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Fireplace Mantel FAQs

Fireplace Mantel FAQs

Jun 19th 2020

This Article has been approved by our on staff NFI Certified Specialists & Master Hearth Professionals

fireplace mantel faqs

Wood fireplace mantels lend personality and charm to home and hearth areas and provide balance and stability to the entire room. Furnishing your fireplace with a fireplace surround will instantly make your hearth area the focal of your home.

To ensure that your wood fireplace mantel gets all of the adoring looks that it deserves, we've compiled this list of fireplace mantel FAQs to help you with installing, decorating, painting or staining, and measuring for your fireplace surround among other things. This article also offers a quick overview of price details, finishes, and other areas of advice concerning our collection of Pearl wood fireplace mantels.

Wood fireplace mantel and fireplace surround frequently asked questions and answers

1. Question: What's the point of a fireplace surround?

  • Answer: Fireplace surrounds are used to add decorative flair to fireplace and hearth areas. Wood fireplace mantels add balance and stability to the room and exude a natural beauty that makes the fireplace the focal point of the home.

2. Question: How do I install a fireplace surround?

  • Answer: We suggest that you install your fireplace surround with a hanger board. Use these detailed installation instructions to install your wood fireplace mantel.

3. Question: Do I have to have a professional install my fireplace surround?

  • Answer: Our wood fireplace mantels and fireplace mantel shelves are fairly easy to install. All mantels (with the exception of the Williamsburg and the Alamo) come with hanger boards and detailed instructions on how to install the fireplace surround with the hanger board. You may need to consult an expert on the hardware that you will need to install the mantel depending on the surface that you are going to be hanging the fireplace surround on. For example you will need different hardware to install the wood fireplace mantel on a brick surface than you would to install it on a drywall surface. Although our mantels can be installed without the help of a professional, if you choose to have a professional install it, they may have a different method of installation in mind that doesn't require the use of the hanger board.

    4. Question: Do all of your mantels come with hanger boards to install them?

    • Answer: No. The Williamsburg and the Alamo Pearl mantels offered in our collection of mantel do not come with hanger boards.

    5. Question: How do I choose between a full fireplace surround and a mantel shelf?

    • Answer: In most cases, the choice between a full fireplace surround and mantel shelf is one of aesthetics, price and space. Naturally since shelves require less material to make, they cost less than full fireplace surrounds do. Other cases that may require a shelf instead of a full fireplace mantel is if you have a stone surround or any other material that might prevent you from installing a full wood fireplace mantel. In this case, a mantel shelf may be the best thing for you.

    6. Question: What are the clearances for wood fireplace mantels?

    • Answer: National Fire Code states that all combustible material must be 1 inch away from the firebox opening for every 1/8 inch it provides from the surface, with a minimum 6 inch clearance all around. If stricter local codes exist, they will take the place of the national codes. For this reason be sure to check local fire codes.

    7. Question: What measurements do I need to measure for a new fireplace surround?

    • Answer: The measurement guidelines below are listed assuming you have a fireplace facing and a hearth. If you do not have a fireplace facing (decorative material like brick or stone that surrounds the fireplace opening), skip those measurements while measuring for your wood fireplace mantel. If you do not have a hearth (raised decorative surface on the floor beneath the fireplace opening), you may also skip those measurements while measuring for your fireplace surround.

      Total Facing Width: Measure the total width of the fireplace facing from end to end.

      Facing Width: Measure the width of the facing on one side of the fireplace opening.

      Facing Depth: If the facing projects out from the wall, measure the distance from the outer edge to the wall.

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    Opening Width: Measure the width of the fireplace opening.

    Opening Height: Measure the height of the opening from the floor of the fireplace, which is at the same level as the hearth, or the floor of the room if you have no hearth.

    Hearth Height: Measure the height of the hearth from the floor to the top of the surface.

    Hearth Depth: Measure the depth of the hearth from the front edge to the wall.

    Hearth Width: Measure the width of the hearth from end to end.

    Side Distances: Measure from the edge of the facing to the nearest light fixture, door, corner, or window on each side.

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