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Fireplace design ideas

JedC's picture

My house currently has a builder supplied 43" W x 31'H  Heatilator fireplace surrounded by marble on a 13.5' W x 9' H  wall in the familyroom. I am looking for ideas via websites or books to create a unique surounding around the existing unit. The house is a colonial, but the idea of a traditional mantel or raised panel wall surround is not an option. I am looking more  for the rustic or  country French/ old world look. Any ideas for pictorial reasearch would be of great help. Scraping the existing unit is an option to get the desired finished result.  Thanks

(post #175763, reply #1 of 5)

We are considering doing the same...spurred in part by a desire to improve the efficiency of our fireplace, which is pretty poor but we enjoy sitting around a woodburning fire on cozy winter evenings--roasting a marshmellow on occasion!  We began exploring a wood-burning fireplace insert (sort of a wood stove set more or less into the firebox).  The efficiency is much better (70% vs about 10%) and still allows you to look at a real fire.

The simple mantle we currently have doesn't provide the clearances we need with the insert (more heat, a few more inches required between it and any combustible materials.  As a result, we're looking at man-made stone, stone or ceramic tile beneath a simple mantle--perhaps a single 6 inch thick piece of wood supported with simple wood brackets. 

As far as sources, I can't recommend any one source--yet. The styles you mentioned often feature fireplaces, so look though books on french country and see what you like.

Good luck!

(post #175763, reply #3 of 5)

I just logged on to this site for the first time, about a week ago, w/ a question about "Cultured Stone" products. Got some great info from lots of folks. I just completed a re-do of the existing fireplace hearth and mantle of our home using the Owen Corning cultured stone. This stuff was great and is super easy. I had zero experience w/masonry work (other than watching other guys do it)and it really is a simple as following the instuctions. Very, very pleased w/the results and all told, to cover approx. 22 sq.ft. it took me about a week (allowing for 48hrs dry-time of the scratch coat and trying to watch my 2yr old twins ;{D})

(post #175763, reply #4 of 5)

Glad to hear the cultured stone option worked well.  It is a very nice look! Also, enjoyed the rumford website. evelyn

Edited 12/14/2004 5:15 pm ET by evelyn

(post #175763, reply #5 of 5)

Upon seeking ideas for fireplace in new home & also to replace one in current home (as it appears to have some cracks so not being utilized) we are exploring ideas here in TN & have found many new high dollar homes are using this imitation stone both for fireplaces as well as exterior & interior.

Decision now made to use imitation ledgestone fireplace for which we plan to include additional supporting from below though may not be required.  Mantle will also be same stone built in 3 stacks of the ledgestone.  The first & bottom stack (less narrow) to be built first with time allowed for drying, the second stack next (more wide) & the third & final stack (wider) to complete this mantle...made of same stone as fireplace.  Mantle can be either just the chimney length or wrap around the sides.   Viewed this mantle @ US Stove Co (800-750-2723)  in Chattanooga area (actually in Rossville GA) & is for display only.  They do not sell the stone nor construct fireplaces.  Suggest you obtain brochures from dealers selling these gas stoves for ideas!  Size can be whatever you desire! 

Plan to utilize vented gas firebox which if not pleased with, can always revert to wood-burning.  (eventually will be too old to cut firewood plus all of the messy that goes with wood).  Actually will be nice to turn on fire for heat or looks whenever the temperature gets a bit chilly!  Hope this provides a thought to assist!

(post #175763, reply #2 of 5)


Lots of ideas at ,Huge site...Best I

 have seen

I have some at