Fireplaces are a focal point in home design. Not only do they deliver warmth and light, but they offer a unique elegance and aesthetic that few design elements can provide.
Whether you’re gathering around a fire with family on a cold winter night, or use your fireplace in a less functional application, like a place to mount your flat screen or display prized artwork, fireplaces are whatever you make of them!
Decorative Appeal of a Fireplace Mantel
A fireplace mantel is a piece of material that surrounds the working portions of a fireplace. Both decorative and functional, a mantel protects the actual fireplace by creating a barrier so the flames stay contained.
Mantels are constructed from a number of different materials depending on the look and purpose you are seeking. Modern, rustic, vintage, classic, you name it, a fireplace mantel can achieve any desired look if you choose the right material and finish.
Choosing Real or Faux Wood Mantels
If you want to install a fireplace mantel or switch out your existing mantel with one that suits your tastes, you’re in luck. There are many options available for your fireplace mantel project. Your first decision will likely come down to choosing between a real wood fireplace mantel or a faux wood mantel.
Wood fireplace mantels are what you may expect as most popular. However, faux wood mantels are actually more affordable, practical and easy to install, as well as a safer material to use in home improvement project.
There are many differences between real wood mantels and faux wood mantels. The main difference obviously lies in the material. Faux wood mantels are manufactured from wood fibers and other synthetic materials, as opposed to wood mantels which are 100% real wood.
Benefits of Faux Wood Mantels
Real wood fireplace mantels start in the hundreds for a standard, basic piece. Faux wood mantels are a fraction of the cost and come finished in a variety of styles ready to install, or unfinished for you to paint or stain.
As with all faux wood products, installing a faux wood mantel is a breeze thanks to its lightweight, easy to handle construction. Most projects only require one person and the job is done in a matter of hours. Real wood involves more planning in terms of time and labor.
With real wood, you get what you get. The grain is already established and unless the piece is unfinished, you’ll need to strip the original finish and re-do to your liking. Faux wood mantels offer endless possibilities. Choose among various finished and unfinished styles and make it into your own to reflect your taste and preferences.
All faux wood mantels are maintenance-free. They will not warp, rot or attract pests unlike real wood. Faux wood products are built to last with no maintenance required to keep them looking like new for many years.
Heat Exposure & Fireplace Mantels
One of the most important differences in real and faux wood is how it withstands heat exposure. Since the mantel surrounds the actual fireplace, it’s important it can handle the heat and provide a protective barrier.
It’s far safer to choose a faux wood mantel because it’s fire-resistant, unlike real wood, which actually attracts fire and heat. The frame and foundation of many homes is constructed from enough wood already, so the decision to use real wood accents near a fireplace can be quite dangerous.
Place Your Faux Wood Mantel Order Today!
All fireplace mantels from AZ Faux Beams are made-to-order and hand built. Check out our faux wood style guide to see available styles and finishes.
Please keep in mind that faux wood mantels are decorative and not meant to bear the weight of heavy items. We recommend only displaying lightweight décor like candles, picture frames, and vases on your faux wood mantel.
Let our architectural consultants answer all of your questions about faux wood mantels, contact us today!