What Kind of Mantel is Right for My Fireplace?

What Kind of Mantel is Right for My FireplaceFireplace design can be one of the most fun parts of being a homeowner. And the mantel is the most fun part of the fireplace. Given the right space and materials, you can make your fireplace mantel the center of your home’s personality.

Most mantels are made of three basic materials: wood, stone, and medium density fiberboard (MDF).

Wood is the easiest material, both to build and design. You can choose different kinds of wood, like oak or cherry, and have it burnished or stained to your liking. If you have an American Craftsman home, for instance, you probably already have lots of natural exposed wood. Your mantel can be a simple slab that attracts light and reflects color variants. Remember to leave sufficient space between a wood mantel and any flammable items.

If you’re looking for durability and do not want to spare expense, stone is an excellent choice. For one thing, it’s non-combustible. For another, it can look highly cultured. You can choose limestone, granite, river rock, and others.

MDF combines the durability and sturdy outcome of stone with the customization factor of wood. Also like stone, it’s non-combustible.

Consider adding a mirror to your mantel. In the Victorian era—the period which still encourages much of fireplace thought—homeowners would use a mirror to manipulate light and create the illusion of more space.

The better you know the vibes and angles of the space, the more equipped you’ll be to make a decision. You should also familiarize yourself with the dimensions of your fireplace, so you can best compliment them. How deep is your fireplace? How high is it measured from the base? Be aware of the fireplace surround, and how much flammable content it contains. All of these affect the design and placement of your mantel.

For more design tips, contact our professionals in fireplace mantels.

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