Last updated on October 3rd, 2023 at 01:25 am
The fireplace is nearly always the most prominent element of the room. It catches the eye and sets the visual tone for the rest of the space. If you’re looking to modernize your old fireplace, build a stunning new space, or change things up in your home, adding an appealing fireplace surround could make all the difference.
There are many different materials you can use to create a beautiful surround that is safe for your fireplace. The right material will also suit your interior design style.
Here are some of the best fireplace surround materials to consider today.
Tile is an extremely versatile fireplace surround material. You can choose from a wide range of colors and patterns to match your design preferences. You could use all-white tiles for a soothing effect, add flair with multiple shades of a color, mimic a brick or stone appearance, or create a more unique design with multiple tile colors.
At Four Day Fireplace, we often use porcelain tiles manufactured by MSI. These tiles are durable, maintenance-free, and easy to clean.
Ledgestone is one of the most popular stone options for fireplaces today. It’s a beautiful, cleft-faced stone pattern made of granite, limestone, sandstone, or travertine. Ledgestone works especially well for stacked stone fireplaces with a soft, contemporary, and natural feel.
Stacked stone fireplace styles use thin, roughly rectangular stones with little to no grout in between. With ledgestone, the stone width varies slightly, creating the appearance of tiny ledges. You can stack ledgestone from floor to ceiling for a linear fireplace design. As with tile, we often recommend MSI for high-quality, naturally made stacked stone, including ledgestone and fieldstone.
Fieldstone is a larger and more irregular stone pattern for fireplaces. It uses a naturally occurring type of stone found at or near the surface of the earth. People have been using fieldstone for centuries to create beautiful fireplaces, building walls, retaining walls, fences, and more.
Fieldstone fireplace surrounds look strong, durable, and earthy. This material is a great choice for traditional, farmhouse, or rustic interior designs.
4. Stone Slabs
Stone slabs can create an incredibly smooth fireplace surround. We often see it used in linear fireplaces and other contemporary designs.
This stone style is best for showing off unique materials with varying colors or veined appearances, such as granite, marble, or limestone.
5. Manufactured Stone
Manufactured stone, such as manufactured ledgestone and fieldstone, can create the same appearance as real stone at a lower cost. Manufacturers can create realistic details and use a range of paint colors so that the end result feels organic.
We often recommend purchasing manufactured stone from Eldorado Stone. Their products are hand-painted piece by piece for an authentic appearance, with over 150 colors and profiles to choose from.
Wood is a lovely material for spaces around fireplaces. You can use it for classic floor-to-ceiling millwork around the fireplace, a custom wooden mantel shelf, or a contemporary slab surround design.
However, wood can be a tricky material for safety reasons, especially if you have a real wood-burning fireplace. Since it’s combustible, you will need to keep any wood you use in your design a certain distance away from the fireplace opening, depending on local codes. You may have a wider range of wood design options if you have an electric fireplace.
Brick is a classic fireplace surround material. In recent years, we’ve seen a trend toward whitewashed bricks and other painted brick colors.
Many of our customers opt to use Slimbrick instead of regular bricks for their fireplace surrounds. This brick alternative has the same brick look, but the bricks themselves are only about 1/2” thick instead of 2-3”, so you can save a bit more of your living space. We are able to order Slimbrick directly from their line through Mutual Materials to keep your costs down.
If you want a minimalist fireplace design with a commanding, industrial feel, steel is a great material to use for the surround. We’ve seen some homeowners create entire fireplace walls in steel. You can apply texture to add more visual depth.
9. Other Metals
You might be surprised to see how versatile metal can be as a fireplace surround material. We’ve seen some incredible fireplaces with metal shiplap or industrial surrounds.
At Four Day Fireplace, we work with Stoll Industries to create custom metal walls. They offer a wide range of stunning options. These metal walls are completely custom, so they guarantee a perfect fit for your specific unit and design.
Marble is one of the most dramatic and elegant fireplace surround materials you can choose from. Each piece of marble is unique. You can find varying shades and streaks of white, cream, gray, black, beige, brown, gold, and other colors.
We often see marble slabs used in fireplace surrounds for high-end contemporary homes. Marble can also make for a beautiful tile design. It’s an extremely durable and heat-resistant material, although you may need to regularly clean and seal it to avoid soot stains and other issues.
Plaster is most popular in the Southwest, but some homeowners in the Pacific Northwest also like the simple, warm appearance it creates.
This fireplace surround material looks similar to textured drywall. It can work well with a wide range of traditional, modern, formal, and informal interior design styles.
12. Material Combinations
You don’t have to choose just one material! Combinations like brick and wood can create a stunning fireplace appearance.
For instance, you can level up an older brick fireplace by adding a wood mantel with classic millwork to create a refreshing yet timeless design.
Ready to Start Exploring Your Fireplace Surround Options?
We have the perfect team to take your project from design to completion, meaning there’s no need for you to manage dozens of different specialized contractors. Ready to start planning your fireplace project? Get in touch with us today.