The fireplace surround is the area surrounding the fireplace, along the top and sides, and usually includes the mantel and hearth. The surround is usually the highlight of a fireplace and it can instantly change a room from plain to dramatic.
The fireplace surround is often made of marble, brick, wood, granite, concrete, stone, tile, plaster and more. You can further enhance your fireplace surround with the use of mirrors, glass, ceramic relief friezes, ornamental appliqus, decorative columns and lighting. If your preference is for stone or brick you can choose between natural or pre-fabricated products. There is a large assortment of style and color available for each and the price is similar.
Wood can be used to create very different moods in the room. Oak, with its rich deep tones lends itself to a more classic style. Pine and Birch are rustic or natural. Cherry is sophisticated. Staining the wood presents further choices.
The use of tiles on the surround is gaining in popularity. Larger tiles, 8-inches to 12-inches, are most common since they add texture and dimension to the surround. Ceramic tiles provide endless options for creating unique, colorful patterns and decorative borders.
There are many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Fireplace Surround Kits available for assembling your own fireplace surround. Some kits even feature interchangeable ceramic, marble and mirror tiles which allow the surround to be easily transformed within minutes.
When designing your fireplace surround there are some points to remember. The surround should match or complement the door and window trim for room continuity. If your fireplace is visible from the kitchen the surround should blend with the kitchen floors and cabinetry.