Things to Do with a Wood-burning Fireplace


If you are like much of the population, you have learned how harmful wood-burning fireplaces are to the environment and your health. So, now the question you are probably asking is, "What am I supposed to do with my fireplace?" This is likely the focal point of your living space, so to just leave it empty would essentially turn it into an eyesore. Below are three things you can do to put that centerpiece to good use.

Add an Ethanol Insert

You do not have to completely say goodbye to a dancing flame, you simply need a more environmentally-friendly option. By adding an ethanol insert you can still cozy up next to a warm relaxing fire anytime you want, but in a safer and cleaner way. All you have to do is clean the fireplace one last time really good, and then place the ethanol insert inside. Whenever you want to enjoy a fire you simply add ethanol fuel and ignite. It creates no smoke and no mess, and you don't have to worry about maintaining a dirty wood pile. Ethanol grates also make great housewarming gifts for those you know are moving into a house with a fireplace, especially if you know the person shares your protective views on the environment.

Fountain and Plant Display

If you do not have pets that will want to dig in the dirt or eat the plants, this is the perfect space to create a display of living art. Plants that thrive in shade include gardenia, herringbone plant, peace lily, Thanksgiving cactus, coleus, snake plant, prayer plant, fancy leaved caladium, and emerald feather. You can also place a tabletop fountain inside the bottom of the fireplace and add potted plants all around. However, ideally, the water feature will be situated just outside the fireplace so the evaporated water can go directly into the air of the room.

Pet Den

If you have a small or medium-sized pet, this space could easily be transformed into a den-like sleeping area for them. Again, make sure it is cleaned really good first. Add a pet bed or layers of warm fleece, and they will have a favorite place they can escape to whenever it's time to take a nap.


If you miss the look of wood being indoors, you could always fill the space with logs, and place a bio ethanol fireplace somewhere else in the room so you enjoy the best of both worlds. You could also pull the wood out around a holiday to fill it with seasonal décor. Stuff it with pumpkins at Thanksgiving, gourds at Thanksgiving, and presents at Christmas. 

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  • Brady Draper