Beautiful Nickel Plating Revealed Underneath Gold Plating

As a test, I polished of the gold plating on a set of Buck Stoves cast iron legs. The gold plating looked spotted and I could not clean it. I took some brass polish and noticed that underneath the gold plating was some nice nickel plating. I got ambitious and took a buffing wheel with some polish and removed all the gold and now I have a beautiful set of nickel legs. A friend of mine did the same with a set of gold plated doors for a Fireplace Xtrordinair. He polished off the gold and the doors were a beautiful nickel. Apparently nickel plating is the base for gold plating.

I am not telling you to do this with out testing a small out of the way spot first.

Why do I need glass doors on my fireplace?

Fireplaces add ambiance and style to your home. If you’re planning on installing a open decorative fireplace in you new construction or remodeling project consider adding the important step of choosing the right glass door for your fireplace. This is a step you should take ownership of and not leave it up t0 the builder to supply it. The choices are wide and customizable.

Glass doors.

People commonly think that adding any fireplace to their project will help cut the cost of heating their home. But this isn’t always true, and Hechler’s will show you why. Doors create better heat efficiency and help lower heating bills. Fireplace doors add a measure of safety that is very important. Below are five key benefits of installing glass doors on your fireplace.

1. Increase the heating efficiency.

When you have a roaring fire in your traditional masonry fireplace, how much of the heat do you think spreads out into your room? If you said more than 20%, you’d probably be wrong. Experts know that 80% or more of the heat goes up the chimney, and a mere 10% of the energy from the fire actually becomes heat.

Want to double the efficiency of your fireplace? Install glass doors. At first that may not seem to make sense, but the glass actually absorbs and radiates the heat into the room far better than the air itself conducts heat from the flames of an open fireplace. Enclosing the heat source also results in more overall heat being produced by the firewood.

Decorative fireplace doors can also be added to your existing energy efficient ZC fireplace installation adding a stylish finishing touch that will create the look of a new fireplace.

Lowered heating costs

If you’re concerned about the cost of heating bills (and who isn’t?), you need to understand the value of installing glass fireplace doors, which are much more efficient air barriers than chimney dampers. Fireplaces with open hearths let the warm air inside your home escape during the winter and allow cool air to escape in the summer. It’s a very inefficient deal, like keeping your windows open all year long, regardless of the temperature.

A fireplace covered by handsome doors allows your fireplace to do what you expect it to do: warm your home without having to use expensive gas or electric heat. A proper fireplace setup can save considerable money on utility bills.

Reduction of downdrafts

Sudden downdrafts in a chimney can be more than just a pain – they can be dangerous. Winter storms coupled with air paths within a home can cause wind to shoot down the chimney and blow both smoke and embers into the room. Glass fireplace doors virtually eliminate the problems caused by downdrafts.


If you have small children or pets, the last thing you want is to have a fire blazing in an open fireplace. Animals are curious, and little children can be clumsy (and curious). Glass doors on your fireplace make for an inexpensive and secure safeguard against potential serious injury. Fireplace screens, while not as efficient or attractive as glass doors, will at least provide a measure of safety.


Aside from better heating efficiency and safety, glass fireplace doors bring a touch of class to any room. With so many styles to choose from, it’s not hard to turn your open fireplace into a truly elegant amenity that friends and family will enjoy for years to come.

United Fireplace & Stove, with more than 150 locations across North America, is committed to helping homeowners beautify their indoor living spaces with highly efficient gas, wood-burning and electric fireplaces. Go here to find a fireplace & hearth store near you.

What To Conside When Choosing an Outdoor Fireplace

What To Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Fireplace

Can you have an outdoor fireplace? As long as it’s lawful in your community, you certainly can – and it’s a lot easier than you might think. But a little planning and decision-making should be done before hiring someone to do the construction or installation.

Size in proportion to the surroundings

Outdoor fireplaces can be anything from a cozy little firebox and vent to a sweeping monolith that takes up a good chunk of the fence line. Aesthetics and proportion are important. You want your new fireplace to look good where you place it and neither take over the yard nor get lost in the shuffle. Many homeowners have their outdoor fireplaces designed to be architecturally similar to their homes so that the new unit looks like it truly “belongs.”

