Coal Fire Surrounds are Fireplaces intended to be used with solid fuel (burning coal or logs). There are several ways to make a fire surround suitable for use with coal:

Slabbed back panel and hearth

This process involves cutting the hearth into sections and re-joining it. This process creates purpose built expansion joints that lets the excessive heat created escape without cracking the hearth. The same process is carried out on the back panel.

Cast iron inserts

It is possible to have a marble fire surround with a cast iron insert. Cast Iron is extremely thermal stable and prevents the panel from cracking. Cast iron inserts are very traditional they may not suit all decors and homes. It is important to source a good quality cast iron insert that is resistant from rust, as this is a common problem with cheap imports.

Fire chamber

It is also possible to have a stone fire surround (or stone Fireplaces) which are made from natural thick slabs and are designed to be used with solid fuel. It is quite common to also burn solid fuel in a chamber that is made from heat resistant materials (cast in special cement), as shown in the image.