throat has an immediate part called the manually controlled dumper. The dumper is closed when the fireplace is not in use to prevent warmth from escaping from the room.

The damper can be at the bottom near the chimney throat or the top close to the chimney cap. Remember to open the damper before you start the fire or smoke will enter the room. With modern technology, the damper can be controlled with a remote control box, simply press a button and the damper is open or closed.


A fireplace has many parts, but the main parts are only five. These are; the firebox, mantel, chimney throat, damper, and surround. Not all types of fireplaces have these main parts but they are derived from wood-burning fireplaces. The firebox is the only part found in all three types of fireplaces. Any section where the heat is processed is called the firebox area.

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