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Fireplace Mantels – How to Choose Materials

A fireplace in a hall is a common sight you get to see in these parts. In order to channelize appropriately the exit of the generated smoke from the hearth or fireplace, there is usually a sort of cover known as a fireplace mantel. This cover, also referred to as a chimney piece in the olden days, is now more refined and aesthetically designed to serve multiple functions. In fact, it invokes artisans and sculptors to unleash their inherent skills in the making of mantels that complement the room decor.

Diverse Range of Material

You have fireplace mantels made out of a diverse range of materials. The concern here is how one should choose the right type of material for their fireplace mantel. Since the mantel is in proximity to the fireplace, the most important consideration is to ensure that the material does not catch fire easily. A material that is cleared by the National Fire Code should be taken into consideration. The other point to note is the placement of the mantel and its distance from the actual point of fire source.

The three popular materials that you see used for fireplace mantels are wood, marble and stone. Each of these materials again is divided further so plenty of sub-choices are available for someone contemplating fireplace mantels.

Wooden Varieties

Wooden Fireplace Mantels made out of hardwood have been the choice right down the ages. Preferences for oak, maple, and cherry are commonly seen. You could also use birch wood, mahogany or ash. The plus point here is that in wood it is easy to carve out aesthetic designs for mantels. In certain varieties of wooden materials, you get to see the grainy effect. Other advantages of choosing wood include easy maintenance and ability to paint it to a color of your choice. The important bit is to check combustion factor and look and observe up the codes within the building where it is being installed.

Marble Marvel

Marble seems to be a perfect choice for an elegant –looking fireplace mantel. Its smooth finish, easy maintenance and long life make this one quite popular. However, remember you would need to pay more for a marble mantel compared to other material. Craftsmanship on marble cutting and designing fireplace mantels is a tough task and would need highly skilled professionals to customize and deliver a marble mantel. So costs obviously for this would be on the higher side, although many will agree that the extra cost is definitely worth the fine finish achieved by using this material! Granite and limestone are alternate materials to substitute marble. Plaster of Paris and gypsum can also be seen as other choices in the making of fireplace mantels.

Natural Effects with Stone

Stone and brick are also equally popular in the race as material choices for firewood mantels. These are sturdy and solid in structure. Its rustic characteristic makes stone material a much wanted material in farmhouses and residences constructed in natural surroundings. You get to see both, the traditional and modern varieties of stone.

Learning in detail about the different forms of materials is definitely a prerequisite if one is keen to choose an ideal material for fireplace mantels.