Most fireplaces and hearths are made from brick, which can become unsightly after years of cracks, chips, and paint. Incorporating natural stone can restore the glory to your fireplace and make it the centerpiece it should be. Using natural stone also means an end to repainting the fireplace with beauty that lasts a lifetime. The Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold® share a few things you should know about adding stone to your home’s fireplace.
Considerations Before You Begin
Make sure you choose a stone that won’t impede the opening of the firebox, which can pose a safety hazard and destroy the look of your fireplace. Any stone you choose could close the opening a bit, but some stones are thicker, and how they are laid makes a difference. You should also be careful to avoid losing floor space. Some stone fireplace remodels result in a new fireplace that juts further into the room. A good fireplace remodel will maintain the same amount of space.
Choose the Right Stone for Your Fireplace
When choosing your stone, consider the style of the room and your mantel. Rough stones like fieldstone, which is usually stacked, work best with simple mantelpieces and barn beam mantels. A smooth stone works best with ornate or finished mantels.
Here are some popular options:
- Marble produces an extravagant yet sleek look. It is very easy to clean, and its cold colors pair well with a warm fire.
- Limestone can be very simple or very intricately carved. Stacked limestone is an option if you want a rustic style fireplace.
- Slate can produce a beautiful rustic cottage style. Tile made from slate offers clean lines, but stacked slate creates a richer texture.
- Granite offers a contemporary and clean appearance. It can be understated or a true centerpiece.
- Travertine can be installed as a tile for a modern fireplace, stacked bricks for a unique rustic appearance, or carved to create an Old-World feel.
Add a Stone Fireplace Mantel Shelf
A fireplace mantel can refer to either the shelf above the firebox or the entire decorative fireplace surround. If you want a budget-friendly and striking way to incorporate stone, consider replacing your existing shelf with a natural stone mantel shelf. A stone shelf is a simple way to add a bit of elegance to your fireplace without replacing the entire surround. Depending on the type of stone you choose, it can complement your existing tile, brick, or stacked stone.
Customize the Hearth
The hearth is the part of your fireplace where the fire burns. Because the hearth extends into the room, it prevents embers from escaping and starting a fire. While hearths certainly have a purpose, they can also be quite decorative. There are several ways to customize a new stone hearth, such as a three-sided cantilevered hearth or a floating stone slab hearth.
Limestone is the most inexpensive natural stone hearth option, but it’s a soft stone that’s best for gas and electric fireplaces, not those that burn wood. The same is true with slate, which may crack with the intensity of a wood-burning fireplace. While granite tends to cost more than slate and limestone, it can easily withstand the heat of a wood-fueled fire. It’s also one of the most commonly used natural stones for hearths due to its wide range of colors and durability. Marble offers the heat resistance of granite, but is one of the most expensive options.
Whether you opt for granite, marble, slate, or another type of natural stone for your fireplace, make sure you clean it regularly with a granite daily cleaner. Get in touch with Granite Gold® today if you need tips on caring for the stone in your home. Call us today at 1-800-475-STONE.