A fireplace surround is the decorative part of a fireplace that goes on all four sides and sits in front of it. The purpose of this piece is to add something aesthetically pleasing to your living room or bedroom, while also providing some extra heat on cold nights. Fireplace surrounds can be made out of many different materials such as brick, tile, stone, concrete, and even wood paneling. It’s important for homeowners to know what these materials are before they buy their new fireplace surround so they can select one that will look great with their existing décor and last a long time without needing any repairs.
What is the fireplace surround? A fireplace surround is a decorative piece that goes around an open or closed fireplace. It’s typically made of stone, brick, concrete block, tile, marble, slate, or other materials and can be used to hide unattractive features such as heating appliances and wires.
What Is Behind A Fireplace Surround?
If you want to know what is behind a fireplace surround, we’ve got the answer! *A* fireplace surround is an ornamental frame that adorns and encloses a hearth area. The purpose of this structure varies in function but serves as both decoration and utility. From its earliest origins in Greek antiquity through modern times, it has been used for decorative purposes with plain brick or stone masonry infill; nowadays more commonly finished in wood, tile, or other materials. Today’s designs vary widely according to their specific style (Victorian Gothic Revival) architectural styling (Craftsman), geographical location (Florida Keys Key West).
A fireplace surrounds typically consists of five components: the hearth, mantelpiece, or chimney breast, side wings called jamb extensions or “jabs” in some areas, a structural back panel, and an outer face.
The focal point of this design element is to provide warmth when needed most by enclosing it within its basic structure. This also provides ample storage space for accessories that are used in conjunction with the fireplace itself such as fire tools (pokers), fuel container(s), etc.; but over time has become decorative furniture showcasing family heirlooms and collectibles made from wood, metal glass-ceramic stone among other materials. The actual functional use however often falls secondary to its aesthetic appeal; which can range from ornate and decorative to simple and functional.
Fireplace surrounds can be as classic as Greek columns, Roman arches, or Tuscan entablatures; Victorian Gothic Revival with over-the-top excess of ornamentation – think gingerbread – Craftsman style which is a more contemporary design movement that features clean lines and simplicity; Florida Keys Key West where the tropical ocean breezes provide a colorful and bohemian flair (think bamboo) along with other eclectic styles reflecting personal taste and individualistic lifestyles.
The origin of fireplace surround designs also varies from region to region based on climate such as cold winters in Northern European countries like Scandinavia, Russia, etc.; hot summers prevalent in southern Europe (Spain Portugal Italy), tropics (Florida Keys Key West); desert climates (Southwest, Middle East); or as mentioned earlier the personal tastes of homeowners and interior designers.
This structure may be freestanding with its own legs (often extending to floor level) atop a hearth where it stands alone; attached to an exterior wall that provides both protection from extreme temperatures and allows for ventilation behind itself thus enhancing heat flow into the room; partially inserted within another larger piece such as corner fireplace inserts which often do not extend beyond their frame profile when viewed head-on but offer two sides/faces on each side of a central pillar – usually brick veneer – through which one can view fire burning inside while enjoying views of decorative back paneling off to either side or angle inwards towards center column creating more enclosed feeling of warmth and coziness.
In the case of gas fireplace inserts, fire burns within this structure so it may have any number of materials as mentioned above but typically has an outer face that is routed out from solid masonry blocks/bricks which are then filled with either prefabricated or custom-made ceramic tiles containing embedded tubes through which pressurized natural gases mix with outside air to produce flames visible on one side only (modern designs do not require flue).
Realistic flame effect can be achieved using special paint called ‘flame retardant’ available in black white greyish hues; LED lights cast onto each tile’s surface imbuing a realistic sense of dancing flames beneath your feet; while its structural back panel may be made from heat-resistant materials such as stone, ceramic tile (stone look), faux wood.
Surround designs can also include a mantelpiece with either its own legs or those of the surround itself and are often used in conjunction with built-in shelving that allows for placement of decorative items directly above the hearth.
As one may imagine many styles and finishes exist including round octagon square rectangular etc.; flush inset: front edges touch each other leaving no gaps around the perimeter; raised/elevated: the same concept but at least one side extends past others to allow room beneath it for ventilation behind unit – think brick veneer insert vs prefabricated fireplace tiles which are flush with outer wall surface unless inset; recessed: brick or stone is mitered (cut at 45-degree angle) then laid flat to create recess along the wall surface in which surround sits creating a less bulky appearance.
Flue size depends on the installation and house size with larger homes requiring more powerful chimneys allowing for faster release of hot gases while smaller units/houses may be fitted with flues that are slightly smaller forcing them to work harder thus boosting heating efficiency.
It’s important to note that any increase in the exhaust will have a rise in its byproducts including carbon monoxide gas so it must always be properly vented when burning wood, coal, etc.; no matter how efficient your design may appear there’s nothing quite like crackling sound flames flickering and warmth emanating from a real wood/coal fire to create that special feeling of home.
There are many ways for you to save the environment by recycling and reusing. One such way is using a fireplace surround made from reclaimed wood instead of buying new materials.
You can normally find used fireplace surrounds at construction or demolition sites as well as in some furniture stores. This is a great way to save money and keep the environment safe from pollution by cutting down on new materials usage.
- Unplug the fireplace before performing any type of maintenance.
- Be sure to place a fireguard around the hearth to prevent children from playing there, and be aware that pets may try to escape through it as well.
- Cover the fireplace before using a small brush to clean out any ashes that have accumulated. It is best not to use water, as this can cause damage and lead to rusting of your grate or other components.
- When cleaning with a vacuum attachment, be sure there are no combustible materials in its paths such as curtains or loose clothing. This will prevent overheating which may result in a fire hazard.
- If the fireplace is gas, check that all of the connections are tight before using it.
- When installing a new insert or mantelpiece, be sure to follow any instructions given by your supplier carefully and never leave an open flame unattended when lighting fires.
- Keep flammable materials away from fireplaces such as curtains and furniture cushions. Also, ensure that no paper or other combustible items end up in there accidentally!
- Once every year clean out smaller crevices with a nonmetallic tool like pipe cleaners; use steel wool for larger spaces where ash has accumulated over time. Do not attempt this if you do not feel confident enough to perform these tasks yourself: hire professionals who know how to clean the fireplace grates properly.
- When you are ready for a good, hot fire, make sure your wood is dry and cut to the proper length before setting it ablaze; this will reduce the amount of creosote produced by the burning process (which can lead to chimney fires).
- Never burn trash or leave behind items that do not belong in there like food wrappers! These could potentially start a hazardous blaze later on.
What is behind a fireplace surround?
A standard brick fireplace will have an empty cavity. Drywall, which may be taped and sanded smooth to the walls of the room for decoration, sits on top of the hearth. This wall material serves as insulation against heat loss in the winter months. Chimneys are sometimes made out of materials other than bricks or stone because smoke can seep through porous substances like mortar if it has not dried completely after application during construction. Fireplace surrounds also come with doors that close off this space between an exterior house wall and interior firebox, so homeowners don't accidentally set their homes ablaze by leaving fires unattended within these structures.
Decorative fireplace surrounds are an art form that brings beauty and functionality to your home. They can be made from many different materials, giving you the opportunity for fine craftsmanship or more budget-friendly choices. A reverse painted glass surround will give a modern feel while slate paneling has traditional appeal. If you’re unsure about what material works best with your decorating style, ask someone at Home Depot who specializes in that type of installation to help guide you through the process. Once installed properly, these beautiful features add warmth and character to any room they adorn while protecting surrounding surfaces like walls and furniture from heat damage due to direct contact with fireplaces below them on hearths.