Browsing articles in "Lake Norman Remodeling"
Apr 20, 2019
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3 Tips for Fireplace Stone

Most people that are looking into having a fireplace would enjoy having one that is a little bit rustic and perhaps even nostalgic feeling. Although it is possible to get this type of a feeling in many different types of fireplaces, stone fireplace designs are among some of the most popular in existence. The reason why this is the case is because many individuals are not necessarily looking for something that is contemporary.

Having a fireplace in your home is an excellent way for you to add an enjoyable area to your living space and a stone fireplace design is going to fit in well in almost any environment. Here are some tips to keep in mind when getting started.

1. The first thing that you’re going to need to look into when you are deciding on which stone fireplace to use in your home is the local building code. These vary from location to location but you want to make sure that any of the stone fireplace designs that you’re looking at will not need to be modified in order to fit the local code. The reason why this is the case is because it can make it rather difficult and at times expensive in order to make the modifications. There is also going to be a delay in approval for your building the fireplace, especially if these modifications need to take place.

2. You might also be interested in looking at some of the designs that are available for the outside of your home. A lot of people tend to overlook the possibility of having a fireplace outside but you would probably be surprised that they are well within the building code for many areas around the country. Of course, it may need to be built to the same specifications as an indoor fireplace but if you choose from among the proper fireplace designs, you can have an extremely rustic looking area outside of your home. This gives you a great place to spend time with family and friends, away from all the distractions that tend to be inside a home.

3. None of the stone fireplace designs would really be complete without the proper accessories included. These not only include the tools that are needed in order to keep the fireplace in proper running order, it also includes screens and perhaps even things that go on the interior of the fireplace. Having everything match is an excellent way for you to have your new fireplace blend into your living environment and provide you with years of enjoyment.

You can find out more about Stone Fireplace Designs as well as much more information on all types of fireplace designs at

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Apr 19, 2019
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Consider cultured Stone Fireplace Makeover

Having an outdated fireplace can make a room lose the class and sophistication the fireplace should be adding. A focal point such as a fireplace should reflect the style of a room while inspiring awe. Re-facing an old outdated fireplace with natural stone can be all the room needs to restore the “wow” factor. With all the styles, colors, and patterns of various stone types, finding a match for the decor of the room will be a breeze.

Options for fireplace stone include granite, marble, quartz, soapstone, and limestone. These options have different benefits for each style and a specialist in natural stone fireplaces can help determine the right choice for the room. Prices and maintenance also vary between stone styles. Fireplaces with stone fronts can also contain added embellishments such as carvings or ornate mantles. Whether the preferred style of the room where the fireplace resides is modern or classic Italian, French, or Greek, a stone front fireplace can complement it.

Remodeling a fireplace can be a difficult undertaking and not considered a do-it-yourself project to undertake. Destruction of the old facade is needed without causing structural damage to the fireplace itself. After this step, a wire support net, called metal lath needs to be applied so as to help the mortar/adhesive for the new stone to adhere properly. Other necessary tools and supplies of mortar, trowel, masonry hammers, and angle grinders are also necessary tools.

Professional installation is always an option. A natural stone professional can help guide the homeowner through all necessary steps of the remodel. From conception to construction and everything in between, a professional will be the most useful tool during a re-facing of a fireplace.

By updating an old fireplace with a new natural stone look, the warmth of the room will be returned. Fires in the fireplace will once more be a family occasion, instead of being avoided. Families will reconvene in the home on chilly autumn evenings to talk in front of the fireplace.

For more information and guidance about granite, marble, engineered quartz, soapstone, and other natural stone materials, visit . Northstar Granite Tops is a custom fabricator and installer of kitchen and bar countertops, bath vanity tops, fireplace surrounds, table tops and more.

Daniel Elliott is an independent contractor who authors articles and media on a variety of topics for diverse audiences., Inc. ( produces Website design, hosting, and search engine marketing services for many of the clients, industries and markets related to the articles and media authored by Dan Elliott. If you would like Dan Elliott to ghost write or pen an article for you or your company, please contact him with your specifications.

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Apr 18, 2019
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Fireplace Makeover Tips

deally, your fireplace and mantel system should complement the design of your home as a mantel is frequently the key focal point of a room, if not the entire home. We like to think of a mantel surround as a three-sided picture frame and the brick, stone or tile fireplace facing that surrounds the fireplace opening can be thought of as a mat inside the frame. For the last 30-odd years, fireplaces were commonly built with a simple brick facade (facing) and there may not have even been a mantel or, if there was a mantel, it might be a simple frame mantel or a mantel shelf that needs a makeover. Fireplaces like this let you start with a clean slate to design a look you like and one that fits with the decor of your home!

