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Hearths and Fireplaces

08.01.2019
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Hearths and Fireplaces

Make your fireplace a statement with a bespoke stone hearth, mantelpiece and other elements. Stone is the ideal choice for a fireplace as it cannot catch fire. This means that stray sparks, a falling log or simply the heat from the fire itself won’t start a fire or damage the stone.

At Surrey Marble and Granite, we create bespoke stoneworks for a wide variety of uses. Our team are accustomed to creating single parts and whole fireplaces for both modern and period properties. As all our stoneworking is done in our Surrey factory we are able to create unique modern features as well as provide replica work to repair or restore period pieces. From hearth to mantlepiece, our team can help you create the fireplace of your dreams.

Parts of a fireplace

When you start looking in detail at a fireplace – particularly if you’re trying to refurbish a period fireplace – you quickly realise that it’s not one single piece. Traditional fireplaces are made up of multiple elements, the most common of which are listed below. Bear in mind that other names may be used for certain pieces, and that not all fireplaces will have all elements. Modern fireplaces, in particular, are often more minimalist.

Firebox – all wood and coal fireplaces have a firebox as this is where the fire is lit. The firebox needs to be made of stone, concrete or brick – something that won’t catch fire. Gas and electric fires have a simulated firebox which may be integrated with some of the following elements.

Hearth or hearth stone – usually stone, concrete or brick, this extends out into the room, typically at floor level, to prevent sparks reaching wood or carpet. Some modern fires are now recessed instead.

Mantlepiece or mantel shelf – this is an ornamental shelf above the fire. It is commonly made of wood or stone.

Undermantel or header panel – this may support the mantelpiece or be ornamental. It is closer to the fire so should be made of something which cannot catch fire. Tiles are common in period buildings.

Legs or pillars – these run from the mantelpiece to the floor and often support the mantelpiece.

Filler panels – these go between the legs and/or undermantel and the firebox. Typically ornamental, they are often tiled.

Modern fireplaces without mantels

As most houses no longer use fire for heating, fireplaces have become more ornamental and less practical. As a result, designers have done away with many of the elements of a traditional fireplace to create on-trend, minimalist designs. These can contain the fire perfectly safely, if properly designed.

Restoring period fireplaces

All too many period homes have had their original fireplaces removed and the chimney shut up. If you’re looking to restore the former character of your home, we can help by providing direct or sympathetic replacements for missing stone elements, such as mantelpieces, legs, and, of course, hearths.

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