If you are looking for a great way to add style and function to your fireplace wall then you could think about adding a Fireplace Mantel Shelf. A Fireplace Mantel Shelf adds function and aesthetics to your room and can also serve as a focal point for the design of the room.
A fireplace mantel shelf is a great way to add a decorative accent and a bit of function to your space
A fireplace mantel shelf is sometimes referred to as a mantelpiece and can sometimes be confused with a fireplace surround. A fireplace mantel shelf is a decorative shelf that is installed on the wall above your firebox. A fireplace surround is usually a three or four piece kit that attaches to all sides of the firebox and "surrounds" the fireplace.
The decision between choosing a full fireplace surround or a fireplace mantel shelf, is mainly an aesthetic choice, meaning that you can choose the one that has the best look for you. It all depends on the look and feel you want your fireplace wall to play in the overall aesthetics of the room you are designing. Some people like the fireplace and/or mantel to be the focal point, so that this is the first thing people notice when entering the room. Others want the design of the fireplace wall to match everything in the room, so that there is one harmonious feel to the room.
Fireplace mantel shelves also serve the purpose of adding some function to the room. Having a shelf above the fireplace is a great way to display a variety of items, such as photo frames, vases, art pieces and more,
Fireplace Mantel Shelves are constructed from various materials including wood, stone and composites
There are also benefits to each type of material. The choice of material for a fireplace mantel shelf depends on your aesthetic preferences, maintenance considerations, and budget. Stone mantels offer durability and a natural look, wood mantels provide versatility but require more maintenance, and composite mantels combine the advantages of both aesthetics and durability with lower maintenance needs. As you look through the variety of fireplace mantel and surround options, you will notice a wide variety of prices as well. The price is usually a good way to tell what materials and quality the mantel piece is constructed of. Here is a comparison of the different materials.
Stone or Concrete Mantel Shelf
Appearance: Stone mantel shelves are known for their natural and rustic appearance. They can be made from materials like limestone, marble, granite, or cast stone, offering a wide range of colors and textures to choose from. They often have a timeless and elegant look.
Durability: Stone mantel shelves are highly durable and heat-resistant, making them an excellent choice for use near a fireplace. They can withstand high temperatures without warping or cracking.
Maintenance: Stone mantels are relatively low-maintenance, requiring occasional cleaning and sealing to maintain their appearance. However, some stone types may be more porous and require more frequent maintenance.
Installation: Installing a stone mantel shelf can be more labor-intensive due to the weight of the material. Professional installation is often recommended.
Wooden Mantel Shelf
Appearance: Wood mantel shelves are versatile and can complement various interior styles. They are available in different types of wood, such as oak, cherry, walnut, and pine, each with its own unique grain patterns and colors.
Durability: Wood mantels are durable but may not be as heat-resistant as stone or composite materials. Proper clearance from the fireplace opening and using a heat shield can help protect the wood.
- Maintenance: Wood mantel shelves require regular maintenance, including cleaning, polishing, and refinishing to keep them looking their best. They can be more prone to scratches and dents.
Installation: Wood mantels are typically easier to install than stone mantels due to their lighter weight. They can be secured to the wall with brackets or other mounting hardware.
Composite Mantle Shelf
Appearance: Composite mantel shelves are manufactured to mimic the look of natural materials like wood or stone. They come in a variety of styles and finishes, offering a range of aesthetic options.
Durability: Composite mantel shelves are often designed to be durable and heat-resistant. They can withstand the high temperatures near a fireplace without warping, cracking, or discoloration.
Maintenance: Composite mantels are relatively low-maintenance, requiring minimal cleaning and no sealing or refinishing. They are less susceptible to moisture damage compared to wood.
Installation: Composite mantels are generally lightweight and easy to install, similar to wood mantels. They can be mounted securely with standard hardware.
Fire place wall mantel shelves come in a variety of design ideas from floating shelves, to modern and contemporary to traditional wood like oak, cherry or timber or even in various colors such as white or black
Check out our full line of Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds
Pearl Fireplace Mantels offer some of the most beautiful wood mantels on the market today. They have been producing mantels for over 50 years and their fireplace mantels represent roots, heritage and tradition.
Check out our full line of Pearl Fireplace Mantels
FAQ - Fireplace Mantel Shelves
What is a fireplace shelf called?
The shelf above a fireplace has a few different names that all mean the same thing. They can be called fireplace mantel shelves, a mantelpiece or a fireplace surround.
Can you use a floating shelf as a fireplace mantel?
It is always required to review the manual for your fireplace when deciding on the type of shelf to put above your fireplace. The manual of your fireplace will tell you what the minimum clearance requirements are for either combustible or noncombustible materials.
What does it mean if my fireplace mantel is noncombustible?
The primary difference between combustible and noncombustible materials lies in their ability to resist fire and heat.
A combustible mantel is made from materials that can catch fire and burn when they are exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged amount of time. These types of mantels are made of wood, plywood, particleboard and/or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Combustible mantels are required to be a minimum safe distance away from a fireplace, to prevent them from breaking down and catching fire.
A noncombustible mantel is made from materials that are resistant to fire and heat. These types of mantels are normally made of concrete, natural stones such as granite or marble, cast stone, metal and some composite materials. Noncombustible mantels can usually be moved closer to a firebox for installation. However, it is important to note that even though a mantel may be noncombustible, they are still subject to some clearance requirements. While they are more lenient than clearance requirements for combustible materials, you will want to make sure that you are adhering to manufacturer and local building code guidelines.
How wide and deep should a fireplace mantel shelf be?
In most cases this is really up to the homeowner and installer. Some people like their mantels to be completely centered over the fireplace opening with 3 to 4 inches of over hang on each side. Others want the mantel to be shorter than the fireplace opening. Some like to have a deep mantle, some what a shallow. The deeper mantles may require more support in order to be safe to install or to place items on top of.
How to install a fireplace mantel shelf?
Fireplace mantel shelves are installed by using either wall cleats, brackets or corbels. In most cases the hardware needed will come as a kit with the mantel shelf. In most cases they will have a type of bracket called a wall cleat which is a simple wooden strip that is attached horizontally to the wall. A matching cleat is secured to the back of the mantel. The mantel is then lowered onto the wall cleat, creating a secure and hidden mounting method. Then there are some mantel shelves that simply rest on brackets or corbels.
Where can I learn more about Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds?
Check out our Resource Center for helpful articles about Mantels, Surrounds and other Fireplace topics. Here are a few