Your Total Guide to Choosing Your Fireplace Surround

If you want to transform your living area, a fireplace surround can give you warmth, light, and comfort while also serving as a focal point in any space.

Nothing beats cuddling up in front of a toasty fire. The perfect fireplace surround is an eye-catching feature that adds value to your home and will amaze your friends and family when they walk into your living space. Stay tuned as we discuss all things fireplace materials and surrounds.

What Is a Fireplace Surround?

A fireplace surround protrudes from a fireplace’s outside wall into the room and surrounds the fireplace opening. A fireplace surround is typically composed of the sides and mantel but can also include the fireplace’s base, known as the hearth. The fireplace surround is generally defined as the components that protrude from your home’s wall away from the fireplace firebox entrance.

The mantel is the top part of the surround. Mantels are flat on top to allow for the placement of pictures and other decorations. The sides of a surround, also known as the legs, support the mantel above and act as a barrier between the fireplace and the room. A fireplace hearth is the floor of a fireplace, usually made of stone, brick, or other material, and often extending a short distance into a room.

There are various parts of the fireplace surround. With all these different components, there are infinite ways to customize your surround.  Here are some fireplace surround ideas and designs to help guide you to your dream fireplace setup. 

Best Materials for a Fireplace Surround

When you start thinking about your dream fireplace, choosing what material you’d like to use will set the tone and the overall feel of your fireplace surround. Here are some eye-catching materials that will spark some fireplace surround ideas:

1. Brick

Brick fireplaces are among the most attractive forms of fireplaces; but they can also be among the most plain, depending solely on the homeowner’s personal preferences. Brick, block, or stone can be arranged in a spectacular display of brickwork or simply put along a wall to make a modest fireplace.

A brick fireplace surround is a stylish option that many people gravitate towards. This creates a warm and traditional appeal that cozies up a room. Bricks have a warm and earthy tone that helps to warm up and cozy up the space. It also adds texture and makes the fireplace stand out, making it a focal point of the area.

Brick isn’t easy to clean but is highly durable and requires little upkeep. You can use natural or artificial bricks, both of which have advantages and disadvantages to consider. Natural bricks are more prone to cracking, but artificial bricks are usually more expensive.

Brick fireplaces must be installed on a concrete foundation and might weigh several tons. Prefabricated fireplaces are less expensive. Due to the required clearance from combustible materials, they occupy a substantial section of a single space.

2. Marble

Marble fireplace surrounds are refined, elegant, and sleek. Marble is regarded as a bolder choice due to its high-contrast striations and wide range of colors. A marble fireplace surround makes a strong statement. As a result of its long history as the stone of choice for palaces, temples, and sculptures, marble conveys luxury and grandeur. A marble fireplace surround is significantly more adaptable for a timeless home.

A marble fireplace surround is a sound choice because of its beauty. Marble is a beautiful stone that can stand as the focal point of any room. Because marble comes in several colors, a marble surround can complement a wide range of room color schemes and styles. Marble is reasonably long-lasting but not as long-lasting as stone, brick, or concrete. This material is widely available in most places.

There is one main drawback of marble to consider — marble is porous, which can cause stains. Spilled coffee or dripping candle wax can easily penetrate the surface of most marbles, creating a visible stain. Acidic drinks like soda and most fruit juices can degrade glossy surfaces. To avoid this, spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible.

3. Wood

Wood is another tasteful fireplace surround idea because of its elegance, which can be used to complement the other finishes in your living area. The primary benefit of wood is that it is surprisingly nonflammable, making it the safest material to use on your fireplace mantel. 

Because wood absorbs sound, it transmits very little to the outside world. It also maintains some heat in space, making it an excellent choice for cold areas, particularly in the winter.

Verifying with local building codes is critical to see if wood is permitted. Because wood isn’t one of the non-combustible fireplace components, it might be prohibited according to certain building codes. 

Depending on the style of fireplace you choose, you should also ensure that there is no risk of it catching fire. A wood surround is long-lasting, and different woods can be utilized to produce a variety of styles.

Fireplace Safety

Now that we’ve discussed some amazing options for your fireplace surround, let’s talk about fireplace safety. Nothing says winter holidays like a log in the fireplace while the family gathers around to revel in its warmth and radiance. Of course, playing with or near fire is dangerous for youngsters, so please keep these guidelines in mind before lighting your fireplace:

1. Inspection

You’ll be able to catch any problems early on with regular fireplace inspections. Ideally, you could have your fireplace checked for safety every year. During the inspection, the specialist might discover that your damper is faulty or completely damaged, or that your flue and liner are blocked.

When smoke and carbon monoxide don’t have a clear way out of your chimney and to the outside, they can billow back into your home, where you and your family will breathe it in. Breathing in smoke and carbon monoxide is exceedingly harmful and, in some situations, fatal. When you examine your fireplace, you can rest assured that you and your family will be safe using it.

2. Firewood

Not all wood is created equal, especially when using it in your beautiful fireplace. Not only does some wood burn better, but some wood can also actually be dangerous to burn, so carefully select your wood!

Hardwood is the best for fireplace usage. Oak, maple, cherry, ash, and birch are also adequate types of firewood for the fireplace because they ignite rapidly, emit little smoke, and have a high heat output, making them excellent for warming homes and creating a nice ambiance.

Some types of firewood are deemed unsafe for fireplaces because of their low density, high moisture level, and high resin content. These elements can make it difficult to ignite the wood, resulting in a lot of smoke, creosote, and sparks, all of which can be hazardous and destructive to the fireplace and chimney. Softwoods like pine and cedar should not be used as firewood.

3. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Take a moment to test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors monthly. A smoke detector is the most effective technique to detect smoke from a fire and sound an alert, allowing you and your family to escape safely. A carbon monoxide detector can detect the presence of this odorless and colorless gas. Test them periodically and after changing the batteries to guarantee that the detectors work correctly.

4. Damper

When you’re using your fireplace, the last thing you want to do is keep the damper closed. This maintains dangerous levels of smoke and carbon monoxide in your home. Check that your damper is not closed before lighting your fireplace. If it is, open it and have fun. It’s that simple to keep smoke from pouring into your home.

Just as you need to open your damper before using your fireplace, you need to close it when you’re through. The importance of closing your damper is more than you realize. Drafts are kept out of your home by using your fireplace damper as a barrier. When closed, it acts as an airtight seal, making your house more comfortable regardless of the season.

5. Keep Flammable Items Away

When the fireplace is lit, keep flammable materials such as shag rugs and textile goods far away from the flames. Sparks can fly out of a fireplace, especially when burning wood, which can ignite any flammable items.

Intermountain Stone & Marble Is Here To Help

Are you looking for a high-quality fireplace surround in or near Salt Lake City or Park City, Utah? Intermountain Stone & Marble has your back.

In addition to marbles, our professional team of specialists offers a wide choice of fireplace surrounds, including granite, quartz, and porcelain options that will fit your budget. We take pleasure in providing high-quality goods at reasonable costs and are here to listen to your fireplace surround ideas. Take a look at our extensive color and style options today, and receive a free quote by contacting us here or calling (801) 266-4241.

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