Fireplace Mantels

Isn't it funny that for all practical purposes there is really no reason for fireplaces anymore? With modern radiator and A/C systems that efficiently heat our homes you'd think that there's no reason to build houses with fireplaces anymore. But most houses still include a proper fireplace, and without it we'd feel that it was missing. Even if your fireplace has a ceramic log with gas jets instead of wood, you still love to sit in front of it on a cold winter evening.

Nothing defines a warm, inviting home more than a glowing fire in the fireplace. The fireplace, like a fine painting, is not really complete without a frame, a mantel. The mantel becomes the focal point of your room.

Mantels are the frame and shelves around the fireplace. They either frame the fireplace on 3 sides, or sit atop the fireplace. They are a perfect spot to display photos, books, art objects, or other treasures.

When looking for a mantel, you should try to decide whether you are leaning towards a rustic, homey look, or a more upscale look. Do you want your room to feel like a cozy cabin in the woods, or like the Roosevelt Room in the White House?

Mantels are usually made from wood. While you would expect wooden mantels to be rustic, and many of them are, there are actually many fancy, intricate models with inlaid motifs and hand-carved designs. Of course, no matter how fancy the wood mantel is, it'll still give you a feeling of warmth just by having it in your home.

It's not enough to know which type of mantel you prefer, you have to take into account the way your fireplace is constructed. The stone or brickwork might work well with your choice or it might look wrong. Of course, if your heart is set on a particular style, you have the option of tearing out the existing materials and replacing them with other material or colors that match the mantel you've chosen. We recommend that you consider this option very carefully, as it is more complicated, and more costly too.

When looking for a new mantel make sure that it conforms to local laws regarding fireplace construction. Most states require at least a 12 inch space between the top of the firebox and any combustible materials. There are different clearances required on the sides. Check your local code.

In order to provide you with more info about mantels, we've looked at a lot of websites that sell mantels and fireplace shelves, and we've boiled it down to a list of a select few places that sell good products and unique designs. Take a look at our

Guide To Finding a Mantel.

Here you'll find more details, information and advice about wood mantels, and where to find them.

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