The fireplace surround is the area of a fireplace (usually indoors) that surrounds the fireplace grate or glass door itself. This is traditionally a dangerous area, since heat from the fire can burn nearby materials. To minimise this problem, installers generally use stonework and similar durable materials to create the fireplace surround. Today, homeowners have a wide variety of choices when it comes to choosing a fireplace surround that works with their home plans.
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Natural stone is a popular and unique option for a fireplace surround. This does not mean non-synthetic, typical stones like granite tile, but rather stones formed by nature and placed in the surround using a strong mortar. River rocks and cobblestones both work very well for this purpose, as do other natural stones from a nearby area. This gives the fireplace a rugged appearance that can work well with many cabin styles.
If homeowners want to focus on safety and fire prevention, they should choose the most fire-resistant material available. This means staying away from wood and resin, and focusing instead on mineral-based surrounds. Natural stones like granite are very heat-resistant, and ceramic tiles, which are made largely from clay, also have extremely high heat resistance.
If homeowners are planning a classical home design, or want to restore an older home in a traditional style, they should choose a more classical surround. Cast iron is an excellent material to use for this style, since it adds elegance but also allows homeowners to add twirls and lattice patterns. Ironwork can also be combined with other materials. Additionally, homeowners can use carved wood to add a classical touch.
For many homeowners, the fireplace takes up a sizeable portion of their living space, and using the surround only to protect against heat is a waste of space. However, surrounds can be made into much more; homeowners can use the surround to build inset bookcases around the fireplace for a comfortable look, or use the mantle space to hold or frame a television.
Using Brushing Techniques
If homeowners have already planned a fireplace surround made out of brick or a similar material, they can add a shading effect with multiple layers of paint to create an aged look for the brick. This style requires homeowners to blotch or rub off paint layers with a rag, but there are multiple painting possibilities. For surrounds, homeowners should use a fire-resistant type of paint.
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