Stone Fireplace Mantel Buying Guide
Stone fireplace mantels are an elegant way to add class and character to any room in your house. By understanding the different types of stone used in the construction of the mantel that you like the best, you will be able to pick the best stone fireplace mantel for your home. Remember to check the dimensions of the area where you would like the mantel installed, as well as the depth of the wall before you order your mantel. It can be incredibly frustrating to have your mantel arrive and find out that it won’t fit in the room you ordered it for.
Stone Fireplace Mantel Construction
Not all stone is created equal, nor is it equally priced:
* Natural Stone – marble, travertine, slate, granite, sandstone, limestone, and onyx can all be hand-carved into beautiful mantels. Limestone is the most common natural stone used for carving mantels and is usually the least expensive. Whether highly decorated or very simple, your stone fireplace mantel will have the character and unique patterns of natural rock. The complex veining in the marble and some of the other stones can stand on their own as decoration without any accent. Natural stone fireplace mantels will usually be more expensive than cast stone because of both the materials and the artisanship. * Cast Stone – cast stone is man-made to look like natural stone. To make cast stone your mantel manufacturer will press a cement of gypsum and fiberglass or other minerals with a bonding agent into molds. The resulting bubbles and lines from the process mimic actual stone. Cast stone, although cheaper than natural stone, can still be pricy.
Natural stone is noncombustible, which means that you don’t necessarily need an interior or surround for your fireplace. Cast Stone is usually noncombustible, but check with your manufacturer to be sure. Some stucco artists claim that they can achieve the same effect as cast stone around your fireplace for a fraction of the price. Ask these artisans for some examples of their work and remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Whether natural or cast stone, your fireplace will be a charming focal point for your home for years to come.