Design your fireplace mantel to coordinate with the overall style of your home using products like wood, mosaic tiles, stainless steel and stones. Mantel construction options include a detached horizontal feature above the fireplace opening, or the mantel can surround the fireplace opening with posts that attach to and support the horizontal element.
Rustic Beam Mantel
One option for a rustic mantel is to hang a single wood beam above the fireplace opening. Brace the beam with visible wood braces or attach the beam to the fireplace with hidden L brackets. Stain the wood to complement your room's decor Make your rustic mantel more decorative by covering the wood beam with stone or faux stone. Manufactured stone products look like the real thing, but are lightweight with backs that are designed to fit flush. Attach the stones with construction adhesive and grout between the crevices.
Decorate a single beam mantel to suit a contemporary look by wrapping it with stainless steel. Attach the steel to the wood with construction adhesive to avoid visible nails. Another option for a contemporary mantel is to cover a single wood beam with glass or ceramic mosaic tiles.
A traditional wood mantel often has two posts on either side of the fireplace opening that support a decorative wood centre beam. The centre beam often has routed edging and may or may not have decorative carvings along the front. The side posts can be thick and have varying widths to create a curved profile. Paint or stain your traditional mantel to suit your home decor
Elaborately Decorative Mantel
One option for a decorative elaborate mantel is made from wood and surrounds the fireplace opening. Intricate scroll work and relief carvings can reflect a Victorian, French or English design aesthetic. You can dress up a plain mantel by attaching carved wood embellishments across the front of the horizontal piece and down the sides of the posts. Use construction adhesive to glue the designs onto the wood.
Hammered Copper Mantel
Create a hammered copper mantel by wrapping a plain wood beam in hammered copper craft foil. The 5 mil foil is flexible and you can attach it to the wood with copper nails or construction adhesive. Before wrapping the copper around the wood, stretch it out on top of a row of stacked papers and strike it with a ball peen hammer. The paper supports allow the copper to become indented with each hammer hit.
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