How to Modernize and Update a Gas Fireplace

If your gas fireplace reminds you of the 70’s or ‘80’s and doesn’t really fit your style or décor anymore, it’s probably in need of some updating. Depending on the model and type of fireplace, there are a few items that can easily be updated to look like a modern gas fireplace. Let’s explore some suggestions that enhance the focal point of your living space.


The first step is to determine what type of fireplace you have. Is this a direct vented, sealed combustion unit? Is the glass sealed to the fireplace, or are there old bi-fold doors that need to be opened when you turn the gas on?


A direct vented (DV) gas fireplace is often vented through an exterior side wall of the house. A DV fireplace relies on outside air for combustion and the glass is permanently sealed on the fireplace. These types of fireplaces can be good candidates for upgrades. Your WE LOVE FIRE dealer has a supplier that fabricates new, decorative fronts in dozens of exciting designs and finishes. Unique, handcrafted artistry fronts and doors will provide a beautiful finishing touch to your living room. These new fronts would simply replace the existing front without affecting the glass or the viewing area of the fire.

Your direct vent gas fireplace may also have options for the “media” inside the unit. There may be some optional logs, glass beads or stones available. Care must be taken to make sure that any changes to the media will not interfere with the design of the burner. Make note of the manufacturer, the model and if possible, the serial number of your fireplace. It will help your dealer determine what options are available for your specific unit.

Keep in mind that direct vented gas fireplaces have a sealed piece of glass with a decorative front. Some fronts are fairly plain, others quite fancy. These fronts may or may not have “cosmetic” doors incorporated with them to give the look of a real wood burning fireplace. On the other hand, wood burning fireplaces will not have decorative fronts. These fireplaces should have doors of some kind that allow access to the firebox. And, those doors can be updated too.


If you have doors that allow access to the ceramic logs, it’s likely that you have a wood burning fireplace that has been converted to gas. Wood burning fireplaces will have a chimney going up and out the roof of the house. These types of fireplaces will not be vented through an exterior side wall. There may or may not be a door(s), and there may or may not be a safety screen.

Many fireplaces have bi-fold doors made of tempered glass in a brass frame. Many homeowners get tired of burning wood. Often, a gas line is run inside the firebox and a gas log set is installed. Now, the homeowner can enjoy the convenience of gas without all the hassles of a wood fire. One down side to this type of set-up is the fact that most gas log sets burn about twice as much gas and deliver just a fraction of the heat that a DV fireplace would provide. The fireplace damper must be fully open when burning gas logs.

If this scenario describes your fireplace, there’s good news! You’re going to have a wide range of terrific options for a fireplace remodel, both inside and out. To start with, you’ll have many new door choices, both cabinet style or bi-fold, in dozens of finishes and styles.

Since these were originally installed as a wood burning fireplace, a gas supply line was installed into the fireplace. Then, a gas burner with a pile of logs on top connected to the supply line. Today’s ceramic fiber log sets are extremely realistic. They are designed to simulate birch, oak, charred wood, western pine or driftwood logs. Many like to accessorize the logs with twigs, pine cones and bark chips. This type of project will make your fireplace come to life with beautiful and lively flames.


Maybe you’re looking for something more sophisticated or contemporary? Instead of a decorative ceramic log set, how about a burner designed with blue, red, orange or yellow fire-glass? You decide between fire-glass chunks, beads or crushed glass. Don’t be concerned about sharp edges. They’ve been removed in the manufacturing process! Other intriguing media options include colored fire-stones and geometric shapes. The effect of fire-glass and/or stones as the media in a gas fireplace is truly stunning.



Polished brass was all the rage in years past. Now, it’s an outdated look. But if the trim and doors on your fireplace operate smoothly, are in good shape and you like the design, how about considering a quick painting project? Your WE LOVE FIRE expert has special high temperature aerosol paints that will provide a quick and inexpensive way to change the color of the doors and trim on your gas fireplace. Make sure the gas supply to the fireplace is off. Be careful to tape and protect the glass and materials around the fireplace from the over-spray of the paint. And, make sure you follow the directions on the can.


Other ideas for updating for a more modern gas fireplace:

  • Replace the mantel and/or the hearth.
  • For a realistic touch, consider placing a tool set, bellows or some clean birch logs in a log rack on the hearth.
  • Reface the brick with a cultured stone veneer product.
  • Paint the brick around the fireplace.
  • Replace the ceramic tile around the fireplace.

