Fireplace Surrounds

Fireplace surrounds are necessary for a fireplace to blend into a room rather than stick out like a big hole in the wall.  A fireplace surround should match the style and architecture of the rest of the room so there is a seamless transition from the wall to the fireplace. Not only should it help to make the fireplace look natural, it can also be functional.  The surround compliments the trim in the rest of the room and it can be turned into a piece of furniture.  Fireplace mantels and surrounds come in many styles.  There are many different kinds of fireplace surround designs or fireplace surround plans to choose from.  One of the first things to consider when designing your fireplace surround is the materials of construction.

Fireplace Surround Fireproofing

Just like fireplace mantels plans, the fireplace surround can use a wide variety of construction materials. Some of the materials that are used most often are limestone, cast iron, wood, stone, plaster, resin, marble, and brick. Some materials have advantages over others. For example, marble, brick, or stone fireplace surrounds can be considered fireproof. These materials, like ceramic tile fireplace surrounds, do not catch on fire easily and therefore they will help to keep a fire from spreading. If a fire in the fireplace gets out of control and starts to spread, a stone fireplace surround will stop the progress of the flames and could give the fire department time to save the rest of your home.  If the spread of an open flame is of particular concern to you, you can also consider a fireplace surrounds around electric fireplace inserts.

Fireplace Surround Material Considerations

On the other hand, wooden fireplace surrounds give you a greater opportunity for decoration.  It is very easy to carve wood and you can execute a variety of fireplace surround ideas with wood since it can be made into any shape.  In addition to the decorating ideas, the materials used should be selected to match their surroundings.  The surroundings can include the mantel, the baseboards, trim, etc.  It can also mean that it should complement the wood fireplace accessories, stained glass fireplace screens, iron fireplace doors, or brass fireplace tools.  It would not look right if you had brass fireplace accessories and an iron fireplace surround.  You need to think about these things when selecting your fireplace surrounds DIY materials.

Unique Fireplace Surround Ideas

There are some unique fireplace surround designs that are worth mentioning. Some people turn their fireplace surrounds into bookcases or entertainment centers. You can build these shelves into the walls around the fireplace so it looks like the fireplace opening is just another part of the structure. You need to be careful with this type of fireplace surround, though. The books on a bookshelf can provide extra fuel for a fire. In addition, some electronics that you might store in an entertainment center could be sensitive to heat in close proximity to them. In addition, fireplace designs with TV compartments sometimes put the TV too high and you have to look up to view the creen which is not ideal.  Make sure that your fireplace does not get the areas above or beside it too hot. This problem can be addressed by using a ventless fireplace with fans that blow the heat out into the room.

Another unique fireplace surround idea is to use the space to display artwork or the even incorporate the fireplace into artwork. The picture above is a good example. The entire wall is a piece of art and they have incorporated the fireplace into the picture. Other setups are less elaborate. Some people just have nooks that frame pieces of hanging art around their fireplace. But, just like with the books and electronics, you need to be careful about the risk of setting the art on fire. There are lots of home decorating ideas that incorporate fireplace surrounds.

Fireplace surrounds are also used outside. However, they are usually used in fireplaces that are stationary rather than portable outdoor fireplaces. A portable outdoor fireplace cannot have much of a surround. However, if you build the fireplace from scratch to be a permanent structure then it can have quite an elaborate fireplace surround. The outdoor surrounds are typically made of stone or some kind of masonry.

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Comments 1 comment

Chimney Sweeps in Sheffield 5 years ago

I would definitely recommend the fireproof surrounds as we have known chimneys to catch fire and for this to spread into the room by catching onto the flammable surround materials. This usually results in more damage than where the surround is non flammable.

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