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Top Media Wall Trends

As many homeowners look for ways to modernise and refresh their interiors, the demand for luxury electric fires with a media wall is continually rising. Advancements in technology mean that customers are now able to enjoy a range of state-of-the-art features. With so many inspiring installations emerging, we spoke to Andy Hitchman, Managing Director of Solution Fires, who shares an insight into some of the latest industry trends.  Endless Media Wall Customisation Options The Solution Fires range of modern electric fires features ultra-realistic flame effects in a variety of interchangeable colours, a choice of flame speeds, and even crackling fire audio. Building on these endless customisation options, our customers are getting more and more creative with their media wall designs.  Adding a Rustic Twist Homeowners wishing to maintain a traditional, rustic element in their living space can still benefit from the amazing features of an electric fire. Adding a wooden beam is a great way to introduce character and charm to a media wall installation. If your customers opt for a simple media wall with no shelving or storage, a wooden beam can offer a place to display ornaments or trinkets.  Check out this range of Geocast Beams from Capital Fireplaces, a clever alternative to real wood and available in a variety of finishes. Photo credit: @ourkingsley, Solution Fire supplied by @heatlandstovesltd Top tip: for the ultimate authentic flame display, the Solution Fires LUX range allows customers the choice of decorating their electric fire with premium real wood fuel beds. Log-Filled Alcoves  Creating an attractive log store in a purpose-built alcove can provide a stunning addition to a media wall. Having real logs stacked next to an electric fire can really enhance its visual impact, especially if your customer is opting for the premium real wood log fuel bed. Almost completely effortless, yet incredibly effective, as pictured below Photo credit: @midlandsmooth Bringing Ambience to the Bedroom  We have seen some amazing living room transformations featuring media wall masterpieces, but the newest trend is all about the bedroom. Recently, we have seen more and more customers installing ambience-evoking centrepieces in the bedroom, creating a cosy and relaxing environment like the image below. Photo credit: @robertson_smith_kitchens An Array of Lighting Options  Equipped with visually stunning LED itronic technology, Solution Fires provide one of the most realistic and versatile flame effects on the market.  With the Solution Fires’ LUX range, users can choose between seven stunning preset options, ranging from quirky cool blue tones such as ‘Ice’, to traditional flame colours like ‘Blaze’. By downloading the Solution App, customers can access further colour customisation options in addition to multiple other features and functions.  Lighting options that seamlessly integrate into the fires are available as optional extras to purchase. Creating a harmonious ambience between fire and media wall, the popular ‘Scene Lighting Kit’ is a simple and effective visual element that proves very popular with customers and enhances the overall effect of the installation.  Explore the full list of LUX fire features here. Photo credit: @firesandstoves For more information, please visit www.solutionfires.co.uk View our article ‘The Perfect Solution for Media Walls’ from Solution Fires here.

Introducing Specflex 2.0: The Ultimate Flexible Chimney Liner

Specflue is thrilled to announce the launch of Specflex 2.0, their latest flexible flue liner. Designed for versatility and durability, Specflex 2.0 is the perfect solution for those needing a reliable and high-quality liner for their chimneys. Whether you’re using gas, oil, wood, or multi-fuel applications, this flexible flue liner has you covered. Why Choose Specflex 2.0? Specflex 2.0 is a twin-skin flexible chimney liner that excels in performance and quality. It is specifically designed to line existing flues or masonry chimneys, providing an efficient and safe solution. Here’s why it stands out: High-Grade Materials Wide Range of Applications Size Options Made in the UK Long-Term Warranty Technical Specifications Specflex 2.0 meets rigorous industry standards, ensuring safety and performance: Get in Touch For more information about Specflex 2.0, pricing, and installation guidelines, contact Specflue, whose team of experts is ready to assist you with all your chimney lining needs. Email: sales@specflue.com Tel: 0333 999 7974 Web: https://www.specflue.com/ Check out the Specflue Bespoke Fireplace Specialist Online Domestic Product Magazine here, Featuring Twin Wall Systems, Flexible Flue Liners, Flue Pipes, Exodraft Fans, Gainsborough Collection, Termatech Stoves and much more! To stay up-to-date with Fireplace Specialist Magazine, subscribe to our magazine for FREE.

