Updated: June 8, 2015
Fireplace Mantel Reviews:Recently a neighbor of mine that had never been in my house was visiting and noticed our nice fireplace mantels. I had never realized how lucky we were to move into a home that already had fireplace mantel shelves and fireplace surrounds. Our family room gas fireplace has a fireplace mantel shelve and our living room has the fireplace mantel surround. The difference between these two is that the shelve only goes across the top of the fireplace and the surround goes all around the fireplace, even down to the floor. I didn't know that some homes in our neighborhood don't have those decorative features with their fireplaces. In any event, I decided to look into mantels and surrounds to see how much they cost and what varieties are available. The two most popular styles of mantels and surrounds are those made with either wood or stone. The old brick surrounds found in many homes built during the 1970's and 1980's are no longer popular. Today, homeowners want custom stone work or decorative wood mantels to add elegance to their fireplaces.
Buying Guide - How much are these you ask? The simple wood mantel shelves over the fireplace can run as cheap as $300, but the more extravagent surrounds that are made with custom stone or tile can cost you well over $6000. A friend of mine does tile work and he gets fireplace surrounds to do periodically. His work is all custom and he can charge $2500 to $5000 for most jobs. The fireplace can be the center of attention in a living room or even a master bedroom and having a custom fireplace mantel done seems to be something homeowners are willing to fork out the big bucks for. Like I said above, our home came with some nice fireplace surrounds - wood mantels and tile work along the bottom. People who own electric fireplaces can also get surrounds for those units as well. Pricing varies, but we found several types on Fireplacemantels.com for $600 to $1000. Some surrounds are more extensive than others and include things like book shelves. The first step you need to accomplish before even looking at mantels, shelves or surrounds for your fireplace is to accurately measure the fireplace opening height, mantel width, and fireplace depth. Remember that stone mantels and surrounds will cost more than wooden ones. Installing fireplace mantels and surrounds should be left up to professionals since fitting these units can be exacting work. One thing that we found out is that if you already have a hard wood floor installed around your fireplace it can be hard to get a good "fit" with a new fireplace surround. The edges at the bottom will sometimes need to be reformed to fit nicely with your current hardwoods. If you have carpets then it should be much easier to get a seamless look. You can browse the top selling fireplace mantels online here.