Hopefully, this has given you a few options to think about if a fireplace makeover project is in the works. The point is, don’t settle for an outdated, worn-out look. There are several things that can be done which are budget friendly. You owe it to yourself to check out the opportunities to enhance the look of your fireplace. You’re going to be amazed!

Please spend a few minutes exploring these other articles we think you will find interesting:

For more media options see this link below for products from a Brand we Love :

Enhance a Fire

HOW TO UPDATE AND MODERNIZE A GAS FIREPLACE brick background glass media, rocks and driftwood

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

Winston's Chimney Service LogoVisit Store Page

Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Hearth & Home Shoppe LogoVisit Store Page

Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

41 Responses

  1. Pam
    Was wondering , we are remodeling our 1965, home, which does have a gas / fireplace...Can it be updated to the current gas fireplace of today?
    • Dominique Page
      Hi, Thanks for reaching out. The answer is yes! We simply need to have a look. You may visit our closest expert to you: They will be able to assist you in your project. All the best!
  2. Jamison
    I want to replace an existing working gas insert with a more modern looking. I live in St. Augustine. What are the option and approximately would be the materisl cost to change out...and di yiu charge extra fir labor? Thank you Jamison
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Jamison Thanks for your message. We currently do not have anoyone near your place to help you out. Our closest Member is in Georgia. Dominique
      • Tracey
        We have a ventless fireplace with a cabinet surround. Can the existing firebox, logs, and inner workings be used as a "built in" fireplace in a wall?
        • Dominique Page
          Hi Tracey Thanks for your message. There are ways to make this type of project work; but an expert needs to take a good look. The best is to locate a good fireplace store nearby. If we have a member store close by, please make contact with them and they will assist you. All the best!
          • AnneMarie
            I have an ugly gold front on my gas fireplace. It’s out of place for a traditional mantle and molding. Is there a way to change this or paint it black without ripping out the entire mantle?
  3. Rod
    We have a 1995 gas fireplace. I’d like to convert it from pilot light ignition to electronic ignition. Is this possible?
    • Dominique Page
      Good afternoon! Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, it is not possible to convert to electronic ignition, due to certification requirements. However, you may want to take a look at this nice device that could allow you o operate your gas fireplace with an app. All the best!
  4. Kris Lewis
    hello. Is it possible to remove a few logs out of a direct vent natural gas fireplace.?It is rather outdated looking and lowering the profile of the log pile might give us a simpler look.
    • Dominique Page
      Good morning! Normally, logs are certified with the burner itself. Changing the logs may create problems such as soot and bad combustion. If you are looking at updating the look, there are options available. The best would be to get a local fireplace expert involved. We may have one fairly close to you. All the best!
  5. Mike Nanney
    Looking for new front for older logs. Logs are fine but the front of it is ugly. This is a vented gas log system installed in Condo 20 years ago
    • Dominique Page
      Good morning! Thanks for your message! Depending on your setup, a reface may be redone. Best way to get started is to take picture of your current fireplace and go to your local fireplace store. They will guide you into the project. To locate our nearest We Love Fire Expert to you, you can click here. All the best! Dominique
  6. Beverley
    Looking to upgrade the media in our Lennox fireplace, can this be done without having to replace the entire fireplace? Want to change them out to a rock/beach or a driftwood style
    • Dominique Page
      Hi Beverley Thanks for your message. The answer depends on the type of fireplace you have. If it is a direct-vent sealed fireplace, the answer is no, unless such options are offered on that specific model by the Manufacturer. If your fireplace is 'open', no glass, it is possible to change and upgrade the media. This should be done by a fireplace technician. I would invite you to reach out to a local fireplace store. We might have a We Love Fire Partner near you. All the best! Dominique
  7. Carol Ann Forgas
    We have two older gas fireplaces (1960's). We would like to update them, as they currently have the old-style on/off control set inside the fireplace. This, of course, requires us to get down on our hands and knees to turn it on and off....not easy on our older joints! LOL Is there an affordable way to update them so that we can use a remote control? We live in Kings Mountain, NC. Thank you!
    • Dominique Page
      Good morning Carol Ann Thanks for your message. These logs can be upgraded indeed, with a remote control system. New logs today radiate heat better too. They create a nice cozy feeling! We have a store member in Hickory. They are great to work with, beautiful family business. They will help you with the best solutions for your fireplaces. Stay safe and warm! Dominique
  8. Julie