Sweeps To Share Expertise in USA

Two prominent UK sweeps are set to share their expertise with an international audience. David Sudworth and Josh Firkins will travel to Colorado to address a two-day conference. The 2024 Midtown Chimney Sweeps Convention will see sweeps from right across the USA converge on Denver for a series of talks. David, owner and founder of Mr Soot Chimney Sweep and HETAS approved training centre, will lead a presentation on training, recruitment and business. The following day, Josh, of H Firkins & Sons, will share his expertise of chimney sweeping and flue integrity testing. Josh is a sixth generation sweep and recently opened a HETAS training centre in Milton Keynes. They were invited to Denver by Byron Schramm, owner and founder of Midtown Chimney Sweep franchise. David explained: “Byron visited our training centre in Wigan before Christmas. During his visit, I introduced him to Josh, who I have personally learnt a lot from, and he helped give Byron a different perspective on UK sweeping. “Byron was bowled over with the warm welcome he received in the UK, and wanted us to go to America to teach sweeps out there all about our systems and processes. “It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity and one we are both looking forward to.” Josh said: “I’ve never been to America so it will be fascinating on a number of levels. “As I understand it, US sweeps do a lot more inspection work than we do here in the UK, as their homes are timber-framed.  “However, in recent years, we in the UK are doing an increasing amount of inspections as homeowners become more educated on the advantages of thorough checks of their flue systems. “While in the US, we also hope to get a bit of sightseeing done as we’ll be in the Rocky Mountains area. It’s certainly the trip of a lifetime.” Want to find out what else has been happening over at Mr Soot? View their spring update here.

The Mendip Woodland gas, electric or wood-burning stoves from Eurostove

Mix and match with 3 versions of the Mendip Woodland Large stove – Made in Britain Manufactured in Somerset, this British-designed stove, with all the qualities needed for today’s modern living, is now available in a larger design, perfect for open-plan schemes and spacious living areas. The Woodland Large has something for everyone, with 3 different iterations, Electric, Gas and a traditional wood-burning offer.  The new Woodland Large DC wood burner is a powerful 7kW stove with higher legs and a deep chamber for a spacious feel. Its large glass viewing window and clean-lined look make it ideal for both contemporary and classic interiors.  The Mendip Woodland Gas fire The Woodland Gas fire, inspired by the wood-burning version, is perfect for smoke-free locations and features easy-to-use controls and a realistic log effect. The programmable handset allows complete control over the stove. The Mendip Woodland electric fire The Woodland Electric brings all the convenience of an electric fire into a statement piece for your living areas, or even bedroom. This 570mm wide 2kW stove is fully programmable, enabling users to set a specific heat requirement at a specific time, so no more coming home to a cold house after work or a trip away. The flames can be selected in multiple colours to create a different ambience at various times of the day. So why not have one of each! About Mendip Stoves Mendip Stoves, a manufacturer of modern wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves, opened its brand-new factory in Somerset in January 2023. The Mendip range is also designed in Britain, ensuring that the stoves are beautifully built by experienced craftsmen using cutting-edge technology. Mendip stoves are manufactured to exceed British standards with demand for quality at every stage. From its heavy-duty steel body to the ergonomically designed door handle, every detail has been meticulously considered. The Woodland Large wood burner costs from £2,287. The gas version is from £2,412 and the Electric from £980. Contact Eurostove today on 01934 750 500, or visit their website: www.eurostove.co.uk  View Eurostove’s new iléktro electric fires here.

