- Fireplace classification
- Methods for decorating fireplaces
- 1. Marble
- 2. Facing tiles
- 3. Stone: natural or decorative
- 4. Brick as an option for artistic decoration
- 5. Wood cladding
- 6. Iron casting
If you decide to equip a fireplace in your own home, then first of all you must clearly imagine how it will “fit” into your interior. Today, a variety of materials can be used as cladding: marble, stone, tiles, bricks and tiles..
The fireplace cannot be called an invention of our time. The history of its origin takes its roots in the distant Neolithic era – then the most ancient man blindly believed that this modest source of heat could not only warm him in a cave, but also protect him from evil spirits. Thousands of years later, the modern fireplace still takes center stage in the home, but it also requires the right facing. To make it easier for you to decide exactly how your “home” will look like, let’s look at what types of fireplaces are there and what facing materials exist.
Fireplaces differ in several ways – firebox type, installation method, fuel type, purpose and design style.
The fireplace insert can be either closed or open. A fireplace with a closed hearth has a built-in door. Typically, for aesthetic purposes, this door is made of fireproof glass..
Open fireplaces have an open firebox on one or more sides.
According to the method of installation in the room, such types of fireplaces are distinguished as:
Wall-mounted – located near the wall, while fully or partially protruding beyond its limits.
Built-in – the chimney and part of the fireplace firebox are built into the wall niche (column).
Corner – located in the corner of the room.
Island (free-standing) – the design of the fireplace does not adjoin either the wall or the partitions.
Depending on the type of fuel that is used to maintain a “live” fire, fireplaces are wood-burning, electric, gas and biofuel fireplaces.
By appointment, you can select:
- traditional brick fireplaces;
- fireplace stoves;
- fireplace stoves;
- barbecue fireplaces;
- decorative false fireplaces (fireplace stoves);
- outdoor fireplaces.
As for the architectural performance, it can be chosen from the following styles: classic, country, modern, chalet, provence and Hi-tech.
Methods for decorating fireplaces
Regardless of whether the fireplace in your home is the main heating device or you install it as a decorative element – the cladding material must be durable, heat-resistant and, of course, attractive from an aesthetic point of view. We will consider the most common cladding materials that meet high requirements and harmoniously fit into almost any interior.
Marble is considered the most suitable finishing material, as it can withstand sudden changes in temperature. Ecological purity and natural origin is another advantage of marble stone. In addition, it is impossible to doubt its amazing aesthetic properties – a fireplace in a marble frame brings interior royal luxury and refinement.
It might seem like this stone is perfect. But, unfortunately, it also has disadvantages, the main of which is its very high cost. Moreover, the process of laying it is quite problematic. The whole point is that marble slabs are extremely difficult to cut so that there are almost invisible seams between the individual fragments. Therefore, as a rule, they try to cut into large facing parts, therefore, the initial dimensions of the slab must be large. As a result, the larger the stove, the more expensive it is..
With regard to the laying technology, it should be noted that it is generally similar to similar tiling works. The only difference is that you need to choose a special high-strength glue that can withstand heavy boards at high temperatures..
2. Facing tiles
Facing tiles can be an excellent substitute for natural stone. Fortunately, its species diversity is pleasing to the eye – today, on the building materials market, you can find a variety of tile options from expensive collectible items to very decent budget ones. If you decide to decorate the fireplace with tiles, then it is advisable to choose porcelain stoneware. It is easy to work with, as you can use a small tile cutter, which allows you to make even cuts without chips. As an adhesive, you need to take a special heat-resistant glue.
Clinker tiles can also be used as cladding. Resistance to high temperatures, unpretentious maintenance and durability – all this makes the tile a rather versatile material, which, moreover, differs significantly in cost, but is not inferior in aesthetic characteristics.
Self-laying tiles requires a solution. It is very important to consider here that the mixture must be elastic and have a high degree of thermal conductivity. Otherwise, under the influence of temperature, the solution may crack and partially crumble. Hot glue or mastic can replace the solution.
3. Stone: natural or decorative
The stone has always been and remains in fashion. Thanks to modern technologies, there is no longer any need to spend money on expensive natural stone – it is perfectly replaced by a decorative one, while outwardly it practically does not differ from its natural “twin”.
Artificial stone, as a rule, is created from a mixture of cement, sand and fillers, so there are no special problems in terms of cutting and laying. In order to still protect yourself from unforeseen mistakes when facing, it is best to give preference to decorative stone, which is made on the basis of cement. So, during the installation process, any inconsistencies can be corrected by the putty method.
4. Brick as an option for artistic decoration
The option of facing a fireplace with a brick can hardly be called the most popular, but still it takes place. Usually, the cladding is performed with the same brick that was used in the process of laying the fireplace itself.. Refractory brick perfectly withstands temperature changes, does not collapse and does not change its color. The material is produced in several color variations: beige, pink, honey, classic orange. By combining different colors, you can advantageously beat a non-trivial ornament that will make the fireplace individual and unusual.
5. Wood cladding
Wood is another natural material that surprises with its versatility in the decorative finish of fireplaces. Its wide range of colors, from pale white to deep brown, allows for the most daring design ideas. Woods can be made from cherry, maple, walnut, palm or oak.
Regardless of the choice of wood, first of all, the product must be impregnated with a special compound that can protect the tree from heat, excess moisture and the penetration of pests. Then dry thoroughly and after that it can be used in the cladding. Do not lose sight of the places where a wooden product can come into contact with an open fire. They should be additionally strengthened or completely overlaid with a stone..
6. Iron casting
For decorative design of the fireplace portal, metal and cast-iron elements can be used, for example, forging, metal grates and screens, and so on. With the help of ornate patterns of forged products, you can not only concisely complete the image of the fireplace as a whole, but also add notes of medieval charm and sophistication.
All of the above options for cladding the “hearth” will help to make a unique element of the interior out of your usual heat source, which will not only occupy a central place in the room, but also speak of the impeccability of the taste of the hospitable host. Even if you strive to do everything your own way, then when choosing materials, feel free to combine variations. In addition, it is the improvisation in the process of decorating the fireplace that will guarantee that the result will not only surprise you, but will become the subject of your pride and the envy of others..