    Hi, I have a natural gas, Majestic, 3 sided fireplace that is now absolete (home was built in 2004). The logs set inside in old and dated and I wanted to remove and add fire glass but no one can tell me if it’s possible or not, just they advise against it. Even adding new logs is advised against and I’m confused as everyone seems to be updating their fires (some much older) in similar ways but I keep being told no. “ Give your fire a new look and modern look by changing the logs or adding fireglass” but then keep being told no, it’s not advised so how am I supposed to update and modernise the fire? Any advice would great. Model number: 360DVS3RN. Thank you.
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Julie Thanks for your message. Your fireplace is 'factory built', not a 'masonry one. That is why changing the logs is not possible. The certification and the burner are done to match the exact logs you have in there. Changing them would result in sooting the glass, the walls and even the area around the chimney. The best is to pull and replace, meaning, take out the fireplace and put a more modern one. It might sound like a big project, but this what our network does best! Dominique
  9. Lily
    We are remodeling our fireplace. We are replacing the old brick surround with the modern looking white tiles floor to ceiling. The gas fireplace is Franciscan Model III by Dura Vent. Our local fireplace company advised us that we can't replace the ceramic gas logs , neither the insert. Any suggestion as to how to give the ceramic gas logs a fresh look to match with the modern looking fireplace surround? Will it be helpful to paint the ceramic gas logs to be black as the fire box is? Or it will make it worse? PLease advise .
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Lily Thanks for reaching out. I am not familiar with your fireplace. If your local fireplace store said they cannot source the replacement logs, that is possible. Your fireplace altogether can certainly be replaced. I suggest you contact our closest Member Store to you. Prepare some pictures so they can evaluate what is possible to do. Dominique
  10. Dan
    We have a two-sided gas fireplace (between master bathroom and master bedroom) from the original 1989 home construction, and are remodeling our bathroom. We are considering a full replacement of the fireplace (with a two-sided gas) or possibly closing off the bathroom side and just having the fireplace in the bedroom. What is the best way to consider our options?
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Dan Thanks for reaching out, and sorry for the delay answering. Two-sided gas fireplaces are popular. It really depends on your budget and taste. The best way to tackle a project like this might be to get a designer involved. She or he, may come up with several proposals of designs. You may also want to contact our most partner store. Click here to see if we have one near you. All the best! Dominique
  11. Dan
    Hello. I would like to upgrade to a more efficient and better looking modern system. I have upstairs and downstairs gas fireplace inserts that are using the same chimney to vent. Upstairs would be used as a secondary source to heat living/dining area. Downstairs is primary heat and the space is a daylight basement approx 550 sqft. Can you recommend the way to tackle this? For example, spend a little more on downstairs unit vs upstairs based on planned use? Brands to shop or avoid? Thanks.
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Dan Thanks for reaching out. The best option is a visual inspection with a local fireplace expert. You may find our most local partner to you here. All the best on your project! Dominique
  12. Nita
    I want to replace an existing working gas insert with a more modern looking. I live in South Brunswick. What are the option and approximately would be the material cost to change out?
    • Dominique Page
      Good afternoon Nita Thanks for your message. There are great options available. The simplest is to have the insert replaced with a more modern one. Some other projects we've done include changing the whole fireplace itself. This is more involving, but the results are quite stunning. The best first step is to visit our closest Member store. Bring some pictures along with you, on the fireplace and of the outside wall of your home where the fireplace is. This will help assessing the possibilities. Enjoy and stay safe!
  13. Jessica
    Hello, I would like to replace or ceramic logs in our gas fireplace with the fire balls, is that possible without replacing the metal grates and rock wool that the logs sit on? Our fireplace is old wood burning brick converted to gas in 2007. Were in Phoenix. Thanks!
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Jessica Thanks for reaching out. The best would be to have a fireplace expert take a look. Normally, the whole burner system would need to be replaced in order to change the logs (or the media). But, having someone taking a look and inspect your installation is the best and safest way to proceed. All the best!!! Dominique
  14. Dev
    Gas fireplace downstairs. Just now replaced the glass after I cleaned out all the dust etc and I ran some steel wool over the thermal coupler. Now the pilot light stays on. Cleaning inside the gas firebox, I noticed the flat black paint peeling. Can I repaint the interior of a gas fireplace? Thank you.
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Dev Thanks for reaching out. The answer is 'yes' you can paint the metal inside of your gas fireplace. Make sure to use high heat paint, for 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you sand and clean the surface real good, so the adherence is maximized. All the best!!!
