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What Are The Different Types of Fireplace Mantel Shelves?

Fireplaces, heat providers aside, are great to look at. They live up to their status as the focal point of your room, if not your entire house. How you accessorize your fireplace, however largely affects the overall look of your interior decorations. This is the reason carefulness is needed when you decide to spruce up your hearth like for instance, adding a fireplace mantel.

When deciding on a mantel shelf, there are many elements to take into account, starting off with the material. Here are four common materials used and how each of them fair, both functionality and decorative wise.


Among the fireplace mantel shelves, wood types are the most common. They work well in traditional looking homes and blend really nicely with almost any interior designs. Wood mantels offer many options when it comes to decorating. Oak, a superior type of wood, for instance is both classy and versatile.

Typically wooden mantels are affordable. Its cost is one of its main attractions. Even expensive solid wood shelves like those made of oak don’t cost as much as those made of stone. Wooden mantels come in different wood types which include maple, cherry, Douglas, hemlock, alder, pine, just to name a few. They come in different finishes like black, distressed cherry, and primed. There are also unfinished wood fireplace mantels which are great for people who have yet to decide the best shade for their mantel to match their home interiors.

However, one major drawback for wooden mantels is that it’s highly flammable. If you’re thinking of a wooden mantel shelf, make sure that you consult with your local building officer and fire safety code department for the safety regulations specifically on the desired measurements allowed from a wooden material to your fireplace.


Stone mantel shelves whether made of limestone, marble or granite are great for aesthetic functions. Home builders prefer stones simply because they give many options as they come in a variety of colors and textures. They are both beautiful and functional. Moreover, they can also be treated in several different ways providing more diverse choices that will surely match any discerning taste. It is likewise fireproof and durable, making it the best material for a mantel shelf. It is also relatively low on maintenance. It usually just takes a soft cloth to wipe it clean.

On the other hand, stone mantel shelves are generally more expensive than other options. It can also be difficult to install which makes installation cost higher than normal. For those who prefer stones but can’t afford it, there are actually cheaper alternatives which will give you the same stone façade. There are kits that you can buy in many home improvement stores or even through online shops. They look like the natural stone mantels but are much easier and cheaper to install.


Metal is best known for being versatile. It goes well with almost any kind of designs most especially the modern or contemporary look. You don’t have to worry if your metal mantel shelves will clash with the rest of your interiors because chances are, there is always something in your room thats made of metal. Appliances alone are generally made of metal.

Metal mantel shelves made from stainless steel, solid bronze, brass or aluminum among others. They are known to keep up their pristine look despite many wear and tear situations. With their bold lines and intricate craftsmanship, they are ideal for electric-powered fireplace. Also, because of their flexible features, metals can offer non-conventional shapes and forms, providing more unique designs than other available options.


Perhaps next to wood, bricks are the most obvious choice for a mantel shelf. They are simple, functional and very affordable. If you are into Romanesque and country feel, bricks are definitely great options.

Despite their simplicity and functionality, bricks, also have some drawbacks. They’re limited when it comes to color and texture options making it difficult to find one that matches the design you have in mind. To solve this limitation, tiles are often the ideal substitute for bricks.

Measurement and Prices:

When selecting a mantel piece, material and dimensions are crucial factors to consider, along with price. In terms of measurements, most chimney pieces come in standard sizes. The average width ranges from 60-72 inches while height averages from 4.5-16.75 inches. They are also made available in custom sizes. Prices on the other hand can start from around $100 to as much as or over $500.

Before purchasing a mantel piece, it is always a good idea to shop around to compare prices as well as designs. Get accurate measurements and see safety measures. Installation of conventional mantel shelves is generally made easier by adjustable brackets. However, for more complex types, you might consider hiring a contractor. With the right fireplace mantel, you will surely have a more enjoyable fireplace experience.

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