How to Choose the Right Fireplace Mantle for Your Home

October 2, 2023


Whether adorned with a lone vase of flowers or a gallery of family photos, the right fireplace mantel can make your hearth the focal point of your room. But there are many considerations beyond aesthetics.

The first is sizing your space correctly. Incorrect sizing can create an awkward fit and throw off the overall look of your surroundings.


Whether you're looking for something sturdier, like a mantel shelf to support your television, or want to dress up the area above your fireplace, it's essential to consider the design. Many choices suit your style and collaboration with the surrounding room decor.

Choosing a suitable material is also essential for safety. Federal fire safety codes require that combustible materials have a specific clearance from the fireplace. This can be difficult to achieve with a traditional wood or stone mantel. However, the good news is that many non-combustible mantel designs are available to meet these guidelines.

Welded metal is a modern choice that can easily be painted to match your home's aesthetic. Natural stone adds beauty and offers a range of looks from rustic to formal. Wood provides the classic look of a traditional fireplace mantel and can be stained or painted to highlight its natural beauty.


modern fireplace mantle can add an elegant focal point to a room. It can also serve as a place to display treasured items like family photos and holiday decorations.

When choosing a style for your surround or fireplace mantel, consider your interior design goals and the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. For example, choose a rustic look with natural materials or a more contemporary style with clean lines.

If space is limited, opt for a more modern mantel that can be flat or narrow, such as a picture frame surround or wall cladding. On the other hand, traditional mantels typically include a sweeping upper portion that requires more profound posts and curved columns.

For safety, most masonry fireplaces require specific clearance guidelines to be adhered to. However, if your fireplace is built into a pre-existing brick structure, you have more flexibility in choosing your mantel design. This is because a non-combustible material, such as cast stone or MDF, can be built close to a fireplace opening.


There is no one answer for the height of a mantel, as it depends on many factors. However, adhering to safety guidelines and local building codes is crucial. It is also helpful to balance function and design. For example, a lower mantel may make decorating and cleaning the fireplace area easier, while a higher mantel can create a sense of grandeur.

For safety reasons, it is generally recommended that a mantel be at least 18 inches above the firebox opening. This will allow you to place items on the mantel without fire risk.

Beyond safety, the height of a mantel should be proportional to the ceiling height and the size of the fireplace. A too-small mantel can dwarf the fireplace, while a too-tall mantel can look disproportionate and awkward in the room. A professional installer can help you find the perfect balance.


A mantel can make a room stand out but must complement the fireplace and interior design. Whether installing a traditional wood-burning fireplace or an ultra-modern bio-ethanal flame, the right surround and mantel will bring harmony to your home.

The finish of a mantel should be in line with the rest of your decor and the room's color scheme. A white or gray mantel works well with most styles. If you want a more dramatic look, try a contrasting color.

Using reclaimed wood is another great way to reduce the negative impact of your project on the environment. This option also saves you money on materials while creating a unique and attractive design. This is an excellent choice for a DIY project! This material is durable and easy to work with. In addition, it can be stained or painted to suit your desired style. It's also available in a variety of thicknesses.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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