Masonry contractors looking for an edge in the competitive fireplace market have turned to prefabricated components to improve the performance and reduce the cost of masonry fireplaces. Prefabricated masonry fireplaces and their larger cousins, masonry heaters, use large prefabricated components to improve design, simplify construction, and deliver the durability only masonry can provide while reducing construction time. Still these are real masonry fireplaces, and they provide value unmatched by prefabricated metal fireplaces.

This article reviews many of the prefabricated heaters and fireplaces currently on the market. The masonry heaters are divided into three general classes: core kits, system kits, and complete packages.

Prefabricated masonry fireplaces are often more heat-efficient fireplaces. They burn cleaner and are designed to reduce common fireplace problems, such as smoking and difficult starting. Large components are the key to simplifying design and ensuring consistent quality. Several manufacturers of masonry fireplaces and heaters with prefabricated components are described here.

Six fireplace systems reviewed have masonry fireboxes (no metal liners) and are designed to burn wood (not gas).

  • Frisch-Rosin Fireplaces, manufactured by Firecrest Fireplace Co.
  • Buckley Rumford Fireplaces, manufactured by Superior Clay Corporation
  • Modern Rumford Fireplace, manufactured by FireSpaces Inc.
  • Moberg MRC Fireplace, manufactured by Firespaces Inc.
  • PyroPlace Modular Interlocking Fireplace/Chimney System, manufactured by Universal Masonry Systems, Inc.
  • Adobelite Kiva Fireplace, manufactured by Adobelite

Masonry heaters are distinguished from masonry fireplaces by their larger mass, heat-exchange channels, and clean combustion. Three general classes and corresponding manufacturers are described here.

  • Core kits, including the Albie Core from Maine Wood Heat Co. and the Heat-Kit from Masonry Stove Builders
  • System kits by EnviroTech Radiant Fireplace, manufactured by Dietmeyer, Ward & Stroud Inc. and Temp-Cast Masonry Heater, manufactured by Temp-Cast Enviroheat Ltd.
  • Complete package by Tulikivi Masonry Heaters, manufactured by Tulikivi US Inc.