Selecting the Proper Material for Your Fireplace

The material chosen for your fireplace is important, as it will form the exterior and will be the first thing people see. When making your selection, remember that there is no one size that fits all. The fireplace finish that works for one home may be completely inappropriate for another. So, instead of purchasing the first fireplace that you see, browse around some stores, such as the Thornhill Galleries fireplaces, to get a better idea of what is on offer. Some of the most common materials are also described below.

92 Selecting the Proper Material for Your Fireplace

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Rock and Stone

Rock and stone materials may be round, or they may have a random shape. Regardless, they are one of the most popular materials for fireplaces. The primary reason for this is that stone provides a natural, earthly look and no two stone materials are exactly alike. When using this material, the texture and colour will ensure that your fireplace is completely unique. This is true even for stone material that is synthetic. The downside to this material is the weight. When choosing a location for a fireplace that will use stone or rock material, be sure to select a location which has a strong base. If the base is weak, the chimney may shift.


Slate material comes in many forms. It may be polished, natural or honed, and it has become quite popular as a fireplace finish. Slate has the advantage of offering the largest range of looks, and this is accomplished by changing the finish. When slate is polished, it can be confused with marble, but has a look which is more subdued. Honed slate is a mixture of natural and polish. It will feel smooth when you touch it, but won’t be as shiny as slate which is polished. Natural slate has a rougher surface.


Marble is a classy, high end material that works best in formal surroundings. This is not the type of material you want to use for a fireplace in a log home. Marble is available in many colours, and when natural light strikes it, it will shine and glow. Marble is relatively soft, and as a result, the architectural variant will typically be cut into tiles. This lowers the chance of the marble chipping, though a sealer may also be added to protect the surface. In the past, marble was very expensive, and this is still true to some extent today. However, prices have fallen thanks to cutting edge finishing techniques.


Brick is a strong and reliable material which comes in a number of different colours. It is unique from other materials due to the fact that paint can be applied to it. Brick fireplaces are usually constructed on site, which means the process will take longer and be more costly.


This is the ideal material for homeowners who are looking for simplicity. Fireplace materials made from plaster will typically be angular in shape. Most fireplaces that use plaster will be embedded within the wall, and the downside to this is that there won’t be a mantle which owners can decorate. However, the practical nature of the plaster fireplace provides a palette which is blank, and this allows room for artwork or other patterns.

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