What about chimneys?

If your fireplace will be wood-burning, you’ll need a chimney, which many locales’ ordinances say must be two feet taller than patio covers and even the home itself. Make sure whoever builds the chimney understands how to create the proper size flue and a “smoke shelf” to protect against downdrafts. It’s critical that the size of the firebox be in the right proportion to the size of the flue. Drafting a fireplace outdoors is a little more complicated than drafting one inside the house.

What about a gas outdoor fireplace?

A gas fireplace will allow for simpler venting and greater overall ease of use. While some homeowners don’t believe that fire is fire unless it comes from wood logs, others are pleasantly surprised with the authentic look and appeal of a gas-driven outdoor fireplace. Keep in mind that many communities have considerably different code requirements for wood fireplaces than for gas appliances. Some communities will not allow a wood-burning fireplace at all. Learn your local codes early in the process of having an outdoor fireplace built.

Where will the fireplace go?

Again, you must know your local municipal or county codes before deciding where to build the fireplace. The codes will tell you how close to the home the unit can be placed and will include guidelines on side and rear property line setback and placement in proximity to slopes.

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, you’ll want to set your fireplace in an area that’s reasonably close to the house and in a place where access is relatively easy. There should be no overhanging trees near the appliance. An outdoor fireplace will likely be a central hub of backyard activity, so take this into consideration during the planning stages. Also consider the amount of seating and other amenities that will be necessary.

Come in and talk to us at Hechler’s Hearth & Home about your options for an outdoor fireplace.

521 Main St
Troy, Mo

Summer is a good time to install a Fireplace, Stove or Fireplace Insert

Summer is the Best time to install a new Gas Fireplace, Stove or Fireplace Insert

Summer is a great time of year to enjoy vacationing, but it’s also a great time to add a supplemental heat source to your home. Hechler’s Mainstreet Hearth & Home is not as likely to be busy in summer as in late August or early September. As winter approaches, most reliable hearth stores are booked through the fall season. Get a jump on the smart trend of cutting winter costs by adding a new stove, fireplace insert, gas logs, or gas fireplace to your home in spring or summertime.

Wood Stove

A wood stove can be a big part of enjoying winter weather. Like all other solid fuel burning appliances approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a wood stove is extremely efficient. Plenty of heat can be provided so that you can turn off central heating, and there are other great benefits. The primal experience of building, stoking, and tending a fire in a wood stove is the greatest pleasure, for many. Glass doors are included on numerous models, which means that you can also watch the flickering flames. The ambiance created by a wood stove is matched and perhaps exceeded only by fireplaces. The following are more reasons to choose a wood stove as the supplemental heat source you add to your home in spring:

  • § A masonry chimney is not required to safely operate a wood stove in your home. You can install a wood stove in almost any room. You can opt to turn off central heating and burn logs in the wood stove of whichever room you’re in, which is called “zone heating.” One of the best cost-cutting measures in winter is zone heating.
  • § The warmth provided by wood stoves is a pleasant radiant heat. Warmth radiates in all directions. A wood stove actually warms air more quickly than air being blown through a venting system.
  • § For the environmentally conscious, burning wood is a great option. Wood is carbon-neutral, unlike fossil fuels, primarily used to produce electricity.
  • § Another cost-saving aspect of a wood stove is the fact that wood is the least expensive fuel source. Due to forestry regulations, which requires all trees cut down to be replaced with new plants, burning wood is guilt-free, even for those who are passionate about going green.
  • § Anytime there is a blackout, a wood stove is the best appliance to have. Not only can you stay warm and have light, but you can also cook or at least heat water and food when the electricity is out.

Fireplace Insert

If you’re like most people, no one has to tell you that burning wood in a fireplace can be the best part of winter. An awareness of how inefficient traditional masonry fireplaces are can take some of the joy out of the experience. A fireplace insert, however, is an excellent supplemental heat investment because it changes an inefficient fireplace into a viable heat source. It’s important for professionals to measure for and install a fireplace insert, to ensure maximum efficiency and safety. All that’s left after that is to turn down the central heating system, light a fire, and enjoy the heat and the lower utility bills.

