What's a fireplace without a fireplace mantel? It would be a lonely hole in the wall were light comes from. Creepy isn't it? A fireplace mantel is a substantial part of the whole fireplace setup of a home. Without the mantel, there wouldn't be much to be excited about a fireplace. Fireplaces have been focal points of attraction in the house.
However, it is the fireplace mantel that really brings out the beauty of a fireplace. It serves a fireplace like a frame serves a picture. A proper mantel can also boost up the value of the house as an asset because it brings out the beauty of the house' centerpiece.
Fireplace mantels have long been around, dating back to the Renaissance Period in Italy. The earliest designs were inspired by the architectural supremacy of the Greeks and the Romans. These designs were heavily embroidered with lavish designs and accessories.
During the advent of the Edwardian era, the designs of mantels became more subtle. Today, design and materials come together to determine the overall look of the fireplace mantels. There are two main things to consider when choosing the proper mantel for your fireplace. An improperly chosen and installed fireplace mantel is as bad as not having one at all. Here are some important factors to look at: -Type of mantel Choosing the right type of mantel for your fireplace is the most important factor to look at. Different house motifs require different types of fireplace mantels.
For older houses which are preserved well (which owners would want to further preserve) an antique fireplace mantel would be suitable. We are referring to colonial-style houses. The antique mantels have this certain timeless quality in them that brings back the designs of the older eras. In determining the right type of mantel, people should first look at whether they would like to have a mantel shelf or a surround mantel (with designs on the side). Mantel shelves work differently in the sense that they accentuate the fireplace like a crown uplifts a king. The shelves are usually holds the prized possessions of the homeowner and display them for the visitors to see.
Mantel surrounds accentuate the fireplace by giving dimensions to the sides of the fireplace. -Material Choosing the material to be used in the fireplace mantel is as important as choosing the design of the mantel. There are several materials which have become popular in terms of fireplace mantels. Let's take a look at wooden mantels first. After the First World War, wooden mantels started gaining popularity throughout the world.
The main reason why it ascended in terms of popularity is that wooden mantels are relatively easy to install (as compared to stone or marble). Oak is perhaps the most popular kind of wood that is used in fireplace mantels because of its superior quality. Fiberboard is gaining popularity as an alternative material because it is cheap and elegant looking material.
A good thing about wooden mantels is that one can choose the kind of varnish or paint color that will be used. A downside in using wood as a mantel is that wood is combustible. One should check the local fire department with regards to the regulations in using wood as a fireplace mantel. Stone mantels are one of the oldest fireplace mantels.
The use of stone as a material for mantels can be traced back to the 16th century. The most popular kinds of stones that are used for mantels are marble, slate granite and limestone. However, the use of these stones can be quite heavy for one's pockets. Cast stone, which is a pre-fabricated kind of stone, is popular today since it is very cheap as compared to the other stones.
It resembles the expensive stones at a least-costly price. Cast stone mantels are usually priced starting at seven hundred dollars. The fireplace mantel is as equally important as the fireplace itself, perhaps not in terms of functionality, but definitely in terms of aesthetics.
Properly choosing the right type of mantel and the right materials are the two most important things in installing a fireplace mantel. Mantels can really be costly but they will really bring out the beauty of a house and increase its value.
Lee Dobbins writes for http://fireplaces.home-webzone.com where you can find more about how you can enhance your home with a fireplace.