Fireplace Mantels

Fireplace Mantels

Fireplace Mantels

A fireplace mantel is an important part of your fireplace that serves multiple purposes. Also known as the mantelpiece or chimneypiece, the mantel is the masonry above and around the fireplace. Homeowners enjoy their mantels for both their decoration and functionality.

Since the mantel surrounds the fireplace opening, it completes the aesthetic of the fireplace. It further establishes the fireplace as a focal point within the room. Not only is a mantel decorative, but it serves a functional purpose. The mantel directs smoke up the chimney flue. As the smoke moves along a direct path, the walls and ceiling closest to the fireplace are protected from smoke.

When shopping for fireplace mantels, you’ll find there are many variations. The two main designs you’ll come across are fireplace surrounds and mantel shelves. There are also different materials used: wood, cast stone, natural stone, marble, or concrete. Some mantel styles are minimalist, while others extend to the ceiling, serving as a statement piece within the room.

Outside of the fireplace realm, mantels can also make nice additions to your home for separate reasons. You might choose to set up a fireplace surround as a headboard for a bed. Another creative option is to set up a mantel shelf as a floating shelf, to add decor or storage space to any room.

Fireplace Surrounds

When most people imagine a fireplace, they picture the more traditional appearance created by a surround, as opposed to a mantel shelf. As the name implies, fireplace surrounds wrap around the firebox. 

Except for modern styles, a surround will have a shelf built into it. The legs of the surround rest on top of the hearth or floor, and the shelf rests on top of the legs. To fit your desired height, the legs can be raised using plinth blocks. The shelf can support framed art, vases, candles, and other small decorative items. In this way, fireplace surrounds create the first impression of your fireplace.

Mantel Shelves

The second category of mantels goes by several names: mantel shelves, floating ledges, floating shelves, or floating mantels. As opposed to a fireplace surround, which frames the fireplace, a mantel shelf hangs above the fireplace, completely detached from the firebox. 

Like a fireplace surround, a mantel shelf is aesthetically pleasing, as it creates space to add decorative elements above the fireplace. A mantel shelf is easy to install, especially compared to surrounds. It’s also easy to uninstall and reposition if needed.

Whether you’re doing a room makeover or completing your fireplace design, we’ve got you covered with high-quality mantel options. Did you know we’ve been in the hearth and home business for over 20 years? Although mantels come in various materials, we specialize in wooden mantels. All of our standard mantels are offered in three species of wood: paint-grade, stain-grade poplar, and oak.

The advantage of getting a wood mantel is the large assortment of sizes and styles that are flexible to your budget. As opposed to other materials, wood can be painted or stained to match not only the style of the room but also your entire home decor.

Our fireplace surrounds and mantel shelves can be customized to a certain degree. Fireplace surrounds are available for openings up to 60 inches wide and 48 inches tall. When it comes to mantel shelves, ours are fabricated from poplar at the time of your order. The shelf is already pre-sanded and ready to be finished by the homeowner or contractor, speeding up the home renovation or building process. We offer our shelves in the three most common sizes: 60, 72, and 84 inches.

Because the mantel is such a visually prominent part of your fireplace, be sure to choose yours carefully. Before picking just any mantel, take time to select the right style, size, and stain for your home.


The style of your mantel can enhance your interior design, or it can completely clash with it. Be aware of the way your room currently reflects a traditional, modern, rustic, contemporary, or vintage aesthetic. 


Another element to consider when choosing your mantel is size. If you’re going with a fireplace surround, choose the right inside mantel opening width, height, and clearance. Each product page for our surrounds has a visual guide to help you determine your fireplace dimensions. 

Otherwise, if you’re shopping for a mantel shelf, the sizing is a bit simpler. You just have to know your fireplace width and clearance requirements.

For extra preparation, take precise measurements of your room (room size, ceiling height, and other features). This will help you plan out the best way to compliment your fireplace with furniture, lighting, decor, etc.


Besides style and size, take some time to pick the best stain for your fireplace mantel. Choose a stain that will work cohesively with the rest of your interior design.

Now you know – a fireplace mantel protects the integrity of your home while adding a lovely visual touch. You’re going to love the way your mantel transforms the entire room with both style and utility. 

We’re excited that you’re getting one step closer to enjoying your fireplace! Contact CJ’s Hearth And Home today to complete the process.


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