When considering replacing or upgrading your mantel we suggest you also look at renewing the fireplace facing, too. As shown in most images of fireplace mantel systems, wood mantels that surround wood-burning fireplaces typically have a non-combustible facing (e.g., tile, brick, stone, marble or granite,) which completes the design from an aesthetic as well as a safety point of view. Most damaged, chipped, stained, outdated or uninspired fireplace facings can easily be removed or covered with something more appealing and when coordinated with a new mantel you can truly design your space!

Fire codes vary across the country but most require five to six or more inches of non-combustible facing between the opening of a wood-burning firebox and the leg of a wood mantel and codes usually call for ten to twelve inches of non-combustible facing between the top of the opening of a wood-burning fireplace and the bottom of a wood mantel header. In addition to facing on the wall around a fireplace opening, wood-burning fireplaces require a non-combustible hearth that extends outward 18 to 20 inches in depth from the fireplace and 8 or more inches to either side of the fireplace opening. Always check local building codes regarding minimum clearances!

Note that gas or electric Fireplaces typically usually require less facing on the wall around the opening than wood-burning fireplaces and the fireplace owner’s manual (or its manufacturer) can provide minimum clearance information. (Clearance information is sometimes detailed on a tag or sticker attached to the fireplace itself.) TIP: For optimum aesthetic appeal we recommend that gas or electric fireplaces also have several inches of facing between the fireplace opening and the mantel and a stone hearth on the floor under the mantel! This will help it look more like a natural, wood burning fireplace.

Granite Fireplace Facing is popular because of the variety of colors available and because it is much more durable than most marbles or ceramic tiles. Additionally, granite is much more stain resistant that other stones and it can bring a luxurious, color-coordinated design to your home! Popular granite facing colors include: absolute black, tan brown, sparkling pebble verde and golden sand, and there are others, as well.

Full granite slabs (vs. 9″ x 9″ or 12″ x 12″ tiles) are preferred by most homeowners and interior decorators and designers since full slabs provide a customized fireplace facing system without the need for individual tile fitting and grouting seams that you have with square tiles. Most granite facing kits are available in at least two sizes and custom cutting services are usually offered for proper sizing! Standard facings sets typically include four pieces, a Header, two Legs’ and a large Hearth for the floor. Optional Risers are also available, too, for use in situations where the bottom of your fireplace opening is raised above the floor/hearth.

How do you install granite fireplace facing? For an entire fireplace facelift many homeowners will simply use construction adhesive (one specifically labeled for masonry applications) to apply new marble, granite or stone facing right on top of the existing brick. Others will remove some of or the entire existing surface before installing new facing stone. After the new fireplace facing is in place you can install a new wood mantel on the wall. Most mantels are designed to overlap the outside edges of a stone facing for a clean/professional installation and for an updated and truly designed look!

Many mantel sources offer multiple wood fireplace mantel designs, usually broken down into collections based on general pricing guidelines, priced from $400 to $2000 or more. Mantels can usually be ordered in your choice of wood (suitable for painting, like Poplar or Birch,) or if you prefer to see the natural beauty of wood grain, you can get many mantels in furniture grade Maple, Cherry, Mahogany, Walnut, or Oak woods. You sometimes have your choice, too, of ordering your mantel either unfinished (for finishing on site during or after installation) or for a modest increase, many on line retailers will professionally finish your mantel at the factory with a wide selection of finish colors.

Some retailers offer only standard sizes but the best sites will also offer custom sizes to accommodate the width, height and depth of your stone facing. The outside edges of the facing are typically overlapped/covered by the inside edges of the wood mantel and any remaining space between the facing and the back of the leg is neatly and professionally concealed after installing the scribe molding that is included with the mantel.

You can be assured that your mantel will fit, if you go with a reputable company that provides a line dimensioned drawing of your custom mantel before charging you or starting to build your mantel. Nearly Twenty Years of experience have helped Design The Space develop a nearly infallible system of designing and building properly sized mantels for our clients. If you provide us all the requested fireplace dimensions we will guarantee that we will design a mantel to fit your space!

If your fireplace is different and doesn’t seem to match up with any “regular” illustrations fill out the form as best you can, and submit a few photographs. As we all know, a picture can say 1000 words! We have built mantels for nearly every situation and would be happy to work with you on your project as there is likely a variety of mantel design solutions for your unique fireplace.

Our Mantels are shipped in one carton and are easily installed! Our wood mantels arrive in one carton, in three main pieces (two legs and a shelf/header assembly.) We also include three lengths of scribe molding to finish the interior perimeter of the wood mantel with a very clean and professional look, to neatly conceal any gap that there might be between the back of the mantel leg and the front of the facing.

What about any trends??? There are a few! Many are now coordinating a fireplace mantel design with a Flat Panel Television installation. In many homes, a mantel design might include additional woodwork on the wall above the main mantel, usually called an Overmantel. An over-mantel is actually just a second mantel installed above the main fireplace mantel, built to either identical dimensions or sometimes narrower and either shorter or taller than the main mantel below. Some people finish the inside of an Overmantel with a mirror while others simply let their wall show through the opening.

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