Fireplace Mantel Replacement
A beautiful mantel enhances your fireplace
A fireplace alone is just a dark black hole in the wall – what really sets a fireplace apart and makes it an attractive aesthetic element are the decorative surround and the mantel. In fact, the mantel is arguably the single most important aesthetic or decorative element of your fireplace – it sets the tone of the entire room, draws the eye towards the fireplace, and generally enhances the overall atmosphere of the room. But what happens if your mantel has gotten dull and dreary-looking? Or what if you happen to renovate, and the room has changed? All fireplace mantels are not created equally, and sometimes a change in the room requires that you replace your mantel to better blend the fireplace with the rest of the room's décor.
If you decide that it is necessary to replace your fireplace mantel, the fastest and easiest option is to buy an entirely different mantel and have a contractor or renovator install it for you. This is the most expensive option, but it gives you the best guarantee that you will have a sleek, professionally-finished mantelpiece when all is said and done, and it requires the least time on your part. Whether you purchase a prefabricated new mantel or an antique is totally up to you – just measure your fireplace and existing mantel and ensure that the size and color match up closely to your existing fireplace and room.
Some people opt instead to build their own fireplace mantels. If you have extensive carpentry skills, then this may be a viable option. For most homeowners, this is not a good choice, as it is time consuming and requires significant tools and skills. Additionally, although a hand-built mantel offers an unmatched level of charm and personal touch it may not have the "polish" of a professionally built unit. Examine your previous carpentry products before making the decision of whether to build or buy. Look at mantels in fireplace showrooms or online before making a decision.
If you have a natural gas fireplace, you may not have a mantel – many fireplace inserts are designed as completely closed units with plate steel and brass rather than more traditional stone surrounds. If you do not have a mantel, this isn't a problem; your fireplace will function properly as is. A mantel will simply provide storage space for candles, pictures and other decorations, as well as an "old world" feel that differs from the modern, sometimes industrial look of steel and glass that can be found in many new gas fireplace designs. Decide what sort of impression you wish your room and fireplace to project and use a mantelpiece that fits accordingly with this atmosphere.