Dating back to medieval times, fireplace mantels were originally designed to project over a fire to collect smoke. Today’s mantels are primarily decorative, typically composed of fine woods, but also available in marble, limestone, granite, brick, or concrete. Modern mantels provide a focal point to make the fireplace the central element in the room. They are also sometimes known as a chimneypiece.
Attractive solid wood mantels transform the fireplace into the focal point of the home. Cherry, walnut, and mahogany are dense woods that make for high quality, exceptionally durable fireplace mantelpieces. For more modest budgets, poplar, maple, and oak are more affordable choices that offer their own unique beauty to the room.
An attractive alternative to traditional wood mantels, metal mantelpieces are completely non-combustible and can be installed closer to the fireplace, which allows them to deflect heat away from entertainment systems installed above the fireplace. They have become increasingly popular with the rise of industrial trends in modern home design.
Another contemporary alternative to traditional wood designs, concrete mantels are becoming more and more fashionable in lofts and other urban residences. Versatile and highly durable, eclectic and eye catching, a concrete mantel can a touch of metropolitan sophistication to any home.
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