What Is the Cost to Install Gas Fireplace?

by Team HomeServe
A cast iron wood burning stove is situated inside a red brick fireplace

When winter arrives and the mercury dips, your home can go from where you chill to where you’re chilled in a matter of hours. While it's relaxing to get cozy in the ambient warmth of a wood-burning fireplace, traditional fireplaces can be difficult to maintain, which is why many homeowners opt for a gas fireplace instead.

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The installation process for a gas fireplace is simple and straightforward, removing much of the hassle that comes with swapping out a wood-burning one. Trying to make the ideal choice for your home? Read on for everything you should know about the cost of installing a gas fireplace.

Cost to Install Gas Fireplace

Once you’ve purchased your preferred gas fireplace, you'll still have to consider the cost of installation. The three primary categories of gas fireplaces are gas-log fireplaces, insert fireplaces and built-in fireplaces.

According to HomeGuide, most gas fireplaces cost between $2,300 and $4,000 (CAD 3,076 and CAD 5,349), including basic installation prices — though costs can run much higher. Depending on the type of fireplace you choose, the total cost of gas fireplace installation can reach up to $6,000 (CAD 8,024) or more at the high end, based on data from Forbes.

While nothing to sneeze at, installation costs for gas-burning units are typically much lower than the cost of installing a wood-burning one. Along with materials, these cost estimates take labor — typically the biggest expense of fireplace installation — into account.

The exact price you pay for installation can vary based on the design of the fireplace, current conditions in your home and the type of gas fireplace you select. An example of how the price can differ for installation is when the gas line needs to be secured directly to the fireplace. If an extended gas line needs to be installed on the property, doing so can cost anywhere from $12 to $25 (CAD 16 to CAD 33) per linear foot.

It's also wise to consider any changes you might like to make to the area surrounding the new gas fireplace. Remodeling a fireplace by installing or upgrading tiles, stones or masonry around the fireplace can add between $5 and $150 (CAD 6.69 and CAD 201) per square foot, depending on site preparation and materials chosen.

Gas Fireplace Installation Costs by Type

The type of gas fireplace you purchase will be the biggest factor in the total price you pay for the project. The main types of fireplaces generally available for homes include vented and ventless fireplaces. These options are priced differently due to the varied components they use. However, direct-vent and gas-insert options also exist. Before you make your decision on the type of fireplace, you should be aware of the costs associated with each type.

Vented Gas Fireplaces

If you currently have a wood fireplace in your home, it can be transformed into a vented gas unit by installing a gas insert, which can cost between $2,000 and $5,000 (CAD 2,675 and CAD 6,686), according to HomeGuide. Once this insert is installed, the gases from the fire will travel up the chimney and out of the house.

Vented fireplaces typically result from the conversion of an existing fireplace into a gas unit. The heat emitted from a vented fireplace can be controlled directly with an electrical switch, which means you might want to have electricity connected to the fireplace. Electricians typically charge between $50 to $130 (CAD 67 to CAD 174) per hour, according to data from HomeGuide.

If the ventilation in your home isn't sufficient for this type of fireplace, it may need to be upgraded, which could cost you anywhere from $400 to $2,000 (CAD 535 to CAD 2,675).

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Ventless Gas Fireplaces

Ventless fireplaces can be installed in practically any room of the home. Keep in mind that the heat produced from a ventless fireplace can also be higher when compared to a vented one. Because exterior venting isn't needed, all heat remains inside. A downside to a ventless fireplace is that the flame doesn't look as natural. To make sure the air inside remains clean and free from odors, it's recommended you keep windows open while the fireplace is turned on.

Ventless inserts for a gas fireplace can cost you between $700 and $2,500 (CAD 936 and CAD 3,343), including $500 to $1,500 (CAD 669 to CAD 2,006) for labor.

Direct-Vent Gas Fireplaces

Another type of gas fireplace to consider is a direct-vent gas fireplace. The unit will be connected directly to a two-layer pipe, which is sent out to the exterior of your home. These pipes will draw in air while expelling gases at the same time.

Direct-vent fireplaces are widely considered the safest gas fireplaces available. Keep in mind that the design of a direct-vent fireplace means the unit must be installed along an exterior wall. A perk of this type of fireplace is that its appearance closely resembles that of a wood-burning fireplace.

You can expect to pay between $1,200 and $3,200 (CAD 1,605 and CAD 4,279) for a direct-vent gas fireplace. Installation can vary widely depending on the extent of work that needs to be done, costing around $600 (CAD 802) for basic installation and up to $5,000 (CAD 6,686) for complex jobs.

It's also possible that your chimney would need to be repaired or replaced, which would cost another $150 to $9,000 (CAD 201 to CAD 12,035), according to Forbes. Today’s Homeowner says that replacing the ducts throughout your home could cost an additional $1,400 to $8,000 (CAD 1,872 to CAD 10,698) on average.

Wood-Burning and Electric Fireplaces: Comparing Prices

Wood-burning and electric fireplaces are your other options. A wood-burning fireplace offers the most natural flame but requires you to supply your own wood that must be gathered seasonally. For a wood-burning fireplace, you could pay anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 (CAD 2,006 to CAD 6,686) for installation. Even though wood-burning inserts can be purchased for a lower price, the cost of building and installing a brick fireplace runs around $3,500 to $6,500 (CAD 4,680 to CAD 8,692) on average.

Electric fireplaces are much more affordable, ranging in price from $100 to $2,200 (CAD 134 to CAD 2,942), including installation. These units can typically stand on their own, which means installation costs tend to be on the low end. These units are also cheaper to run and require very little maintenance.

Is a Gas Fireplace Worth It?

Gas fireplaces are able to produce real flames, can heat your room quickly, are more energy-efficient than electric fireplaces and require very little maintenance. These units are also less expensive than wood-burning units and can increase the value of your home. While the up-front costs can be high, gas fireplaces are more than worth it for many homeowners.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.