When looking for a “fireplace alternative” I did tons of research.
Electric – cheesy flame action.
Gas – needed vent, um, we are mid block.
Vent-less Gas – could not justify the price tag to hubby.
I decided on Gel Fuel.
There were not too many reviews out there … so I thought I would do one!
I bought this one:
Overstock.com – it ended up cost $266 total.
(sadly, it looks like it is no longer on overstock)
One thing I noticed when shopping online was some of the dimensions were off. This is about 44” tall. Some were only 36”. A three foot fireplace … just seems odd to me. So if you are in the market – double check the height!
Lets start a review of the actual fireplace:
I love how it looks! The details on the wood are amazing. I would say, the color is a bit off – lucky me – it works perfect with my colors. It was suppose to be antique white. It has a green hue to it. Here are some close ups of the details:
One thing I was not expecting was to have to put it together. It came in two boxes. The black firebox in one, and all the wood in another. Through the years I have put many, many pieces of furniture together. This was BY FAR the hardest thing I have ever assembled. I actually had it 75% done, and had to take it apart and turn a piece around. I was literally sweating by the time it was done. The directions were not very clear!
So now, the Gel Fuel Review:
So, do you know that the fireplace included NO gel fuel. Not even one can to be able to test it out! I was disappointed. I ordered my fuel from Amazon. There were tons of reviews, read them. Apparently one brand stinks! I ended up ordering SunJel. It was $57 for a case of 12 with shipping. This is what the cans look like:
Before you install them in the firebox you are suppose to shake the can and take the label off. When I opened the lid I was surprised by the strong alcohol odor. I was worried they were going to stink. Thankfully they are odor free!
The firebox came with those lava rocks. I placed them around the cans to try to hid the bright silver… you would think the cans would be black! Once the log is in you can not really see them.
The directions say to do three cans. I think that would be overkill so I only did two. Basically you put a match to them – then fire!
I was AMAZED by the heat produced. Keep in mind – my living room is 12×10. But last night I came downstairs and could feel the heat!
Another thing … the fire cans produce the sound of a real fire. Not sure how they did it, but they do.
Here is a video of the fire. Um, hear it … that is the sound from the cans! How cool is that.
Ok, so in summary:
It is love! I am certain I should not love something that cant love me back this much, but I do. Well worth it in my opinion.
But, I do think I will be removing that cheesy black screen and buying a fireplace screen to sit in front. Also, we may do a hearth. Maybe a little tile on the floor. We will see. One thing for certain. We will be cutting the baseboard out behind it so it sits flush to the wall.
See the gap:
That is all for now! If you were considering a “fireplace alternative” Go Gel Fuel! I did!