  15. suzanne
    We have a gas fireplace that uses a key and a lighter. Is there a way to update the fireplace so that it will operate with an on/off wall switch. We are in Atlanta Georgia.
  16. Pat
    I have a fireplace that I consider the builders choice special. I was wondering if I upgraded the tempered glass to ceramic glass would it increase the heat output? Right now I have to lean against the glass to feel anything.
    • Dominique Page
      Hi Pat. Thanks for reaching out. Tempered glass units are made to be less efficient by design. They are built to allow the heat to escape up the chimney in order to keep the glass cooler and have the 'fire' going for longer periods of time, for enjoyment. Ceramic glass fireplaces are designed to radiate heat and with a higher efficiency thinking. Some models even have a heat exchanger. These ceramic glass fireplaces will radiate much more heat into the room and will tend to heat up the space faster than tempered glass units. With high efficiency and higher heat output, it means the fireplace will typically run for a lesser amount of time. So depending on what you value the most, both design have their purpose. Hope this answers your question. Stay warm! Dominique
  17. Rick
    Hi Pat, I have a Heat & Glo SL 750TR-IPI-E unit. Overall it seems to heat the room fairly well, but there is not much flame for visualization. I have the knob turned up and the unit has been cleaned out. I also had the gas pressure checked and it is very good. I hate to replace the unit because in addition to the cost of the unit, I would also have to tear out the tile facade and re-do it. Is it possible the unit just runs a lower flame and if so, is it possible to put a higher btu unit in the case without pulling everything out? Thanks, Rick
    • Joseph Bodden
      Hello Rick and thank you for your question about your Heat N Glo fireplace. Heat output and the flame pattern is determined by the manufacturer. The orifice for your fireplace will only let a specific amount of gas through it to the burner. The heat output of the fireplace and the flame pattern cannot and should not be changed. Normally, the larger the burner in BTUs, the more impressive the flames will be. More gas, more flames. Less gas, lower flame height. Short of replacing the fireplace with a wider range of heat (BTU) output, I don't believe there's much else that can be done. Your local dealer can help find a suitable replacement with a similar size footprint. Regards, Joe
  18. Giles Ziolkowski
    I have a rwo-sided gas fireplace with folding glass doors. Can this be updated to a more efficient system.? Thanks Giles
    • Joseph Bodden
      Hello Giles! From your description, it sounds to me like you are describing a see-through wood burning fireplace with a gas log in it. I say this because direct vented gas fireplaces do not have doors that can be opened. They have gasketed pieces of glass that must be sealed on the fireplace during operation. So, can something more efficient be put in its place? You might have three options: 1) Updating the gas logs may have some impact on the amount of heat you're delivering to the room. But, you'll be using a lot of gas and not receiving the benefit of much heat into the room. 2) If there's enough depth in the firebox, installing two gas inserts back to back might be a possibility. With efficiencies in the upper 70 to low 80's range, this would provide significantly more heat and would allow you to separately control the heat output on both sides of the see through fireplace. You could have one or the other side, or both sides on at the same time. 3) Physically remove the old equipment and replace it with a new direct vented gas see-though, or replace with two single sided fireplaces, back to back. I would encourage you to contact your WE LOVE FIRE dealer and have them evaluate your options. Thanks for reaching out to us and tell your friends and family about this website. Joe
  19. Larry Voigtsberger
    I have an existing direct vent gas fireplace with fake logs. I purchased the home 2 years ago and would like to update (modernize) the fireplace style with minimal costs. What the label shows is as follows: Superior Model no. D-600CMN At the bottom of the same label it shows: Warnock Hersey Vented Gas Fireplace Heater Serial Number 6300K 03980 What I would like to do is remove the logs, replace the burner and paint or replace the backing and just have a modern flame with fire glass. Can this be done?
    • Joseph Bodden
      Hello Larry, and thank you for your note. There are some models of direct vent gas fireplaces that have a specific burner and logs requirements that must be used. It has to do with the testing and listing protocols. Other manufacturers may have some options for burners and media choices. Honestly, I am not well versed on the Superior unit you mentioned. My suggestion to you would be to contact the dealer where this fireplace came from or get a hold of the Superior Customer Service Department. They will be able to tell you if your fireplace can be modernized. If not, it's likely that your only other option would be to remove the fireplace from the wall and install a new direct vented unit in the same footprint. Expensive? Yes, but . . . . if you've been in the house only for a couple of years, I guessing you'll use the fireplace and enjoy it lots more than updating the old, while adding value to the property.

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