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At Grate Expectations we are more than happy to assist you with any initial questions or concerns you may have. If you do not find the answer below to your question, then please contact the showroom by phone or email and we will do our best to answer your question.


Use the chart below to help you estimate the heat output in kws you require to adequately heat your room or home.

heat calculator




• Well insulated (floor and walls)
• Double-glazed
• Central heating


• Is reasonably insulated (floor or walls)
• Has partial double glazing
• Central heating


• Poorly insulated
• Has no double glazing
• Has no floor and wall insulation

There is information stating it is okay to install a wood-burning or smoke exempt stove without a flexible liner. If a chimney is declared sound by carrying out a smoke test and it is the correct dimensions specified for the stove, as stated by the manufacturer, then you do not have to fit a chimney liner.

For this reason and to guarantee manufacturers’ warranties, we install a flue liner with all stove installations that we carry out. In the UK, chimneys were not designed for stoves but for coal fires. The large square flues are too wide to ensure smoke will travel up without a flexible liner. When the stove is first lit, the chimney is cold and could have draft issues that make it difficult for the chimney to draw the smoke that the stove creates initially. The smoke travels into the room causing smoke spillage, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

At Grate Expectations, we advise all our customers carefully to ensure that they choose the right fire required to adequately and efficiently heat their space. We also ensure that the appliance is installed correctly. 

We recommend booking a showroom appointment to view our fires and receive expert advice from our team. Our surveys are completely free of charge. All we ask is that you have an idea of your budget prior to the survey appointment. After the survey has been completed, we submit a final quotation and detailed installation plan.

Lead times can vary throughout the year. Like many businesses, we have peak and off-peak periods. We aim to stick to all dates given, these are dependent on the delivery dates of the chosen manufacturer.

Once you have spoken to our showroom team, the next step is to book an appointment for a site survey. Our surveyor contacts you within two days and can usually book the appointment within the next five working days. A formal quotation and plan is drawn up and sent via email within two working days. If you are happy with the quotation, plan and product choice, a 50% deposit is required to confirm the order and book the installation date. During the winter months our lead time from this point is six weeks.

The majority of installations can be completed in one day. Our fitting team consists of two fully qualified installers. We do not use sub-contractors for any of our installations.

Gas Fires

Many of our gas fires are available in LPG versions and can be operated from either bottled gas or a larger tank. LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), which is a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons, is readily available in most rural areas.

Natural gas is the fuel of choice for many UK consumers. All gas appliances should be correctly installed by a Gas Safe registered installation company and should be checked on an annual basis.

Gas is a clean, convenient and versatile fuel. However, it must be handled wisely to ensure its safety and efficiency. If you think you smell gas, you should contact the showroom immediately and our team can advise you.


DEFRA (Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) state that in certain urban and built-up areas in the UK, wood cannot be burnt as a fuel due to the smoke and pollution created. However, if you install a DEFRA approved stove, you are able to burn exempt fuels including wood. It is important to remember that each stove has a list of exempt fuels. Please check that wood is listed and safe to burn on your stove. Around 90% of the wood-burning stoves we supply are DEFRA approved.

Conventional chimneys rely on the natural circulation of heated air to expel the products of combustion up your chimney. Balanced flue appliances use a pair of coaxial tubes. The outer pipe draws air in from outside for combustion, while the inner pipe removes the combustion gases from the stove to expel them from your property. The twin-walled pipe may exit horizontally through an external wall or vertically through the roof. The balanced flue option is an extremely economical heating system.

Open combustion is when air is drawn in from within the room in which the appliance is installed and flue gas is extracted via a single flue. Having good ventilation within the room is a necessity.

Closed combustion systems draw the required oxygen from outside the property through a combined inlet/outlet system. The advantages of these systems are that an existing chimney is not required and that there is increased flexibility regarding the positioning of your fire. This type of fire is a great solution for mechanically ventilated, modern homes.

Airwash is a simple and clever design feature that uses a vent/s to draw in cool air from outside to wash the inside of the glass. This helps to keep the glass clearer, giving you a better view of the flames and fire glow.

Your stove should be serviced annually after the cold winter months and the chimney should be swept. The service includes stripping, inspecting and cleaning the appliance and is best carried out by a HETAS registered engineer.

To calculate the kW required to heat a room to around 22ºC when the temperatures are at freezing point outside, you simply multiply the height, width and length of the room and then divide this total by 14. So, a room measuring 6 metres by 5 metres with a height of 2.5 metres gives a total of 75. Divide this by 14 to discover that you will require a 5kW stove.

Many issues regarding lighting a wood-burning stove and achieving the required heat output can be due to the type of wood being burnt. We advise all our customers to burn only kiln-dried hardwood logs. Kiln-dried wood has an average moisture content of 20% and is suitable for immediate use in your wood-burning stove.

Balanced Flue

Balanced flue appliances are sealed from the room. A pair of coaxial tubes are used to draw in air from outside for combustion and to expel the combustion gases from your property. The twin-walled pipe may exit vertically through the roof or horizontally through an external wall.

Chimney & Flue Installation

This entirely depends on the condition of your chimney. We install a flue liner with all wood burner installations. Don’t assume that your chimney works correctly. It is better to carry out tests that reveal any problems that might exist.

For burning coal or wood, the size of the chimney or flue required is dependent on the fire or stove chosen. Flue size for each fire or stove is specified by the manufacturer.

Yes. We strongly advise you get an existing chimney or flue swept and checked before the installation of a new stove or fireplace. Contact us for details of your local chimney sweep.



During the combustion process airborne particles are sucked into the appliance causing dirt and dust to form. This can result in your appliance not working correctly as it can hinder the fire or stove ignition over time. Components are also subjected to wear and tear through use. We strongly recommend you have your fire or stove serviced annually by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer. Contact the showroom when your service is due so we can connect you with a service engineer.



The same applies to wood-burning appliances. To ensure the air supply does not become blocked by ash and other particles, it is important that they are cleaned regularly. This is easy enough for the owners to do themselves in many cases as part of general maintenance. However, flue and chimney cleaning must be carried out by a professional.

For regular open fronted DFE gas fires (non-faulty) the basic service cost is between £85 and £105 excluding VAT. A glass fronted gas fire basic service costs between £120 and £140 excluding VAT. Further costs are applied if your fire is faulty or needs fuel replacement. Grate Expectations can only carry out a service on a fire or stove that has been installed by our team.

For gas fires and smokeless fuels, such as coal, this should be done once a year. For wood-burning appliances, we recommend every three months the fire is in use. Busy periods tend to be March/April and September/October when wait times may increase.

Around £85 excluding VAT. This will depend on the type of chimney you have. If you're unfamiliar with your system, have a certified sweep to carry out an inspection, make recommendations and provide info about its maintenance or operation.

Very little dust or soot should escape as the chimney aperture should be sealed prior to starting and while brushing takes place.