Do you ever sit in your living room and wish your fireplace mantel could be different? Do you worry it’ll be a daunting or expensive task? Think again! Below are the easy steps to take when moving forward with your fireplace mantel project.
First, determine if you’ll want the same length as your existing mantel or one that is smaller or larger. There are a few points to consider if you are installing stone or brick on your fireplace wall. Fraser Wood Elements suggests insetting your mantel 3-4 inches if your stone or brick veneer is running from floor to ceiling. If your fireplace wall has stone on the bottom and painted drywall or shiplap above, we recommend that the mantel run the entire length of the stone or brick wall. The mantel will provide a separation of the bottom texture and the top in the form of a visual break. Having the length determined, based on these points, is a great starting point, but next, you will need to decide how thick you want your mantel to be.
Determining your mantel’s thickness can seem like a difficult decision to make. Fraser Wood Elements suggests considering the height of your ceiling as the contributing factor in determining what thickness is needed. If you have an 8 to 9-foot ceiling we suggest a mantel no thicker than 4 inches, especially if you have a raised fireplace hearth. However, some homes have cathedral, vaulted, or tray ceilings that allow a much thicker option which can vary from 5-10 inches in total thickness. These larger options will allow the fireplace to have the visual impact needed to create a proportional focal point to the room’s scale.
*Here’s a pro tip if you’re having trouble deciding your thickness and length: Grab some painters tape and make a template on the wall where it’ll be installed. Tape out one option you are considering and take a photo. Next, tape out the second option for size and take a photo. Comparing these side by side should help you finalize how large or small you want the new mantel to be. You may be surprised at the option you’re most drawn to! This is the best way to step back and visualize, in your own space, without ruining your paint or wall!*
Next, it’s time to think about the color/wood tone you’d hope for. Our best rule of thumb is to start by looking around your home. Is your flooring light or dark? Are there furniture items that will always be in the room that you’d like to compliment? Plenty of our customers simply fall in love with a mantel and never think about all of the details- it’s all up to you and the entire picture you’re attempting to create.
Now, it’s time to make your mantel selection in the store! We typically have around 15 – 20 mantels to choose from. The constant options we have are reclaimed beam and live edge slab mantels. Our reclaimed options are usually larger and have the most patina. They come out of old buildings or barns. Live edge slabs are cut from downed trees and have a naturally interesting and very smooth front edge. Sometimes they’ll show a knothole or branch remnant, but for the most part, the patina is naturally derived and the most organic.
Once you have a concrete selection, it’s all about the installation. Sometimes, this means removing your current mantel – but don’t worry – it won’t look sad for long, since you’re almost at the finish line! If there are existing supports, lags, or corbels, reusing them can make your project a cinch. If not, we can easily route and fit the back of your mantel with a custom floating mantel bracket. The bracket is as easy to hang as using a level, drill, and some screws. Seriously! If you decide on a bracket that we install, you might have to wait 2-4 weeks to pick up your mantel. And if you’re lucky enough to find your dream mantel in the correct specs on the sales floor, it can go home with you on the same day!
We hope to have taken the worry out of your next home project. Check back for more helpful hints and tips in the future!