HOW TO SELECT THE BEST STONE FOR A FIREPLACE SURROUND
There’s nothing like gathering your family and friends around a cozy fire to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere, especially when the weather outside is cold.
One of the most important choices you’ll make when outfitting a fireplace is what stone to use for the fireplace surround. It’s essential to choose a material that can handle the heat of a fire and retain its natural beauty for years to come. Here’s what you need to know.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING A FIREPLACE SURROUND
The location of your fireplace may play a role in determining what type of stone you choose for the surround. For instance, a fireplace that’s the focal point of a room will do best with a stone that matches the overall aesthetic of that room. A fireplace tucked in a corner or nook may be a place to use a more unique type of stone or color.
Natural stone is the most durable choice for fireplace surrounds because it tends to have good heat tolerance and is unlikely to crack if you care for it properly. Manufactured stone may be less expensive than natural stone, but it also requires more ongoing care.
Type of Fireplace
All fireplaces are not created equal. Some natural stone options can be used for any type of fireplace, while others are best suited to a gas or electric fire. Wood fires burn hotter than gas or electric and it’s essential to remember that when choosing the stone for your fireplace surround.
WHAT TYPES OF NATURAL STONE ARE IDEAL FOR FIREPLACE SURROUNDS?
When it comes to choosing natural stone for your fireplace surround, you have multiple options. They vary in price and suitability for different types of fireplaces.
Granite has a high heat resistance, and it is also resistant to scratches. It comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, but it does require regular sealing and maintenance to keep it looking its best. Granite may be used in wood-burning fireplaces as well as gas and electric fireplaces.
Marble may be more expensive than granite but widely prized for its beauty. It is more available in light colors than in darker ones, meaning that it will require regular cleaning to maintain its appearance. Like granite, it has high heat resistance and can withstand the heat of a wood fire. It needs to be sealed to maintain its beauty.
Slate is hard and durable, with an uneven, rustic appearance that many people love for a fireplace surround. While it is heat resistant, it cannot handle the high heat of a wood fire. It’s ideal for use for a gas or electric fireplace and with proper treatment, it will last for years.
Like slate, soapstone has a more rustic feel than granite or marble. It is not ideal for wood fireplaces, but it can easily withstand the heat of a gas or electric fire. It is available in a variety of colors from white to tan and dark gray. Comparing stone options is essential before you choose a stone surround for your fireplace.
CARING FOR YOUR STONE FIREPLACE SURROUND
Whatever type of stone you choose for your fireplace surround, it’s important to seal it with a non-toxic product that will minimize scratches and preserve its beauty. The best sealant is one that does not contain harmful chemicals (which can be released into the air with heat from a fire) and is safe to use around children and pets.
There’s no set rule about how often to seal your stone fireplace surround, but we suggest doing it regularly, particularly during months when the fire is being used frequently. Selecting a natural stone that suits your home’s décor, and your fireplace setup, will ensure that your fireplace is a favorite gathering spot in your home. With proper care and maintenance, your fireplace will always look its best!