How It Works

The firebox is made of 3 separate easy to handle parts: the top, the center, and the base. Each section weights approximately 70 lbs., and the total combined weight of all 3 sections is approximately 250lbs. The firebox is cast of concrete and vermiculite, and the interior is lined with actual firebrick. The vermiculite help reduces the weight as well as heat transfer. The firebrick lining not only produces an authentic hand made look, but also aids in reducing heat transfer. UL approved 8" air-cooled chimney from FMI/Desa, Heatilator or Superior is used for easy yet inexpensive lightweight venting. The chimney in most cases may be purchased from your local fireplace distributor. The firebox may be use with a front other than the Southwest Kiva frame, as long as it made of a non-combustible material. (All Southwest Kiva frames use the same firebox)

The frame is what creates the style and shape of the fireplace. We have four basic styles available. The frame is constructed of lightweight 1/2" EMT conduit, which make the fireplace safer and non-combustible. It is delivered with diamond lath attached. The lath helps anchor the system together as well as serves as a base for the plaster finish. The frames may be easily cut for lower ceilings or extended to adjust to higher ceiling. The frames can also be expanded for installation in areas other than 90 degree corners. The appearance can be enhanced with nichos (niches) and adjustable bancos (benches) on either side easily and economically.


The completion of the fireplace occurs with the application of plaster to the lathed frame. Any plaster finish may be used, and most are available at local building supply, hardware store or plaster distributors. Various finishes may be added to create the desired look.