Fireplace Mantel Help!

clagaJune 30, 2009


We are going to make an attempt to DIY a fireplace mantel surround.

The design we are trying to achieve will be recessed panels with molding around inside of the stiles on the legs and horizontally piece above the fire box with crown molding surrounding the top shelf of the mantel.

Is there any rule of thumb, as far as the portion of high of the legs vs. the piece running horizontally above the fire box?

Also any suggestions in wood type too use, the mantel will be painted?


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The most important consideration is the clearance around the firebox, the distance immediately above, to the left and to the right of the firebox that must be made of noncombustible material If you have a prefab unit, the owner's manual should tell you what the clearances should be. If your unit is not prefab, the existing clearnace can serve as a guide. After all, if the fireplace has been safely used, then you know that the existing clearances are okay. Just stick to them and you'll be all right.

If this is a fireplace that is PLANNED, and has not been built, you need to consult with the contractor who is building it for you to find out what the clearances should be. One overlooked clearance issue is the depth of the mantle -- the higher the mantle is from the top edge of the firebox, the deeper is can safely be. Otherwise it can get very hot because heat from the firebox rises. Of course, if the mantle is composed of marble or some other noncombustible material, you do not need to worry too much about its depth. Just remember that if it is very low (i.e., close to the upper edge of the firebox), it is likely to get pretty hot.

I hope these considerations help you in your planning. If questions, post another message.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 1:12PM
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We're going to be doing the exact same thing soon also (at least trying...) It just so happens I found a good set of instructions last night with pictures. It doesn't have exact measurements, just says to adjust for your fireplace because they vary so much, but it is very helpful nonetheless.

Here is a link that might be useful: recessed panel surround

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 10:30PM
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