What are some stone mantel considerations? Before you choose a material for your stone mantel, plan accordingly, and consider these factors.
- Get a sample. Most stone supply stores will have extra pieces that you can borrow. Samples make it easier to evaluate color and finish with your home's existing decor.
- Remember weight. Real stone is likely to be heavy, while veneer will be lighter. Either way, your installation will need to account for supporting the stone mantel so it doesn't fall off or crack.
- Investigate finish. Some stone mantels will be sealed, making them less likely to stain and more likely to repel dirt. Others will need periodic upkeep as well as re-sealing.
- Plan for size and proportion. A remodel or new installation will impact how easy it is for you to judge the size and proportion of your stone fireplace mantel. For a mantel replacement, evaluate whether the length and depth of the existing piece worked, or whether it needs adjustment. For a new stone mantel, use painters tape to mark out the proposed mantel size and placement on the fireplace. Individual preferences vary, but plan to leave about a foot between the top of the fireplace box and the bottom of the mantel. To determine the mantel's length, double the fireplace box width for a total that feels visually pleasing.
- Building codes. Many municipalities have specific regulations regarding fireplace mantel placement and size. For example, a mantel may not touch a windowsill or doorway.