- Home Improvement
A stone fireplace is rustic, natural, masculine, and beautiful. An indoor stone fireplace can add warmth and depth to a room and an outdoor stone fireplace can add character and activity to your yard. Whether you are thinking about constructing stone fireplace designs for outdoors or indoors, the choices of materials available to you are large. There many different kinds of stone for your natural stone fireplace such as granite, slate, limestone, marble, etc.. You also need to decide on whether you want to use real natural stone or cultured, manufactured faux stone. A faux stone fireplace can be just as beautiful as a fireplace made of real stone and most of the time it is hard to tell the difference. There are advantages and disadvantages of both options. No matter what kind of stone fireplace construction you choose, the addition of a stone fireplace could add a lot of value to your home.
If you are interested in indoor stone fireplace designs then the main decision you will have to make is whether you want natural stone or manufactured stone. A natural limestone fireplace is very heavy. So heavy, in fact, that you usually have to install or build it in an outside wall so that there is a solid foundation underneath it. Alternatively, you could reinforce the floor under your fireplace somewhere else in the room. Alternatively, you could use the artificial stone, which weighs less than a quarter of what natural stone weighs. The decrease in weight brings several advantages to the table. First, since it is lighter, it is less expensive to ship the materials to your home and you can work more quickly with it. Contractors can move more quickly with lightweight materials and you will end up spending less on labor.
Another advantage of artificial stone is that it is less
expensive to buy and often comes with a guarantee against cracking or fading. There are some disadvantages as well. The artificial stone fireplace is more absorbent
then natural stone. As a result, it can
stain more easily. In addition, if you
do happen to chip a piece of the stone it looks very unnatural because the material
under the surface looks nothing like stone.
One advantage of any stone fireplace over other materials is that stone
is fireproof. In addition, you are not
limited as to the type of fireplace you can have. Gas, electric, or wood burning fireplaces are
all feasible with a stone face. In fact, you can even have two types of fireplaces if you incorporate an insert. Electric fireplace insert reviews say they work particularly well in stone hearths.
Stone fireplaces, stone fireplace mantels, and stone fireplace surrounds can be constructed out of whole stones but it is much more likely that they will be constructed out of tiles or stone slabs that are installed directly over the existing fireplace or frame. Installation is quite easy and you can do it yourself. The process is similar to laying a tile floor. If you are going to use whole stones then it is better to use a contractor who may be used to handling heavy materials like that. If you use the stone tiles or stone slabs then it is easier to extend your fireplace mantel past the normal dimensions for the mantel. There are homes that continue the stone façade so that it covers the entire wall.
It is much more common to use entire stones in an outdoor fireplace. Outdoor fireplace designs are often instructions on how to build from the ground up and not the remodeling of an existing fireplace. For this reason, stone outdoor fireplaces are often masonry projects from scratch. Before you begin your project, it is crucial that you check your local building codes and get any necessary permits. There are some city ordinances that restrict the materials you can use in outdoor fireplace construction and even where you can out your fireplace. It is better to check these things in advance rather than finish your project and have to tear it all down later.
Both indoor and outdoor stone fireplaces require accessories
to make sure that the fires burn safely and efficiently. Especially indoors, it is important that the
accessories match and compliment your stone fireplace. For example, a set of antique fireplace tools
made of brass are more likely to compliment the atmosphere created by the stone
fireplace than a set of modern fireplace accessories. Another example is that simple iron
fireplace screens that hang in front of the firebox will look more natural than
a set of modern fireplace doors. The
accessories that you choose for your stone fireplace are really a matter of personal
preference. Safety accessories are extremely important, especially to help prevent ventless fireplace problems.