A fireplace mantle can significantly enhance the look of any living room, family room or even kitchen and offers great decorative value. Unlike medieval times when their sole purpose was to catch smoke, today’s mantles are accessories as part of the home’s interior design and ornamental element.
Regardless what mantel theme you decide upon; simple, classic or an elaborate design, the fireplace has become a centerpiece of the entire room. Not only does it beautify and decorate an otherwise ordinary looking fireplace, but it serves a functional purpose as well. Mantels are used to display knick-knacks, candles, family photos, heirlooms pieces, and other items of interest that you wish to display.
Considering the Types
Once you’ve decided to invest into a fireplace for your home, you’ll first need to consider the importance of its design and which one will be suitable for your interior. There are several types of materials that can be used in constructing fireplace mantels, ranging in styles from rustic and natural to contemporary and elegant.
When choosing a fireplace mantel, it also helps to know what’s available and features of each type. It should match the fireplace design and room interior to provide a uniform and overall appearance in your home.
The rustic style remains one of the most popular styles for fireplace mantels. A stone fireplace immediately conjures up the image of warmth and comfort; however, more modern mantels made of wood are becoming quite popular these days. Modern designs using materials like steel, marble or stucco have gained in popularity and offer a creative approach to mantel designs with intriguing ideas.
- Wood – Most fireplace mantels are made from wood because it’s a material builders can easily construct and maintains a natural look. Wood is the most popular and also the most affordable material since you can paint and stain it to suit the colour theme and décor of your interior space. Wood has a lot of flexibility because it can be carved, manipulated and designed into various styles and shapes. Wood mantels come in a variety of wood types such as oak, cherry, walnut, pine, maples, cedar and many other hardwoods.
- Stone – Stone mantels are also popular because they are especially resilient to damage. Stone is more expensive than wooden mantels, but the expenditure is worth it because of their durability, fireproof, heatproof nature and easy maintenance. Stone mantels are generally precast and simply fitted to surround the fireplace. Stone mantels can be constructed from limestone, sandstone, granite, river rock or travertine and available with different colors and textures of stone. Stone mantels are best suited for rooms with a large fireplace.
- Marble – Marble mantels are the most expensive and cost thousands of dollars. The marble is usually hand carved and provides a rich, elegant and formal look to the room. Marble is a study and extremely hard material. Not only beautiful and elegant, marble is known for its longevity and durability.
- Brick – Brick mantels are simple, affordable and ideal for creating different looks. Brick is usually available in a single colour and best suited for interiors that have a country feel. Since brick is an exceptionally heavy material, it will need additional support at the fireplace.
- Ceramic Tile – Ceramic tile mantels are similar to stone mantels in that ceramic tile mantels are precast using ceramic solid units. Ceramic mantels give you the option of customization depending on the room interior and they come in a wide range of finishes, colours and styles
- Metal – Metal mantels can look either contemporary or historical, such as a Victorian style that’s finished with hand-rubbed gold. Metal has the flexibility in experimenting with unique shapes and sizes. They come in a variety of materials such as aluminum, bronze, stainless steel and brass and particularly attractive in a room having a contemporary decor.
It’s Your Choice
Whichever material you ultimately decide upon using for your fireplace mantle, a mantle will add beauty, charm and style to your interior décor.