Kiva (bee hive) Fireplaces

The Kiva or Bee Hive fireplace with their distinctive arched firebox door is typical of southwestern design and most often placed in a corner. Historically these Kiva Fireplaces were constructed of the same adobe material used to construct the home.

Custom bee hive fireplaces can be found in almost limitless styles and must be installed by a mason and required a solid foundation to hold the great weight of the entire fireplace and chimney all the way through the roof. Today we have more options available to us. All kiva fireplaces should be installed only by a qualified contractor.

A modern option to a mason built kiva fireplace is a prefabricated masonry firebox with double wall chimney pipe which creates a relatively lightweight fireplace weighing about 650 pounds and can even be installed on the second floor of a wood constructed home. The traditional kiva shape is formed using a metal mesh lath facade covered with stucco or plaster.
Traditional Kiva Fireplace
Shalako Kiva Fireplace Grand River Supply is one company that not only sells these prefabricated kiva fireplaces throughout the American Southwest, but can ship them almost anywhere. I was surprised to learn that it is not unusual for them to ship these fireplaces to New York or Hawaii. Their kiva fireplace kits are available in four traditional styles that can be installed indoors or out. The smallest is the Laguna Kiva which is a no frills basic kiva fireplace. The Sandia Kiva (below
right) and Hopi Kiva add a stylistic face frame and are slightly larger. The largest and most elaborate is the Shalako Kiva (below left).

I have included links to Grand River Supply's information kiva fireplace information guides below. These guides are Adobe Acrobat documents and require Adobe Reader 5.0 or later.

Outdoor living has become very popular and has led to creating comfortable living and cooking areas outside the home. Kiva fireplaces are a popular outdoors addition throughout the southwest. Some examples of outdoor kivas have been included in the photos on this page.

In response to the overwhelming demand, Grand River Supply has recently added the El Patio Kiva Fireplace kit to their collection.

Custom mason built outdoor kiva fireplace El Patio Outdoor Kiva Fireplace Render

Additions that add Charm and Distinction

Sandia Kiva Fireplace
The benches extending outward from the kiva fireplaces above are called bancos and can be styled as the builder desires. It is however a permanently installed bench. Often the home owner will place cushions on the banco for greater comfort. It is common for boncos to extend the hearth of a kiva fireplace. A banco can be placed on either or both sides of the kiva fireplace.

Another common feature added to a kiva fireplace is one or more nichos. A nicho is a recessed shelf commonly cut out of an adobe wall. Traditionally the nichos were added for placing religious icons throughout the home. Of course any small decorative item may be placed in a nicho.
Detailed Kiva Fireplace Guide Detailed El Patio Kiva Fireplace Guide
Information Guides require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or later.
Copyright © 2006 GRD