Switching period fireplaces

yhzinpdxMarch 28, 2010

Wondered about the difficulty/cost of swapping fireplaces/mantles in a 100 year old home. We preferred the marble look to the dark wood and a friend was getting rid of a marble one they'd salvaged long ago. Thanks!

What we have:

What we'd like to install:

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I would love to have these. i would place candles inside of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: closet organizer

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 4:27PM
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Your existing wood mantle looks to be late Victorian or Edwardian from about 1880 to 1910. The marble one you want to use is mid-19th-century Italianate, about two styles before the one you have.

To switch the mantles, you hire a fireplace and chimney expert, the kind who will reline your flue and get your firebox working. I had one over yesterday to discuss exactly this question, in New York City. He wanted about $1,000 to remove one mantle and replace with a slate one.

The reason we are switching mantles is because our house originally had six slate mantles, dating from the 1880s or 1890s. A later owner updated the one in the front parlor with a later wood mantle similar to yours. It looks out of place, so we are restoring it to its original condition.

My advice to you is to use whatever style and proportion of mantle that would have originally gone with your house. From the look of it, your house is late Victorian 1890s. The photo you show appears to be a corner fireplace. If you put the marble mantle in there, it will look utterly ridiculous. No gothic-Italiante marble mantle ever appeared in a corner of a room. They were always on a flat wall, almost always a side wall (not a street wall). Another consideration is the width and height of the mantle and whether it fits your room proportions, chimney size, and hearth (for aesthetics). Technically, it can definitely be switched. I hope that makes sense.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 9:26AM
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