I've have talked, well written, about a few heating items I have in and around my house, such as the standard white wall heater which is as exciting as watching paint dry and even a 'log burning' styled one that is more for decorative purposes than actually heating a room.
One particular fire which I have in one of my rooms is not just an electric fire that throws out the right amount of heat, it is a bit of a centre piece too as it really does look the part as it sits on the wall looking, and almost feeling, like a real coal fire.
But it's not just the fire itself I am going to tell you about today, it is the rather lovely, yet quite plain, fire surround that this fire came attached to
This electric heater, nay, electric fire is in fact, from the Be Modern range and is called the Lusso Electric suite
Firstly, let me tell you a bit about the fire itself...
The actual fire, which slots onto a couple of little bolts that are attached to the fire surround, is a lovely 'rough' textured black in colour with a rather fetching 'gold' trim around the edges and also dons a couple of 'gold' coloured little decorative features.
It is 550mm wide by 640mm high and 250mm deep, although only 130mm of it is visible out of the surround.
The heater section is about 440mm off the ground and slopes out at about 45°, with this section not only holding the heating output but also the air intake, three switches and the thermostat itself.
The three switches are...
1- The on/off switch which also turns on the light.
2- The lower power setting
3- The higher power setting
The thermostat is a dial and turns to allow you to fully control the heat you want to come out of the heater, using a number format of 1 - 10, and cutting the heat off when the temperature reached your desired selection.
At the bottom of the fire there is what looks like a selection of coals which is really made of moulded plastic, although there are a few real coals that come with the fire and are used to sit on top of the moulded looking plastic ones, making it look even more realistic.
Now the fire surround...
This is made of wood and has a crème coloured special coating over it to help in resisting heat. It is 1070mm wide by 1030mm high, at the base it is 330mm deep whilst at the top it is 170mm deep, with the main body being 150mm deep.
The top 'ledge' protrudes out slightly over the main body which makes the 'ledge' look more like a nice size shelf.
There is a lovely curve pattern which frames the fire when it is in position, as it sits back slightly, indented into the surround. The bottom, or hearth protrudes out, but not too much so that you trip over it as is does stand off the floor by about 50mm, and it looks quite solid even though it's not a solid piece.
Fitting it together...
The whole things comes in one piece, packed inside a very long box indeed, so there's no real hassles in putting it together., although there is a bit of an art in getting it out of the box to get it into position.
The surround does have to be attached to the wall to make it secure and there are two little brackets which help screw it into the brick work, although the screws that came with it were a little short for my liking, so I did have to use longer ones to get it screwed to the wall properly, threading though the plaster and into the brickwork.
Once it's screwed securely into the wall, it is there to stay, especially if you end up doing what I did and actually spend a bit of time 'chiselling around the surround, into the plaster, so that the whole surround actually goes into the plaster, fill any of the gaps with either plaster, or 'polly-filler', covering the brackets. Then pump some 'cork' around the edges, wait for the whole thing to dry and then paint the walls up to the frame.
Anyway, that's what I did as to be honest the wall I wanted to put this on wasn't exactly the straightest of walls and a complete re-plaster was not on my plans
But once in position, flush against the wall, it's time to slot the fire onto it, which is a matter of simply slotting the bolts, which are on the rear of the fire, into the holes in the surround, and when it's done the fixing holes are hidden by the fire itself, making it look all neat and tidy without any signs of how the fire is stuck to the surround.
Then it's just a matter of plugging it into a standard plug socket, hopefully one that is close to the fire, or even a spur from a socket, or you could get away with an extension lead if needs be.
For what is technically an electric fire this one really does look rather fetching and looks the part in most rooms.
The surround is a good size without being to 'in your face' sort of thing as it sits there on the chosen wall, being the focal point so that you've got something to talk about.
Then there's the fire itself which, even though it is electric, really looks like a little coal fire, especially when you place a few pieces of real coal on top of the plastic moulded ones.
The controls are simple, flick the far left button and the light comes on, gently 'flickering' like a real coal fire. Flick the middle switch and the lower setting kicks in, press the far right button and the higher setting kicks in. and you control the heat by turning the easy to find thermostat dial, which is just a little further 'into' the fire, feeling for it just past the switches. Although you do have to bend down and look up if you want to see what number the thermostat is set on.
As for the actual heat that this fire throws off, well, the lower setting is adequate enough for most sized rooms, with the higher setting only needed in an cold emergency, to be honest I very rarely use the higher setting at all these days.
The thermostat is a cracking little extra, controlling the heat that comes out, stopping git when the room gets to the right temperature, setting the heat going again when the temperature drops again.
As I said the heat itself comes out from underneath the 'sloping' section which the controls hide under, and this part can get a little hot so do be careful, especially if the fire has been on for a while. So, if you have smaller children then think about getting a fire guard to keep those little hands off any hot parts.
The wood is covered with a smooth finish which helps it be fire resistant and actually helps keep cleaning down to a minimum as all I've ever had to do is wipe over the surround with a damp cloth to bring it back to its original state.
If your walls aren't 'flush', like some of mine, then this will not sit properly on your wall, but, if you do what I did, take a bit of plaster out of the wall, which takes no time at all, then you can't go wrong. And as the back of this surround is more a structure than a solid piece you don't have to take that much plaster off anyway.
There is another way which may be easier and that is to add strips of wood around the surround once it's on the wall.
The choice of 'fitting' is all yours.
So what about the price of this fire and fire surround, this is where is gets a bit 'complicated', as I bought mine for just under £250 but as I recently did a quick search on line I've discovered it for sale in some shops claiming to be a bargain at nearly £500, which is way over the top in my opinion.
I was very happy paying the £250 for it, even going as far as to say that I would have even paid maybe £300 or a little more, but there's no way I'd have paid over £400 for it, let alone £500 as that is just too expensive indeed, even though it looks the part and throws at plenty of heat.
So if you are interested in buying this lovely little fire from the 'Be Modern' range then do shop around as it can be grabbed at a bargain price.
In all, this is indeed a fine looking electric fire which would look good in a living room, a bedroom or any room in fact. There's no need for a flue and it can be up and running in minutes.
© Blissman70 2012