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Antique Fireplaces & Mantels

Fireplaces and mantels have always represented the heart of the home. Throughout the decades, the fireplace and mantel have been designed and redesigned to fit the styles that were most commonly found in the era. For those who love certain historic periods, adding an antique fireplace or fireplace mantel will create a luxurious focal point in your home.

What is a fireplace mantel?

Also known as a mantel place or chimneypiece, the mantel is a hood that projects over the grate to keep the smoke from the fireplace under control. Antique mantels often have decorative framework that surround the fireplace. Some antique mantels can be so elaborate that they reach the ceiling.

What components make up an antique fireplace and mantel?

Below are the components that make up an antique fireplace and mantel:

  • Surround: This component is comprised of the mantel and side supports for the fireplace. Antique surrounds are usually made from limestone, marble, or wood.
  • Insert: Also called a firebox, this component houses the fire. Many inserts are either square, arched, or tiled.
  • Hearth: This refers to the bottom of the fireplace and normally extends beyond the fireplace. The hearth is often made of granite, stone, or tiled ceramic.
  • Mantel Shelf: This is the upper piece of the surround that provides a place for decorations and pictures.
What should be considered when looking for antique fireplaces?

Several things should be considered when looking for an antique fireplace or mantel for your home:

  • Material: Antique fireplaces are made from a variety of different materials including tile, stone, and even wood.
  • Finish: Fireplace surrounds are commonly made from cast-iron. Cast iron surrounds and hearths may be polished to make them more reflective.
  • Style: Fireplaces and mantels made with wood or limestone may be carved or decorated with ceramic tiles laid in patterns. Other antique fireplaces and mantels can come in simple designs for those who prefer a minimal piece.
  • Type: When choosing a fireplace, you may have the option to choose a combination fireplace mantel or find each piece separately. Antique combination fireplace mantels commonly come with matching components that make the design more cohesive.
How should an antique fireplace be maintained?

The type of care your antique fireplace needs depends on what it is made out of. For example, an oak fireplace surround will require a wood polish designed specifically for oak. Marble and ceramic mantels can be cleaned with a damp cloth. General upkeep needs to be completed regularly to prevent smoke from being caught in the chimney.

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