If you’re building a hearth from scratch in a space that’s never had one before, you’re looking for a fireplace (AKA zero clearance fireplace). Fireplaces are typically installed during new construction or as part of a remodel project. As opposed to an insert, the housing (or firebox) of a fireplace is composed of an inner and outer metal shell. The term “zero clearance” refers to the fact that the framing (studs and subfloor) can come directly in contact with the firebox; no clearance is required, allowing lots of installation flexibility.


If you’re looking to modify an existing fireplace to improve its efficiency and/or appearance, you’re looking for an insert. An insert is specifically designed to fit into an existing metal or masonry fireplace. Before your visit to Dean’s, it is a good idea to take the measurements of your current fireplace so we can help you determine the perfect insert. You can print our Measurement Guide here!

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