Spring Update from Mr Soot: HETAS Refreshers and New Developments

Here is the latest update from Mr Soot, including HETAS Refreshers and New Developments from within the industry. NEW: Practical Training Rigs We’re delighted to launch our practical HETAS installer course at Mr Soot Training Centre. Following feedback from candidates, we’ve had a new practical training rig constructed where you can: ✅ Install a flexible chimney liner and twin wall insulated system ✅ Connect it to a live appliance ✅ Undertake full commissioning including Type 2 smoke testing, a flue draught reading and a spillage test ✅ And finally… light the appliance you’ve actually installed yourself! We have also installed a live open fire rig, to give installers and sweeps an insight into how they are constructed and potential trouble-shooting remedies. The flue systems for each rig were supplied by Flue & Ducting – and candidates will be able to use both their flexible flue liners and twin wall insulated systems on our H003 & H006 courses. From Black Tie to Black Hands! Well done to Gary Walker, who is celebrating a year in business as a chimney sweep soon. Gary was on our first H011 sweeping course and swapped black-tie dinners for black hands when he decided to change careers. A marketing high-flyer, Yorkshire-based Gary knows a thing or two about branding, with his company Swept quickly establishing itself. Listen to his full interview on our founder David’s very own Trade Entrepreneur podcast. Beat The ‘Silly Season’ Rush… Are you due for a HETAS refresher this year? Don’t wait until silly season – we have dates available for the H003R and H006R in July. Remember, you can take your HETAS refresher up to six months before renewal. And securing your place is easy with us as you can reserve and pay online! CCTV & Integrity Testing Course Our next additional chimney training course CCTV & Integrity Testing is taking place on July 4th. Led by 6th generation chimney sweep Josh Firkins, the one-day programme covers: Places are still available for just £130 plus VAT. Book online at https://mr-soot.com/product/cctv-integrity-testing/ Welcome to Flue & Ducting, Wohler and Recoheat Three major brands have joined our popular Mr Soot Affiliates Programme. Flue & Ducting, Wohler and Recoheat products are now available in our HETAS-approved training centre for candidates to use and try out. As a centre, we want to have the latest products available for the benefit of our candidates. So if your company is interested in joining our Affiliates Programme, please drop us a line at https://mr-soot.com/partner-with-us-mr-soot-affiliates-programme/ And Finally… It seems energy saving gadgets for fireplaces were around long before stove fans! This fascinating advert from ‘Do It Yourself’ magazine in 1963 shows the ‘Magni Reflector’. Sat above an open fire, it was said to throw back heat into the room, reduce draughts and keep your feet warm. Internet searches reveal very little about the Magni Reflector. Have you ever seen one? Did they actually work well? Let us know! For more information, visit the Mr Soot website here. Want to keep up-to-date with all the latest happenings within the industry? Subscribe to Fireplace Specialist Magazine today. Find our past articles from Mr Soot here.

The Perfect Solution for Media Walls

Since launching their new LUX range in 2023, Solution Fires continues to take the electric fire market by storm. The newest range of luxury electric cassette fires from Solution Fires offers a host of innovative design features, fuelling their increasing popularity among customers.   The LUX range delivers an ultra-realistic flame effect, created by the brands’ exclusive contoured flame effect technology. There are seven preset illumination themes to choose from, all of which change the flame, fuel bed and downlight colours simultaneously.  Each of the lighting functions have nine different colour options and an adjustable brightness setting. The flame, fuel bed and downlight colours can be changed or turned off independently. Users even have the option to create and save a custom illumination theme of their own design.  Customers can select their preferred fuel bed with their choice of fire. Standard fuel bed options include ceramic logs in a woodland or silver birch finish, but the Premium Real Wood fuel bed is a must-have upgrade for those wanting a truly realistic aesthetic.  The front glass panel is easily removable allowing users to change or customise the fuel bed with their own logs or decorative objects, a great feature for those who like to express their creativity.  With three flame speed options available, customers can choose a flame tempo that suits their desired ambience. In addition to the stunning visual effects of the LUX range, users can enjoy an audible experience thanks to the integrated crackling fire audio featuring six volume settings.  Models range from 0.75 to 2 metres in width with 6 sizes available as standard. However, Solution Fires have developed a special kit that facilitates two fires to be installed side by side, expanding their range by a further 4 sizes. This unique feature allows installers to create an impressive 2.5 – 4 metre fire, perfect for those who really want to make a statement. Providing 1-2kW of heat output, a LUX cassette fire is fully energy efficient with no heat being wasted or lost. With running costs from as little as 3p per hour, it is no surprise that Solution Fires are the preferred choice for customers wanting affordable, luxury electric fires.  Solution Fires is a division of renowned luxury fireplace supplier, Capital Fireplaces. Their Henlow showroom, The Capital Fireplace Studio, has the full range of Solution Fires on display.  Visit www.solutionfires.co.uk or call 01462 813138 for more information. You can also find Solution Fires in this issue of Fireplace Specialist Magazine.

Dustcontrol exhibits powerful DC 1800 at The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps’ premier trade event

