“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 require 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.”
A third option, and the main reason for writing this blog post, is to install a steel fireplace insert inside the kiva. You could make the kiva fireplace yourself and then install the insert for improved heating efficiency. The kiva inserts are somewhat difficult to find. Most of the ones I managed to find are rectangular and not as aesthetically pleasing as the arch shaped inserts. Please leave a comment below if you find some good brands.