Things to Think About When You Design a Fireplace

June 6, 2024


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Welcome to the exciting world of fireplace design! Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, a fireplace adds warmth, charm, and character to any space. In this guide, we’ll explain some of the key fireplace details we always consider, including some creative ideas to help inspire the perfect fireplace for your new home. Keep reading for more!


“To be or not to be.” That’s how it goes, right? Well, in this case, the question is: to have a hearth or not to have a hearth… It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but you get the idea. A hearth is the stone area on the ground in front of a fireplace, whether it’s flush with the floor or raised on a ledge. Historically, a hearth served as a way to prevent fires should a spark fly out, but most fireplaces made today are designed to be safe without one, so it’s mainly a matter of personal preference. The image on the left above shows a stone hearth flush with the floor, while the one on the right doesn’t have a hearth at all. We enjoy both options, and sometimes it just depends on the overall design of the fireplace!

Surround Materials

Now, onto the good stuff: the fireplace surround! Fireplace surrounds (wait for it…) are the stylish frame surrounding the actual fireplace on the wall (surprise, surprise!). They are, in our humble opinion, the highlight of designing fireplaces, offering endless creative opportunities with a variety of materials. The images above showcase just some of the materials we love to use: brick, plaster, and marble. Or you can keep it minimal (and budget-friendly) with some sheet rock!

P.S. Make sure to always check the fireplace specifications to see what materials you can or cannot use! It’s essential for safety and ensuring your fireplace functions as it should.

Take a sneak peek at some tile options we picked out for your fireplace surround:
Marble Look | Bold Black | Teal Picket | Stone Mosaic


Here’s a nugget of wisdom that might seem obvious to some, but it’s worth a friendly reminder: when it comes to fireplace design, reaching for the stars—or in this case, the ceiling—is key. Especially if your ceilings are tall like in the images above. But hey, we get it, budgets matter! So, take a look at the image on the right for a cost-effective twist by cutting off the surround material at the mantel while still giving that bump-out the full stretch up. Who said style and savings can’t go hand in hand?!

Mantel Placement

An interesting tidbit that might not be as well-known about fireplaces is that mantel height matters. Many fireplaces have a certain distance above the top of the fireplace that a mantel must be positioned, adding yet another lovely technical detail to fireplace design. But hey, we’re all about keeping your home intact, right? After all, nobody wants their house to turn into a campfire!

And that’s not all—you’ll also want to consider what, if anything, you’ll be placing above or on the mantel. If you’re thinking of hanging a TV, for instance, we might lower the mantel so your viewing experience isn’t akin to sitting in the front row at the cinema. Check out the images above: notice how the mantel on the left sits closer to the top of the fireplace, unlike the mantel on the right. So, whether it’s about safety or simply setting up the perfect spot for your TV, keep the mantel height in mind.

Mantel Materials

Another aspect to mull over is your mantel material. Specifically, whether you want the surround to double as the mantel (as seen in the image on the left above) or if you prefer them to be separate entities (like in the image on the right). Honestly, we’re torn on which we adore more or which is more often requested, because both styles are simply stunning! But, as we’ve mentioned before, it’s always wise to double-check the fireplace specifications to ensure your vision aligns with them.

Whether you’re building a new home from scratch or revamping an existing space, incorporating a fireplace adds a touch of cozy, timeless comfort. With careful consideration of materials, dimensions, and placement, you can create a fireplace that not only complements your home’s design but also becomes a cherished focal point for years to come. So, as you embark on your home-building journey, don’t forget to include a fireplace—a feature that will warm not only your home but also your heart. Or better yet, let us make your vision become a reality by working with us!

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