Dustcontrol UK demonstrated the highly efficient capabilities of its powerful DC 1800 units at the ‘Sweep Stuff Live’ Guild Exhibition 2024. The event, which took place on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th April at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwickshire, saw the Dustcontrol team showcasing the firm’s innovative DC 1800 EX stainless-steel industrial vacuums at stand D1. Coming in the Option B Kit which has a 20-litre drum and Option D Kit which has a 40-litre drum, the units are perfect for chimney sweeps, being designed for both general cleaning and efficient source extraction. Equipped with HEPA-13 filtration, both options offer portability, power, and durability, making them an indispensable tool for those in the industry. The Dustcontrol team offered technical advice on the units from filter changes to general support. Ira Morris, Country Manager of Dustcontrol UK, said: “The team really enjoyed attending the exhibition. The chimney sweep industry is a core sector for us so we were excited to show those in attendance how units like the DC 1800 can help them stay healthy on the job.  “The compact and lightweight design of both B and D option kits, which enables easy transportation to job sites, is ideal for chimney sweeps seeking a highly portable dust extractor that doesn’t compromise on power.” The company, based in Milton Keynes, has more than 50 years of experience in developing dust extraction solutions to fit client requirements in the chimney sweep industry.  Established over 30 years ago, The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps is the UK’s premier trade association for professional chimney sweeps, with training, standards, and member co-operation at its heart.  Its annual Guild Exhibition aims to promote the safe and efficient use of fires and fuels through providing the best business tools and support for its members, helping them to offer the best services to their customers. For further information on Dustcontrol UK’s products, please call 01327 858001, or email sales@dustcontrol.co.uk. Alternatively, for further information on Dustcontrol UK, visit www.dustcontroluk.co.uk, or for more information on The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps’ Sweep Stuff Live event, visit https://www.guildofmasterchimneysweeps.co.uk/exhibition/. Want to stay up-to-date on all the latest news? Subscribe to Fireplace Specialist Magazine today.

The Qudos Collection: Percy Doughty launches new brand

Percy Doughty is excited to announce the latest addition to their product portfolio, the Qudos Collection. The Qudos Collection presents a distinctive range of beautiful, cutting edge and innovative designs, born out of the vast experience that comes with developing and manufacturing the world’s finest quality fireplaces for over 70 years. The Collection brings together a range of quality stoves that deliver in both form and function.  Every Qudos appliance is designed with our forward-thinking approach and crafted with meticulous attention to detail. So, if you are looking for an extraordinary Eco Design Ready Stove or a gas appliance, you will recognise the difference our design and details make. Launching January 2024, the new Qudos Collection is the perfect range for those who wish to create the ultimate luxury fireplace and deliver extraordinary heating performance to their home. Responsible for transforming the humble stove into the prestigious focal point of the home. From the outset of every stove concept, before pencil touches paper, one of the driving goals of our design team is to ensure an enjoyable user experience. From the ergonomic consideration of handles and control knobs to easy to operate remote control systems, we want our appliances to be a joy to use, intuitive to interact with, all without fuss or frustration. Andrew Mulligan Managing Director said “We are excited about the launch of the Qudos Collection.  Our design and technical teams have done an outstanding job developing a range of new premium stoves. The new range of stove products includes balanced flued gas stoves, and EcoDesign Ready stoves.  Work has already commenced on the development of the next additions. Graeme Tombs Design manager added “The Qudos Collection was created by our in-house team of artisan designers who all share a passion for innovative design. From the outset of every stove concept, one of the driving goals of our design team was to ensure an enjoyable user experience.  Our designs pioneer an inspirational new way of living with contemporary appliances for any room in the home.” For more information on the Qudos Collection please visit www.qudoscollection.co.uk, call 01204 868550 or email info@qudoscollection.co.uk    Find this article and more in the latest issue of Fireplace Specialist Magazine.

Eurostove’s new iléktro electric fires

The new iléktro electric fires from Eurostove are a perfect balance of design and technology A cosy fire creates instant impact and is a statement piece for any home. Fuss-free, mess-free and easy to install, electric fires are the perfect solution for homes without a flue. The iléktro range from Eurostove combines stunning design with state-of-the-art technology, offering mesmerising flame effects and a clean inset design to add a wow factor and instant warmth to any space. The new and improved iléktro range of electric fires from Eurostove comes in a choice of sizes – 950mm, 1250mm, 1650mm, 2000mm and a large new 2600mm design, perfect for open-plan living. There are plenty of options to create a customised look and feel with a choice of log styles including a traditional split-log aesthetic and a new driftwood design. Energy efficient with low running costs, the fires also come with a realistic crackle sound for a homely feel, offering an easy and low-maintenance way to enjoy and experience a beautiful fireplace, in any location. All log styles feature a darker background for contrast as well brighter and taller flames, which are fully adjustable to complement their surroundings. The flames also have a brand-new effect with new colours including orange, yellow and white, and all colour combinations are adjustable, so users can have just one colour for consistency or a mix of two or three, perfect when entertaining family and friends or snuggling up with the latest box set. The log bed itself is also now more realistic with a flickering effect, giving the iléktro range a truly authentic real log fire look and feel. Eurostove has also ensured that the new iléktro electric fire designs feature quiet operation, ideal for open-plan interiors, with app or remote handset control for ease of use. The new stoves also feature non-reflective fronts and sides as an optional extra and a 30mm frame is available to ensure that if fitted into the wall there are no unsightly edges. “Eurostove are thrilled to launch the brand-new enhanced iléktro collection of electric fires,” says Chris Baines, Managing Director of Eurostove. “They are so easy to install with no need for a flue, which means they can be fitted into any room and in any part of the home. All they need is a plug point and they are ready to go. No building regulations are required and with simple operation via an app or remote handset, they can be turned on and off remotely for the ultimate smart home.” Prices range from £1,550 for the 950mm iléktro to £3,000 for the 2600mm design. Find out more about Eurostoves other electric fires here

