Your Mantel Questions Answered Here
Here are some common questions people ask about their fireplace mantel shelf. Read through these FAQs and get answers to your questions.
What materials are mantels often made of?
The material of a fireplace mantel varies. Common materials include:
Other materials are available. You just need to shop around and ask. Check out the fireplace mantel ideas and buying guide for more information and great advice.
What fireplace measurements do I need to consider when selecting a mantel shelf?
When selecting a mantel, measure the width of the fireplace from edge to edge. It's common to have a fireplace mantel shelf that extends past the width of the fireplace; you just want to make sure it's not too short.
How do I mount a fireplace mantel shelf?
To properly mount fireplace mantel shelves, you must first measure the length of your fireplace, establish how far up you want the mantel, find the center, and mark the wall with a pencil. Installing a mantel depends on the material it's made of and the material of the wall you're mounting it to. Often you need to establish wall studs and/or brackets to mount the mantel to the wall. The specific fireplace mantel shelf you purchase should come with the mantelpiece as well as instructions.
What is a fireplace surround?
A fireplace surround is a specific style of mantel that has "legs" that run along side the fireplace. These legs are attached to the mantel and mounted to the wall. Most mantels are just a flat horizontal piece of wood mounted above the fireplace. Fireplace surrounds provide added lines, framing, and accents to your fireplace.
Can I build my own fireplace mantel?
Yes. It is possible to build your own mantelpiece. You can find plans in wood working books and even online. However, if you're not experienced in wood work or have never built your own mantel shelf, it's advised that you consult a professional.
Is it possible to get an unfinished mantel?
Yes. Some manufacturers offer unfinished mantels (a.k.a. unpainted or stained wood mantels). These types of mantels allow you to add whatever color you want or stain it to your liking. If you're shopping for mantels and want to add a personal touch, ask around for unfinished mantels.
What's the typical price range for fireplace mantel shelves?
The price can vary greatly on fireplace mantels. A very basic mantel can run you a couple hundred dollars; however, a higher end mantel shelf could run you a couple thousand. The higher the quality of materials involved, the higher the cost will be.
All three of these elements come into play with a fireplace mantel.
The size of your fireplace: This is probably the most crucial element you need to keep in mind when browsing fireplace mantel ideas and possibilities. You want to measure all dimensions of your fireplace and have them on-hand. The last thing you want to do is guess on the size - you might end up with a mantel that's too short or too tall.
The wall space available: The amount of wall space available will dictate the maximum size you can get. It's not uncommon to have a mantel shelf that extends past the width of the fireplace. If you want a long fireplace mantel shelf, measure how much wall space you have. As they say, measure twice, cut once (in this case, it's measure twice, buy once - you don't want to end up with a mantel that's too long and have to go back and buy another).
The décor of the room: This is where you narrow down your fireplace mantel ideas. Once you start shopping around, you'll quickly discover that you have a ton of colors, shapes, sizes, makes, materials, and appearances to choose from. So, always consider the décor of the room where the mantel will be mounted. You want your fireplace mantel to accent your fireplace and blend with the room. If you're looking for a fireplace mantel for a cabin, stick with the antique, rugged models, if that's the décor of the room. Picking a mantel shelf that doesn't blend with the room can turn an exquisite mantel into an eye sore.
You have more fireplace mantel options than you think. From wooden to marble and even antique looking mantels, you have your work cut out for you. Use this guide to help you narrow down your fireplace mantel ideas and pick the best one for your fireplace. If you have questions, check out our fireplace mantel shelf FAQs.
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Article Added on Wednesday, September 9, 2009
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