Gas Fireplace

Burning firewood is not a requirement for countless homeowners who have discovered the joys of an efficient fireplace. You can choose to have realistic faux gas logs or more modern glass materials or stone burners. The real beauty of a gas fireplace may be the mantle, the flames, or simply the convenience of having an instant fire. Proper installation of your new gas appliance is essential. You’ll be able to easily take the chill out of the air or ramp up the heat in winter with a modern gas fireplace.

While still enjoying your summer vacation, contact Hechler’s Mainstreet Hearth & Home because it’s the best time to add a new wood stove, fireplace insert, gas fireplace, or gas logs.

Hechler’s Mainstreet Hearth & Home
521 Main Street
Troy, Missouri 63379


Electric Fireplaces, Electric Log Inserts & Stoves Are Increasing In Popularity, Its Not Hard To See Why!

Trendy bar in nightclub

Modern Electric Fireplaces have greatly improved over the styles of the past. That may be the number one reason electric fireplaces, logs, and stoves have been increasingly in demand in recent years. Chimneys are not needed for installation or use of electric hearth products. In fact, no venting is required. Electric fireplaces, stoves, and logs are easy to install. The output of heat can be turned off entirely or regulated, making these electric appliances perfect for use in any season, particularly in areas that have mild winters.

More Benefits of Modern Electric Fireplaces, Stoves, and Logs

Thanks to technological advances, the flame simulation in electric fireplaces, stoves, and logs is remarkably realistic. Enjoying the ambiance that was formerly only possible with wood-burning or gas fireplaces is now as easy to simulate as switching the power on an appliance.

Enjoying the visual effects of electric fireplaces uses about as much electricity as one to two light bulbs at a cost of pennies per day. If optional heaters are also used, the cost of operation increases and usually exceeds the cost of a fireplace fueled with wood or gas. When used sparingly, an electric fireplace or stove will only produce a small spike in electricity costs.

An environmental benefit of electrical fireplaces, wood stoves, and logs is that neither smoke nor air pollution are created.

Electric Fireplaces

Dimplex 33 Electric Built In Fireplace

Electric fireplaces improve the ambiance of your room and they are very similar in appearance to models fueled by gas or wood. There are countless options for enhancing and installing these convenient units. For instance, the firebox and logs could be surrounded and enclosed with a pre-fab wood mantel and surround. Many homeowners opt to create their own versions of a built-in look. Choosing marble and other high-end finishes will typically mean a higher cost. An electric fireplace can provide warmth that removes the chill from the air, but it’s not designed to be a primary heat source during wintry weather. The most popular sizes of electric fireplace heaters are from 36” to 42”.

Electric Logs

Converting a wood fireplace to electric can be as easy as purchasing electric logs and plugging them in. The logs should simply be placed in the fireplace opening and turned on. The faux look of wood and/or coals is very realistic and similar in appearance to real wood and embers. There is even a brand by Dimplex called Opti-Myst available at Hechler’s Mainstreet Hearth & Home that uses a water vapor to create a realistic 3-D flame and smoke effect. The benefit of this option is that you can still enjoy your masonry fireplace but without the need to chop, haul, or burn logs. Convenience is very much a commodity today, and the simplicity of using electric logs is tough to beat.

Electric Freestanding Stoves

stockbridge_optimyst_electric_stove_hechlersSelf-contained electric freestanding stoves are simple to use and can be installed virtually anywhere. First, simply choose an electric woodstove in a design that appeals to you and matches your home’s décor. Here again, there is an electric stove made by Dimplex that employees the new Opti-Myst smoke and flame effect. Place the electric stove in any space where you can plug the appliance in. An electric heater is optional. At any time of year, you can turn on the visual effects and enjoy the ambiance of bona fide wood stove.

Visit Hechler’s Mainstreet Hearth & Home in Troy, Mo. 626-528-9443. Check out the beautiful electric fireplaces, logs, and stoves in our showroom. There’s no easier way to enjoy the most popular home amenities.