One look at a bare fireplace and it becomes clear it just isn’t complete without a mantel. How else are you going to hang those stockings during christmas time? Rest assured there are inexpensive mantels available and once you have the basic knowledge on how to measure your fireplace you shouldn’t have a problem installing a mantel on your own.
There are a variety of mantels available that will match your fireplace and the decor of your home. Some of the common types are made out of traditional wood such as poplar, oak, cherry or maple. Also many designs are available in thin cast stone, white gypsum, marble, rock and milestone. There are many dealers available online that offer easy install mantels. All vary in price range and you should choose dependent upon what type of look your trying to achieve with your fireplace. Some of the traditional wood designs such as red oak or pine are good for staining and the mantels made out of poplar are good for painting a color to match your home.
When measuring your fireplace for a mantel installation you need to be sure to choose a size that meets or exceeds minimum code clearances. You can contact your fireplace supplier or local building inspector to find out what the requirements are. When ordering a mantel for your fireplace most companies will want you to measure three different areas to determine whether a standard size will work or a custom size is needed.
The opening height, facing width, and mantel surround return depth are usually the only measurements needed for a dealer to determine what you will need. The mantel company your interested in should supply a diagram and specific details about the measurements to make sure you order the right size mantel.