Top 60 Best Fireplace Mantel Designs – Interior Surround Ideas
If the fireplace is the centerpiece of the home, the mantel acts as one’s personal signature and everyone’s eyes will be drawn to the fireplace mantel when they enter a room.
For centuries, fireplace mantels were intended to show off one’s worldly goods and objects of interest, providing a kind of introduction to the intimate world of one’s home and hearth.
Today, mantels act as extensions of the overall fireplace architecture, a way to implement both household style and simple convenience.
There are many materials and designs that be used for fireplace mantels and the best one for you will depend on the space and your own style preferences. Many people position framed prints and artwork above their mantels, while others incorporate entertainment systems. Certain mantels can also accommodate seating arrangements, allowing you and your loved ones to bask in comfort side by side in the firelight.
We may no longer depend on fire as our sole source of light and warmth, but is there anything more welcoming on a cold winter night? Whether your tastes align with edgy stone or elegant Edwardian marble, fireplace mantels add old-world nuance to a new world.
Here we take a look at the different materials and styles available so you can choose the perfect fireplace mantel for you.
When choosing your perfect fireplace mantel, you need to think about what materials you are going to use. There are a wide variety of different options and we’ll look at the best here.
It goes without saying that you have to be careful with this material but a wood mantel can be incredibly beautiful. A timber mantel helps to give it a more rustic feel, especially if you have a reclaimed wood mantel. If you wanted something a bit more modern, then you can opt for a solid wood mantel which can look equally amazing.
As long as you have the word away from the firebox, you can have many great fireplace mantel ideas with this material. You can also use different types of wood such as pine, oak, solid wood, or timber.
You can even go that extra mile with your wooden fireplace mantel, as wood gives the opportunity to have carved mantels and something incredibly unique. For those looking for something more modern, then you can also opt for a painted wooden surround.
Cast stone is probably the most common type of modern fireplace surround. It’s great for a custom fireplace mantel as you can get it in any shape or size you want. You can even add a corbel to get something completely different from anyone else.
A stone fireplace is often seen as the perfect material as it’s not flammable, won’t get too hot away from the firebox, and is highly durable. They are great for customization and you can get a mantel for even the most awkward of spaces.
Having cast stone means you can get all the advantages of stone but in a more flexible way. You can then opt to paint the stone in any color you want to get a fireplace mantel that matches the space of whichever room you’re in.
For those looking for a more traditional mantel surround, brick is a brilliant choice. A brick fireplace has been used for centuries and for good reason. They retain plenty of heat so you get the benefits long after the fire has gone out.
Brick fireplaces also look visually stunning. There is something beautiful about them being built up and that contrast of a traditional building method in a modern home can look great.
There are also shortcuts to some brick fireplace mantels as you can often now get them as cast stone but it looks like traditional brick. This can be a cheaper way to get the same effect.
Marble is the perfect choice for those looking for a stone mantel with a bit more opulence. Having a marble mantel in your living room is a striking focal point and one that will receive many compliments. You have many color options but a white marble fireplace can be visually stunning.
It’s a great material to replace an existing fireplace that is no longer up to your standard. Due to the weight and expense of marble, it is often combined with other materials for the rest of the surround such as cast stone of wood.
Due to its weight, it’s also hard to have a marble shelf and therefore it’s often easier to have a different surround to give you the shelf. This mix of materials can be the perfect solution.
If you wanted a cheaper material for your mantle but one that still looks great then limestone is a great option. It has a similar look to marble and has a few advantages aside from just the cost.
Limestone is also lighter than marble so you often don’t need to get another material for the shelf. Another quality of limestone is that it’s quite easy to work with which allows for more custom designs. It’s a perfect material for a fireplace mantel.
There is something great about when you can see the craftsmanship that has gone into a structure and that’s the same with a tiled fireplace mantel. It gives you a more customized finish than simply regular stone.
The great aspect of tile is that you can have a vast range of different styles and colors. The world is your oyster and you can quickly have a fireplace mantel that is like nothing else in the world.
As with marble, you often need to combine tile with another material if you wanted to have a shelf. It can look great with a cast stone or wooden surround where you have the beauty of the tile along with the functionality of the surround.
There is, of course, an added cost with using tile as you need to pay for the skill of a high-quality job. We think it’s worth it though as the results can be spectacular.
Metal is a unique choice for a fireplace mantel shelf as the material is such a good conductor of heat. As long as it’s away from the fireplace opening, you’ll have no issues.
We love this as an option as you can often have something that is different from most other fireplaces. As with others we’ve looked at, it often needs to be combined with other materials for maximum functionality.
Once you know that materials that you want to work with, it’s a good idea to look at which style you should go for. Here we look at some great ideas for you to choose from.
A floating mantel is one of the most elegant designs that you can have. You can combine this with an electric fireplace for a modern option or go for reclaimed wood and have more of a rustic feel.
Floating shelves are ideal for anyone that wants a more minimalistic approach. Large fireplace surrounds can look great but some people just want to have something more subtle. They are also ideal for smaller rooms where you don’t want such a dominant fireplace.
Most modern fireplace mantels follow a fairly similar design where you’ll have a cast stone or wooded surround with a minimum of detail. It’s a very clean style and one that suits most modern living rooms and other family spaces.
Having a modern surround can be a great option for a gas fireplace too but you can still have a traditional log burning firebox here too. Having a mixture of old and new can produce great results.
If you don’t have vast sums of money to spend on a new fireplace mantel, then this may also be the solution you need. There are usually plenty of options and you probably won’t need to get one custom-made. It’s an easy way to have a beautiful fireplace mantel.
A subtle bit great way to style your fireplace is with a mantel shelf. This can either be a standard or floating shelf made from a wide variety of different materials. A floating mantel shelf is a more minimalistic option, which you may prefer but a standard shelf is easier to install and looks just as good.
For many people, the whole point of having one of these fireplace mantels is to have a place to showcase some of your prized possessions. They can also be a great way to protect your TV from the heat of the fire.
Classic Fireplace Mantel
The classic fireplace mantel is essentially the same as the modern fireplace mantel except these models usually have a little more detail on them. Again, they are mostly made from either wood or cast stone but other materials can be used.
You’ll often get a mix of materials here too with the inner part of the fireplace mantel having a higher level of craftsmanship. We particularly like the mixture of a traditional fireplace mantel with a brick or tile design next to the firebox.
Having a fire itself is a traditional way to heat a space so why not embrace that tradition with a rustic fireplace mantel? This often means having a wood fireplace mantel but there are other ways you can have a rustic feel.
If you’re worried about exposed wood then a simple stain finish can extend its life but as the wood will never come into direct contact with the fire, it’s never a problem. Aside from wood, the next best way to have a rustic feel is with brick but you can combine the two.
Having a rustic fireplace mantel can help to give a special warmth and atmosphere to your space. It can make those cold winter nights feel all the cozier when you’re by your beautiful fireplace.
If you wanted your fireplace mantel to look even older than a rustic feel then you can go for something industrial. These are mantels that look as though they were once used for some industrial means.
It is certainly a way to get your guest’s attention when they enter a room. The two ideas that we’ve shown you here look epic and have a combination of rustic wood, brickwork, and a metal firebox. If you really wanted to go old school, then this is the way to go.
As we’ve already shown you, there are no rules here. Many of the options we’ve looked at mix it up with different materials and different styles. You may want a modern fireplace with a traditional mantel or perhaps the opposite way around.
You can use your own creative mind to come up with something that looks brilliant. Don’t be afraid to mix it up as the results can be epic. Fireplace mantels can dominate a room so you want yours to be special.