Gas log fireplaces are more popular than ever before and for good reason. They’re much safer than wood burning fireplaces, as well as a lot cleaner and better for the environment. They burn in a controlled environment and don’t produce the kind of heavy carbon emissions and pollutants that wood burning fireplaces do.
One thing that still keeps people away from gas fireplaces is that there’s a perception they don’t carry the charm of a traditional wood burning hearth. That perception is untrue. Modern gas fireplaces can be made to look, sound and even smell like real fireplaces. Let’s look at what makes a gas log set look real, the additions you can make to increase the reality, and where to get the best vented gas logs for your home.
This is the million-dollar question. Modern gas log sets come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. The good news is with each passing year, even the low-cost ones look more realistic than ever. At its core, what makes a gas log fireplace look authentic is the detail involved.
Realistic gas logs have to be incredibly detailed, not just in the woodgrain and bark surface, but in the charring and the way they glow. When you light up your fireplace, realistic logs will glow red just like actual embers. When the fireplace is off, even a close examination will yield charing, scorch marks and bark detail.
It goes far beyond that, however. Wood isn’t generic. Every kind of tree has a different bark pattern and appearance. Master crafted artificial logs won’t just try to look like wood, they’ll try to look like specific kinds of wood. Many designers prefer live or split oak, as this presents a classic look.
Other designs that are very popular include mountain birch gas logs and coastal driftwood designs. Choosing the right wood for your area is important–driftwood logs, for example, are ideal for a beachfront property, while birch is great for a ski lodge.
Adding extra components can take your gas fireplace to the next level. Artificial embers scattered around the base add realism to just about any fireplace. Ceramic pine cones or acorns can add a rustic appearance. Various add-ons exist that can color the flames from your fireplace, and even add a realistic scent or flicker and crackling sounds.