Posted by Karen Duke on 10/7/2019 to Tech
One of the hottest design trends today is the bathroom fireplace, a once-great idea that has been rediscovered! Many old Victorian homes feature large bathrooms with a fireplace because indoor plumbing didn't come along (at least for common folk) until some of these old homes were already decades old.
It was common to convert a bedroom into a bathroom, and since the room already had a fireplace it was easier to leave it there than to tear it out. In the early days of indoor plumbing (often before central heating, too) baths were the norm; there was no hot shower to help warm the room. You might not even be the first one to bathe in that tub full of water so it could be pretty nippy by the time your turn came around. The old coal fireplace made bath day much more tolerable!
Why not enjoy a bathroom fireplace in your home? We offer a great variety of choices, plus lots of advice to help plan your project.
ELECTRIC FIREPLACES ARE AN IDEAL OPTION FOR MOST BATHROOMS
Electric fireplaces offer tremendous flexibility in designs. You can choose from a wide variety of styles and sizes, from fireplaces with mantels to convenient wall mounted models. Tall and narrow, short and wide, even vintage reproduction styles! Plug-in electric fireplaces are limited to 5000 btu's heat output, way more than you'll generally need. (Most can be turned down to lower heating levels as well). Another excellent feature is that you can operate an electric fireplace WITHOUT the heater turned on, setting the perfect evening mood if you'd just like to lie back in some bubbles and relax. Turn on your fireplace, add some nice music, rose petals and bath oil and you've got the perfect ending to your day!
Tips for planning your bathroom electric fireplace project
* An electric fireplace MUST NOT be installed in such a way that they may be splashed or come into contact with water due to danger of electric shock!
* Use a GFI electric outlet for further safety; consult with a professional electrician and check code requirements in your locality
* Through proper planning you can obscure the electric outlet for optimal appearance and safety
* A popular design is to install a wall mount model above an oversized tub. Make absolutely certain that you install the fireplace so it could not become dislodged from the wall and drop into the tub due to electrocution hazards!
GAS FIREPLACES for BATHROOMS
Gas fireplaces generally produce too much heat for a bathroom to make them either practical to use or to meet safety codes as gas fireplaces must not be oversized for the room they're being installed into. Per National Fuel Gas Codes, an "unconfined space" is a room that has at least 50 cubic feet per 1,000 btu per hour of the appliance.
Here's the formula to use:
Room Length x Width x Height = Number of Cubic Feet
Ex: 12' long x 10' wide x 8' tall = 960 cubic feet
Multiply the cubic feet of the room x 20 btu/hour
Ex: 960 x 20 = 19,200 btu
In this example, a gas appliance must be rated at 19,200 btu's or less to meet the "unconfined space" requirement. As a matter of fact, this is a requirement with all rooms, not just a bathroom, in determining how to size a gas fireplace for a room.
For a gas fireplace you'll also need to consider the venting options available since only vented gas appliances can be installed into a bathroom.
In some jurisdictions only "bathroom approved" appliances are allowed by the building officials, so check your local fire & building safety codes as this will help guide you to the appropriate models for your home.
Shown left is a Windsor insert we installed into a local renovation project that converted a bedroom into an extravagant master bath. The Windsor is available in either a gas model or an electric model, offering the ideal retrofit into an existing fireplace. Designer/contractor Concierge Home Solutions in Richmond, VA