There's nothing like a wood-burning fireplace--for most rooms. Our house has two, one of which is used fairly often, weather permitting.
But I wouldn't want a wood-burning fireplace in an upstairs master bedroom, for instance, because of the hassles with wood and ashes. A gas-fired fireplace would make more sense.
The problem is aesthetic; the look of most prefabricated gas fireplaces is artificial, tacky.
The folks at Superior Fireplace Co., 4325 Artesia Ave., Fullerton, obviously agree with me, because they introduced their stylish GHC and GRD 5000 series gas fireplaces at the annual convention of the National Assn. of Home Builders last January in Dallas.
Available in natural gas and propane models at suggested prices of about $620 to about $950, the heat-circulating fireplaces can be trimmed out with optional glass doors and trim kits. The trim packages easily snap or screw into place, permitting the homeowner to match the fireplace to contemporary or traditional decorating styles and to change styles as the spirit moves one.
The GHC-5000--sounds like a sporty road car, doesn't it?--has an 18,000 BTU burner that warms with both radiant and convective heat. An optional fan kit is available to further boost efficiency.
A piezo igniter eliminates matches and a self-generating millivolt control system provides heat even during a power failure.
The UL-listed unit is only 15 inches deep, but it features a 36-inch-wide opening, five-inch B venting that allows common venting for stacked units, four realistic cement gas logs, a brick-pattern refractory floor and a burner that produces flickering flames--just like the real thing.
Similar to the GHC is the GRD line, but with a smooth face and no exposed grilles, according to Bob Dischner, Superior's market development manager. They're less expensive--from about $550 to $700--and are more popular than the GHC line in Sun Belt areas, he said.
Both versions of the new 5000 series from Superior don't require the space-robbing hearth extensions that are necessary for wood-burning fireplaces and should be available in fireplace outlets and through contractors, he said. The key distributor is Western Fireplace Distributors, 1011 Walnut Ave., Pomona, Calif. 91766.
The Spring 1987 catalogue from DRI Industries features dozens of tools and gadgets for the homeowner, from a tractor-seat gardening scooter to storage bins for organizing that mess out in the garage to rustproof outdoor padlocks and shackles for gates or outbuildings. The 42-page catalogue also has $10 off coupons that cut the $19.95 price in half on do-it-yourself videotapes. DRI is at Box 28114, Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128.