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Woodstove or Fireplace: What is the Difference?

Updated on October 27, 2011

I have grown up around fireplaces and woodstoves my whole life, but never knew the difference until last month. Now that the cold weather has settled in around here, I find knowing which type of wood burning heater I am using, very comforting in case something goes wrong. For those of you out there wondering, what is the difference, I am here to clear the smoke of wondering.

My woodstove.
My woodstove. | Source


A woodstove is a free standing wood burning fixture. This means that it is not built into the wall. It can come with a fan, usually needs to have tile around it due to fire safety regulations, and can come in varying sizes. Woodstoves can easily be removed, if necessary or desired. You must be careful around wood since it is free standing it is much easier to burn yourself on its hot surfaces. Woodstoves also have doors with which to contain the fire. It is also called a stove since you can actually cook on its surface. The one in my home gets so warm that it can boil water.


Unlike a woodstove, a fireplace is built into the wall. They can come in varying sizes, usually have mantles, and are traditionally what people refer to when they hang their stockings by the fire. Fireplaces surfaces do not get as hot as woodstoves and the fire is not contained by a door, but can be covered using a grate.

Such a Simple Difference

Who would have known that such a simple thing as being freestanding instead of being built into the wall was what separated fireplaces and woodstoves. Mystery solved and case closed.


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    • fancifulashley profile image

      fancifulashley 6 years ago

      Thank you Christine, but I have a nice new woodstove in my home this winter.

    • profile image

      christine 6 years ago

      most of us may have good memorary for a wood stove and it has been a good alternative for wainter warm sourece. please check to find the best wood stove if you need

    • fancifulashley profile image

      fancifulashley 6 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Deborah-Diane. I also find sitting by a nice warm fire a great way to write the day away.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Both woodstoves and fireplaces are wonderful ways to enjoy a winter fire. I have great memories of my grandmother's woodstove, too!

    • fancifulashley profile image

      fancifulashley 6 years ago

      I love having a fireplace or woodstove. It makes the winters so much warmer and the house seem so much friendlier. Takes the chill right out of the air.

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 6 years ago from Oregon

      I have lots of memories as young kid making a fire in the woodstove that was in my parents bedroom. I always thought it was cool to have a wood stove burning in the winter to stay extra warm.