Mantels are often times the piece that pulls a fireplace together. The added decorative and creative beauty, combined with the practicality of displaying and hanging decorations or mementos has led people to hang mantels above and around fireplaces for centuries.
With today’s fireplace technology and changing tastes, wood isn’t the only option you have for a fireplace mantel.
Starting with wood, here are a few common build types:
WOOD – The classic choice for a fireplace mantel is wood. Using different wood species, styles, and finishes, virtually any fireplace can find a matching wood mantel to perfectly complement it.
STONE – Accenting stone-work or a stone hearth, a stone mantel can be made to various sizes to use as a mantel. This is becoming more common today due to its non-combustible nature, keeping clearances lower while still keeping the beauty of a mantel.
STEEL – Available in any custom size, any powder-coat finish color, and also non-combustible, this mantel choice is gaining steam due to newer, high-heat fireplaces. Clean lines and unique shapes can be accented with colors matching fireplace doors & wall décor to create a truly unique fireplace mantel.
Aside from the build of a mantel, you also have a choice as to what type of mantel you are looking for. The main types of mantels are:
SHELF – The simple and classic shelf mantel sits above the fireplace or stove at the perfect height to hang stockings or display a family photo. Available in different depths, lengths, and styles, shelf mantels are easy to hang and typically less expensive than full surround or cabinet types.
SURROUND – A mantel surround combines the simplicity of a shelf mantel with legs and a header board to encapsulate the fireplace, facing material, and mantel into one focal point.
CABINET – Cabinet mantels are designed much like surround mantels, but add depth to completely enclose a gas or electric fireplace. Perfect for smaller rooms or corners, cabinet mantels keep vent pipes, gas lines, and wires hidden while allowing for more room space. Cabinets are often available in standard styles and designs, or can be custom-ordered.