Stone Fireplaces, Mantels and Surrounds

When most people think of stone fireplaces, they picture rustic lodges with field stone or river stone mantels and surrounds. A stone fireplace doesn't have to be rustic, or made of individual stones, however.

Popular Materials for Stone Fireplaces

The term "stone fireplace" can actually refer to a variety of stone materials and can include carved or molded fireplaces in more traditional old-world styles. Popular fireplace materials include:
  • Building stone
  • Natural river stone
  • Field stone
  • Granite
  • Cast stone
  • Brick
  • Limestone
  • Cast limestone
  • Sandstone
  • Travertine
  • Slate
  • Marble
Cast stone is a combination of aggregates, silica sand, and a bonding agent to produce lighter weight stones that look like natural stones. Cast limestone is also reconstituted stone that can be molded rather than carved, which reduces the cost.

Stone Fireplace Options

Depending on your personal taste and the size of the room, your stone fireplace can be large or small. You also have options about the amount of stone included. You could opt for a stone mantel shelf without a surround, stone facing inside a wooden surround, a stone mantel and surround, a stone wall with wooden mantel shelf, or a complete stone fireplace including hearth, shelf, and wall. Many field stone fireplaces extend from floor to ceiling and corner to corner and are the dominating feature of the room.

Where to Buy Stone Fireplaces

A carved or molded stone fireplace can often be affordably purchased online or at a home improvement store. For a natural stone look, you should contact a local contractor experienced in designing and building stone fireplaces from the ground up. He can advise you about stone options, local building codes, and a design that will look best in your home.

A stone fireplace can add either a rustic feel or old-world style to your home, depending on the stone you choose and how you choose to install it.

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