Masonry Fireplaces...
Material Matters

Masonry fireplaces are constructed with a vast array of materials to give them a wide and varied range of different looks.  Though the firebox and chimney liner are fabricated from all masonry components, the outside of the fireplace and chimney can be finished with any material or combination of materials the homeowner desires . . . . . providing an opportunity to create a uniquely personal design.



masonry fireplaces


masonry fireplaces

For  example,  the  striking  brick  fire-
place  at  right has a bluestone hearth and  mantel  with  a  granite keystone just below the mantel shelf.

The  wide variety of available material types,  textures,  colors  and  finishes offers  a virtually limitless array of de-
sign  possibilities  and  looks to appeal
to  tastes as diverse and sharply con-
trasting as the two masonry fireplaces pictured  below.     From  the massive  granite  slabs   framing   a  cavernous "walk-in" firebox on the left . . . to the elegant  hand  carved  Yucatan   lime-
stone
 surround  on  the right . . . and everything in between . . . there is a combination of materials, textures, colors and finishes to satisfy nearly everybody!


masonry fireplaces
masonry fireplaces



The  following  two  designs  -- though smaller in scale than those above -- present equally striking contrasts. The rough textured facing of the granite stones on the left contrasts sharply with the smooth polished surface of the marble surround on the right.

masonry fireplaces
masonry fireplaces



Other frequently used natural stones, as shown in the striking masonry   designs below, include fieldstone (left) and . . . . . river stone (right).

masonry fireplaces
masonry fireplaces

The two stone hearths pictured above are by master stone artisan, Lew French.


More Materials for Masonry Fireplaces

Man made  stone  products are another attractive option as a finishing ma-
terial.   The elegant cast stone mantels and surrounds below are ideal in a formal setting . . . . .

masonry fireplaces
masonry fireplaces




while the very realistic  manufactured stone  used to frame the fireplaces pictured below is a great choice for more casual settings.

masonry fireplaces
masonry fireplaces




Even concrete blends such as glass fiber reinforced concrete can be effec-
tively employed to fabricate exquisite mantels and surrounds,  as shown in the following outstanding example.

masonry fireplaces



masonry fireplaces

Metal is also used to clad a masonry fireplace  from time to time  --  par-
ticularly  with   more   contemporary designs.    The  example  at  right is wrapped in polished stainless steel.

Directly below,  the fireplace on the
left  has an American southwestern  look  derived from the Kiva.    A tra-
ditional  design  of  the  southwest, inspired by Pueblo architecture, the Kiva fireplace  was  constructed  of adobe bricks.    However,  many  of today's  Kivas and Kiva inspired var-
iations  substitute plaster or stucco
as a finishing material.


The  example on the right,  below,  is made from glass fiber reinforced gyp-
sum,
a natural mineral mixed with water and glass fiber that can be finished to resemble limestone, marble, travertine and alabaster.   Though it cannot be  used  outdoors,  it  is  completely noncombustible and a fraction of the cost of most other materials.

masonry fireplaces
masonry fireplaces




The stunning  wood mantels  and overmantels pictured below comprise an-
other material type frequently used to "frame" a masonry fireplace.     Like pieces  of fine heirloom furniture,  they are made from rich hardwoods and beautifully stained and sealed with hand-rubbed finishes.

masonry fireplaces
masonry fireplaces



And finally,  the tiled surround pictured below casts a soft warm glow as it reflects the dancing flames  from the open fire.   Capped with a mantel of heavy timber, the composition  evokes  the  romance  and  nostalgic charm of the early American west.


masonry fireplaces

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