Masonry fireplaces are structures that are created with the use of materials such as brick, cement blocks, or natural stones, and meant to hold a fire safely. The construction will include the use of some sort of binding agent that helps to hold the individual components together. Common in the creation of fireplaces throughout the world, masonry continues to be used in the construction of new homes.
Just about all forms of the traditional fireplace are actually masonry fireplaces. Depending on the design, the material used may be of one or more types. One may be constructed mainly of bricks that have been cured and fired, but attached to a facade of stones that are fixed in place with the aid of cement or other binders. The stones may be smooth and uniform or be an eclectic mixture of shapes and sizes.
In general, a masonry fireplace is created for the purpose of acting as a heat-generating source within the home. As such, the chimney section of the fireplace will be outfitted with a flu and other mechanisms that allow the homeowner to close the fireplace when the device is not in use, or open the flu when the fireplace is in use. While it is normally intended to function as a wood-burning fireplace, many people have opted to install gas jets into traditional fireplaces and make use of gas heaters or logs.
While many homes today are not built with fireplaces, it is a relatively easy task to add this feature at a later date. In addition, it is possible to purchase modular fireplace systems that can easily be installed in the home, or even added to an outdoor patio as a source of heat on a chilly evening. The modular fireplace units usually require little to no assembly and are less expensive than installing a permanent structure.