When building or remodeling your home one of the more daunting and frustrating pieces of the project can be the fireplace and how you want to finish your fireplace. From Rustic to ultra-Modern there are is a never-ending list when it comes to picking out the finish material but one common material that has lasted since the first fireplaces were built is to go with a stone style that matches your house and lifestyle preferences. Choosing a type of stone is no easy task but armed with the following steps when you step into a showroom (hopefully ours!!) you will be able to take an intimidating duty into a relaxing and very knowledgeable process that you will be able to showoff to friends and family as you enjoy a warm fire in your living room.
Natural vs Manufactured
Stone has changed a lot since the stone-age where you pulled the biggest and heaviest rock you could find slapped it down covered it in some kindling and cooked your freshly caught dinosaur. Thankfully since then we no longer use the fire in front of us for cooking in the home and instead we have become accustomed to enjoying time with friends and family while absorbing the warmth that our fireplace gives off. All of this while our guests admire the new look of your freshly adorned fireplace. The first step in choosing your new stone is choosing between Natural and Manufactured Stone (commonly referred to as Cultured). The pros of manufactured stone are cost both in purchasing and in installing due to the weight of manufactured stone. Another positive is variety typically manufactured stone like what you see from Coronado, Canyon and ModelStone can be made in multiple designs and colors. The pros of Natural stone is the beauty as there really is no match to the variations and colors that can come from a stone quarry like the ones owned by Semco. Though pricey in some installations natural stone can make all the difference when showing off your new the classic look of a Heatilator and Heat & Glo, The rustic look of a Quadra-fire or the Modern design of a Montigo.
Cut and Color
Now that you have picked Natural vs Manufactured the next step is to pick the style or “cut” of stone this is where you hear fancy words like Castle-rock, Ledge Cut, Random Height, Field-Stone, Ashlar/Dimensional etc. or even a blend of multiple. Each cut is drastically different from the giant bed face stones of a Castle-rock to the thin stacked modern look of a Ledge cut. The style usually comes down to preference as mentioned above Ledge cuts are very modern while random heights, fieldstones, and Castle-rocks are typically more rustic. Our biggest tip when picking out the actual color and cut of your stone is to bring in samples of carpet and paint choices to line up with your stones as this is much easier than checking out a stone sample but if you cannot make the decision in the design gallery ask for samples to take home and make sure it goes with your designs and ties your whole room together.
Choosing the design has a lot to do with the original build of the fireplace and how it was set to begin with. If it’s just a flat wall, recessed, a corner or has a bump out design and comes into the room. This will lead to many variations of how the stone can be installed and is a great thing to bring to the salesmen at the Showroom they have seen many different types of installations and can help with some of those questions. Typical ways of doing most stone work is an old masonry look incorporating a keystone in the middle to give it a more rustic look or incorporating an arch in the fireplace to give it more depth. If you’re going more of a modern look why not look at doing a see thru fireplace giving you options of stone on two different sides/rooms for the fireplace!
Mantels can come down to multiple factors the first and most important is the clearance of the fireplace please always check the owner’s manual or consult the manufacturer when choosing a mantel material and setting the height. Once you have checked the clearance of the fireplace it’s time to choose the mantel this comes down to you and your preferences most enjoy/need the extra space when it comes to decorating for the changing seasons and upcoming holidays. As far as types of mantels you typically want to match the stone you have installed and look you are going for. Modern designs we typically see a lot of “floating” mantels while your classic looks get more of a wood mantle finally our rustic enthusiasts jump at the chance to throw a 5’ or 6’ piece of stone up there to show off their big wood burning fireplace!
Typically, the hearth is known as the extra seating when the family and friends gather for festivities and can be enjoyed and awed in many ways. This type if installation is one that also needs to be verified with the owner’s manual to not cause any dangers to you or loved ones. Weather it be a raised hearth up to a knee height or just a few inches you will typically see a large “hearthstone” that coordinates with the colors chosen in their respective brands. These large stones are usually very square in shape and can be laid and cut in many ways from multiple full size stone laid across, to cut down hearthstones for a smaller looking style, to a broken pattern across the hearth. For those more.
Choosing the stone for your fireplace can be a matter of life and death Okay not really but to your social life it might just be as that fireplace will tie your entire house together and be the focal point for all of the future Christmas days, Lazy Saturdays and Football Sundays. Armed with the five steps discussed above; Make, Cut Color, Design, Mantel and Hearth you can prepare for the memories that are bound to happen next to the warmth of your new fireplace.