Anger and confusion at the Scotland stove ban

Scotland stove ban deals blow to the fireplace sector, the new law prohibits solid fuel heating in new homes brought in without proper consultation. The fireplace sector has been dealt a blow after it emerged a ban on solid fuel stoves in new homes had effectively been implemented in Scotland last week. Legislation enacting new building regulations became active at the start of the month but it was no April fool’s joke. They now require architects and builders to only specify zero emission heating systems in any new build properties – effectively banning any kind of stove. Homeowners are allowed to later install a stove for emergency heating if zero emission heating systems fail. Existing properties are not affected. The solid fuel and fire place sector has claimed it was not properly consulted and the new laws have been sneaked in. But the Scottish Government claimed it did a full consultation in 2021. The Stove Industry Association told Fireplace Specialist Magazine it had no record of being consulted on the Scotland stove ban and had not given any feedback on the new law. Commenting on the New Build Heat Standard for Scotland, Andy Hill, chair of the Stove Industry Association, said:  “We fully understand why residents of Scotland, particularly those in off-grid areas of the country, are deeply troubled by this new legislation. “In a country where there is a plentiful supply of local, sustainable wood fuel we question why the option to install a highly efficient, complementary, and low carbon heat source has been removed, especially when the aim of the legislation is to reduce carbon emissions from domestic heating.  “It is hugely detrimental to the local economy, consumer choice and carbon reduction targets to restrict the use of wood burning stoves in new build properties.  “Wood has the lowest carbon emissions factor of any domestic heating fuel, and modern stove appliances operate highly efficiently and with minimal emissions (up to 90% reduction in emissions compared to an open fire). “Heat pump heating systems offer enormous benefits in our quest for net zero, but they are not a panacea. Their shortfalls are well documented; they are expensive to fit, operate at a steady state meaning that they often require top up heating sources, put increased strain on an already stretched energy grid and they will not work when there is a power cut.  These shortfalls can all be mitigated by pairing a heat pump with a modern wood stove. We simply cannot afford – economically or socially – to overlook the importance of grid independent, wood burning secondary heating.” The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps Director for Scotland, John Stone, said the change had been ‘quietly brought in’.  He claimed ’no one’ in the solid fuel industry had been consulted. He said the move was part of the plan to ‘drive Scotland to net Zero at any cost’. “We have a major concern over this whole issue, as there was absolutely no consultation from anyone in the solid fuel industry.  “80 organisations were asked to be involved, but not one was directly involved in solid fuel and alternative heating, including biomass, which has been long accepted as Carbon neutral, including by the UK Westminster Government, who coincidentally have removed the DRAX power station from its carbon emissions calculations as they deemed it as Carbon Neutral! “We are very concerned that decisions are being made which will have huge effects on those who already struggle to pay heating bills and may find that in the very near future they will be TOLD you now have to use electricity heating or suffer huge fines as LEZ become Air Control Areas which will undoubtedly spread through the urban areas. With ever tighter controls.  “Those in more rural areas who already suffer higher costs for infrastructure and access, are now being told they will not be able to have a guaranteed heating option and will only be able to rely on electricity if investing in building a new home. “ A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Heating our homes and buildings represents about a fifth of Scotland’s carbon emissions so tackling the climate emergency requires us to address these emissions. “Proposals in the New Build Heat Standard, which came into force from 1 April 2024, were widely consulted on in 2021 and again in 2022. Both consultations showed strong support for the new Standard. The changes mean that new homes and buildings do not contribute to climate emissions, by banning the use of polluting heating systems such as oil and gas boilers, and bioenergy – including wood-burning stoves.” For more reaction read our full report in the next edition of Fireplace Specialist magazine. Subscribe to the magazine today for free and never miss an update.

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