Fireplace Mantel Kits

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Fireplace mantel kits are a good option for the handy person about the house who doesn't have either the workshop or the time to build a mantelpiece from scratch. Whether you're adding a fireplace or giving a face-lift to an existing one, you know that it's important to strike just the right design note with your mantel. Fireplaces have been a design focal point in houses since the first ones were cut into the brick walls of medieval houses and the stone walls of castles.

Taking time in selecting a mantel is always important. You want the fireplace to reflect you, unmistakably. It'll be a challenge to install your own fireplace mantel and surround. The fireplace will also be a pleasure for many years after. Especially enjoyable is the planning stage--if you're an interior design buff, you know just what I mean. You browse through countless websites and magazines and play with decor ideas.

The style options in fireplace mantel kits are wider than you might think. Remember, most fireplace surrounds are composed of several parts to begin with. There are two questions to answer. The first is, who does the actual installation? You've already answered that. Second is the style. Do you want a stone mantelpiece or a wooden one? Will the surround be tile, wrought iron, wood, or stone?

FAQs on Fireplace Mantel Kits

Regardless of the style of your mantel, you need to take careful and complete measurements. The woodworker's and handyman's mantra--"measure twice, cut once"--is always important to heed. The fireplace box height and width are one set of numbers, as is the hearth. Next are the inner and outer dimensions of the fireplace surround. This includes any area for tile or faceplate, between the firebox and the outer edge of the surround. You want to be sure while choosing from among fireplace mantel kits that the surround overlaps the firebox. (Thinking of the surround as the frame for a matted photograph might help.)

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