Masonry vs Prefab – What’s the difference?

This is a question we get asked a lot. Many people aren’t aware that there are two distinct categories that fireplaces fall into. So let’s take a quick look at the key differences between Masonry and Prefab fireplaces.


These are your classic, hand-built fireplaces that are constructed out of brick, stone, slate, marble…etc. Originally masonry fireplaces only burned wood, but as gas fireplaces have gained popularity, the number of gas masonry fireplaces has increased. Masonry fireplaces use a firebox to house the burning logs (in wood-burning applications) and a flue to vent smoke and soot to the outside via the chimney. The firebox and flue are encased in the outer facing. A damper is used to control flow up through the chimney while the lintel and smoke shelf help keep unwanted smoke and soot out of your home.

Prefabricated (prefab):

Prefabricated units are pre-built steel boxes that are already plumbed for gas. Prefabricated units have gained popularity because they are a more eco-friendly alternative to burning wood. They are also easier to clean as they don’t produce soot. Their basic anatomy can be broken down to the firebox, chimney pipe, and outer facing which is usually contructed out of marble, brick, or stone.