Created on: February 17, 2012 Last Updated: June 30, 2012
Often people create a fireplace in a blank wall and then wonder how to frame it. Framing it is part of the design process, and should be thought of prior to installing the fire. Also, often a free standing fire is placed in front of a wall and the homeowner wants to make it look like a fireplace by introducing a mantle of some kind. In yet other situations, a wood-burning stove may be introduced but there is nothing behind it, the pipework going upward rather than into a chimney. In all these cases it is possible to create a frame for the fire very easily.
Wooden mantels are part and parcel of how people see a traditional fireplace, but they don't have to be something you have. You can buy them and install them relatively cheaply or if you have carpentry skills can even make your own. A frame such as this can be purchased from fireplace shops or even reclamation yards. It looks attractive and you don't need the marble insert. Instead, you can use tiles which give the fireplace an even more traditional look.
There is a traditional fireplace surround pattern in wood at this link which may help those who are handy with woodwork. It really isn't complex and if you want to incorporate a little carving, you can cheat and buy things such as corbels from DIY stores, as well as small carved panels to add to the fireplace surround.
Other frames in natural stone can be purchased at a reclamation yard, but beware, they are very heavy and if you don't know what you are doing, let your fire installer deal with the installation. Drop a piece of a heavy stone fireplace and you will understand how easily mistakes can be made. Be careful that the fireplace surround is the right size for the room and doesn't overpower the look of the fire.
Behind a wood-burning stove with no actual fireplace.
Here, a good idea is to create the illusion of a traditional fireplace, even if you haven't got one. Tiles are a wonderful way to do this and if you choose a main color of tile that goes with your room, you can work out a layout that incorporates traditional fireplace tiles at each side of the wood-burning stove. Panels such as these are relatively cheap, and if you blend them in with the main color on the tiles, they look wonderful.
For a fireplace, another surround idea is in specialist tiles, which are also used to create a hearth. In the Arts and Crafts style homes, these were a common thing, but there's no reason why you cannot incorporate the ideas into your own home. The fireplace
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