Fireplace Surrounds Can Turn A Wall Into The Focal Point Of The Room



A fireplace can be a beautiful addition to any room in your home; however, it's more than just the fireplace that attracts the attention of everyone in the room. As endearing as a nice warm fire can be, it's the fireplace mantel and fireplace surround that really add to the appearance and can turn it into a focal point of the room. Many people confuse fireplace mantels with fireplace surrounds or feel they are one and the same.  


The fireplace mantel is actually the shelf on top of the fireplace while the surrounds are everything that "surrounds" the fireplace, including the actual mantel. Many different materials can be used for surrounds including plaster, wood and even natural stone. Limestone, granite oak or polished marble, although slightly more expensive, can provide a touch of elegance quite like no other and go beautifully with any décor. The most expensive materials for this project, however, can be those that you may have custom made with cherry or oak.


Styles may also vary from simple and modern to ornately carved surrounds from your favorite era. Stonework is very popular in surrounds although many tend to shy away because they feel they're too expensive. However, many companies provide pre-cut pieces that can be mixed with custom stonework to give the appearance of a beautiful limestone or stone fireplace but at a much lower price. Simple to follow instructions also make this the perfect do-it-yourself project for the right individual.


Where Do Surrounds Come From? 


Fireplaces have been around it seems like forever, at least almost as long as we've had fire. Originally, a fire was placed in the middle of the room and used for cooking and heating with the smoke being vented out a hole in the roof. When fireplaces were moved to the walls, it made for a lot more possibilities in space, comfort and decoration. The first to come up with the ingenious idea of surrounding the fireplace with an elegant enclosure were the Greek and Roman architects. Their elegant creations included elaborate carved figures and delicately designed marble and tile moldings. Many of these designs are still used today.


Choosing the Surrounding To Match your Décor


With the large variety of styles, shapes and materials now available, the sky is the limit as far as selecting the right surround for your fireplace. While you may think of your fireplace as a source of heat and beauty just on chilly nights, it will add a lot to the beauty of your entire room year-round. Choosing a surround should take some thought so you get exactly what you want and what will best enhance your room. Whether you choose something reminiscent of a past era or choose something simple and modern, cost will be a factor as well as the amount of space in your room.


Making sure all your measurements are accurate is the best way to ensure you'll get the surround that will fit your fireplace while adding to its elegance.  You'll need these three measurements:


  • The height of the fireplace opening 
  • The width of the fireplace opening 
  • The depth of the fireplace hearth so you can determine if there is enough space on the hearth to place the surround columns


Whether you choose to build your surround yourself, or purchase one and install it yourself or have it professionally installed, you'll need to have the correct measurements so you'll have a finished product that coordinates and fits perfectly with your fireplace.