Project Planning & Tips

Hardscape hearth: Get the outdoor fireplace of your dreams

Entertaining always seems to happen in certain areas in the house. Kitchens and fireplaces are welcoming spaces that signify warmth and welcome, and the crowds tend to gather around them. An outdoor fireplace may be the hearth your yard needs to feel more like home.

While a fire pit is a lovely addition to any yard, some homeowners prefer a larger piece that serves as an anchor to an outdoor room. Indeed, large, traditional-looking open air fireplaces do draw the eye and convey the luxury and grandeur of the elegant estates of old. Traditional masonry like that would be quite expensive to emulate. Thankfully, modern science has offered a solution within the reach of any homeowner in search of an outdoor fireplace of their own.




Modular magic

Building a traditional outdoor hearth by hand would require a lot of expensive material. Laying brick-by-brick bases and chimneys would mean hours and hours of labor. Today’s outdoor fireplaces are indistinguishable from the traditionally-built ones yet can be set up much more cost efficiently and are made to last. Modular concrete pieces form the “bones” of the fireplace and veneer pavers are applied to their surfaces. The result is a beautiful, durable, full fireplace completed in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost.




The Earthcore company manufactures fireplace kits for building outdoor hearths to any specification. The company’s Isokern modular units can be mixed and matched to fit your patio’s needs. EP Henry Cast Stone Veneer adheres to the Isokern surfaces. Our Cast Stone Veneer replicates the look of traditional stone masonry so perfectly that even experts will need an extremely close look to spot the difference.



Fuel for the fire

Some Isokern modular fireplaces units are meant solely for gas, others for wood, while others can burn all fireplace fuels. Have an idea of how you will be using the outdoor fireplace and make sure to mention your preference to your contractor. EP Henry veneers are also varied and have different qualities, but any of EP Henry’s veneers are sufficient for the modular unit’s outside surfaces. Choose the design that best matches your current hardscape. The fireplace lining will need to comply to regulations and will be made of firebrick, which is usually a ceramic material made specifically for high-heat circumstances. Work with your contractor on the look of the firebrick that will line your outdoor fireplace.

Defer the DIY

While the Isokern modular units are lightweight compared to the concrete blocks or quarried stone used in traditional masonry, the assembly of these kits still require elite masonry know-how. Fire is dangerous, to say the least, and contractors are tasked with knowing the best practices for installing a fireplace. Also, professional masons keep up with current municipal regulations and are fully insured. Hiring a contractor for installation is the best way to ensure your outdoor hearth will be around to help you make even more memories of families and friends for many, many years to come.

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