If you’re looking at installing your own fireplace, you want to know what’s the best stone to use. There are also some things you’ll need to decide on before you begin your search for the best material for your project.
One of the first things you should do is decide what you can afford and secondly choose the right stone that fits within your budget. Let’s look at how you should approach constructing your own fireplace or hiring a professional, which you may need to do because of the difficulties involved. Check with granite companies nearby as the representatives there will give you an idea of what’s involved and the options available to you.
Doing it Yourself
Depending on the type of stone you choose, you should be able to install the material yourself. Again, it depends on the difficulty of the job. You may need the help of a professional to avoid injury, plus you want to make sure that the job is done well.
Whatever your budget is will determine the type of fireplace stone you choose. Obviously, some materials will be more expensive than others. You should also make allowances for using professional installers rather than trying to do it yourself. Take both factors into consideration when deciding.
There are many options for selecting stone for a fireplace. You have natural stone in granite, marble, quartzite, limestone, travertine, and slate, and other options in stucco and stone veneer. Depending on the type of design scheme of your home, you’ll want something compatible with your décor and furnishings. Also, you need a choice that’s durable, easy to maintain, and looks good at the same time.
Stone Option Overview
Natural stone seems to be the preferred material for fireplaces. Here is an overview of what the different selections offer.
Granite – With granite being both durable and simple to maintain, it offers a great deal with colors, patterns, and styles for fireplace surrounds. With granite requiring limited maintenance and being resistant to heat, water, scrapes, and scratches, it’s a good choice for a fireplace surround. Granite’s also impervious to any soot or grime that comes from a natural burning fire. There’s a resistance to bacteria and you simply clean the area with water, soap, and a soft cloth.
One important factor with granite is it does require sealing at least one time a year, which helps to maintain its looks and durability.
Marble – When you’re looking for a lavish and elegant look for a fireplace, marble is another good choice for a fireplace surround. It’s highly adaptable to any decorative scheme. You can also highlight the look of a fireplace with a vertical application of marble. The veining in marble also creates an attractive eye-catching look with a fireplace. Your focus of attention is on it. Marble is costly and requires more upkeep than granite, though it is resistant to the surrounding heat of a fireplace.
Marble also works well with gas fireplaces as any dirt, grime and debris won’t be collecting on the surface area.
If you don’t mind the extra care, taking precautionary measures, and reseal it over a few months’ time, marble will remain gorgeous for years to come.
Quartzite – Quartzite is another beautifully striking natural stone. It’s comparable in appearance to marble but is a lot more durable and requires limited upkeep. Quartzite requires intermittent (at least once a year) sealing.
Limestone – When you want a warm, light and comforting design in a fireplace, using limestone completes the look. It’s a versatile and durable stone that works well with most any fireplace design. It can also look elegant when used as a mantel. With limestone being a porous stone, sealing it is necessary, and keeping the area clean is important as well, but using it as a fireplace surround with limited to no exposure to liquids requires less care and maintenance.
Travertine – Travertine is comparable to limestone. In fact, it’s a kind of limestone, though the two stones have obvious differences. With travertine, you can achieve both a rustic or modern look. Those looks will depend on the way you install the stone.
Slate – When you’re looking for a rustic appearance, slate is a good choice. Most of all, it’s durable and when it’s cut into squares and polished, it takes on a more sophisticated appearance.
Other Options for Fireplaces
There are other options for fireplaces besides natural stone. They include the following.
Quartz – Though quartz takes the best of natural stone (93 percent) and combines it with resins, it’s a hard and durable surface that makes it a perfect material for a fireplace surround. The hardness factor makes it unlikely to crack or scratch. Cambria quartz is a good choice here as it’s resistant to heat and doesn’t require sealing or reconditioning. You simply clean it with warm water, soap, and a cloth. Its resistance to heat won’t allow the surrounding heat of a fireplace to fade the stone, whether you’re burning a natural fire or using gas.
Stone Veneer – There are imitation stone alternatives that are less costly than natural stone. Stone veneer is one material that you can install without professional help. It’s available in panels, so it’s easy to work with.
Stucco – Stucco is another alternative to natural stone. You can stucco over a current fireplace surround and get a whole new look. It’s both pleasing to the eye and enlivens a space. You can even customize it with a different color of paint.
Whether you want a stone fireplace or a viable substitute, or you just have questions about the different stone selections that are best used for a fireplace, contact Marble Concepts at 215-396-7393. We will be happy to answer your questions or guide you through selecting the stone that is right for your fireplace and your taste.