Best Fireplace Surround Ideas
A fireplace is the focal point of just about any room they’re found. For centuries a fireplace was built out of brick or stone with a simple wooden mantel adorned with photographs and decorations. However today there are literally hundreds of fireplace surround options designed to finish your fireplace in a wide variety of styles. From ultra modern to super traditional, no matter your homes style or what room the fireplace is in there’s sure to be a surround that fits. In this article we’ll be discussing some of the very best fireplace surround ideas, materials, styles and options.
What Is A Fireplace Surround?
In the building industry the word mantel is often used to describe not only the shelf above the fireplace but also the decorative pieces that surround the fireplace opening. This entire area is known as the fireplace surround. The surround comes in all sorts of styles, sizes, and colors and are built from a variety of materials. Some of the best fireplace surround ideas are very large and ornate while others are quite simple.
Often times a new fireplace surround can be installed over and around an existing fireplace. A new surround can completely change the look and feel of the entire room.
Some fireplace surrounds are permanently built into the wall while other are simple bolt ins which are very easy to change.
Fireplace surrounds aren’t just for looks. They’re a barrier that helps protect your home from the extreme heat, sparks and flames inside the fire pit. When you install a new fireplace unit, hearth or surround, know the safety rules and building codes that are required. They’ll reduce the risk of property damage and personnel injury.
Whether you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, they get really hot and contains an active flame. A good fireplace surround should be unaffected by the heat and resistant to sparks. It also shouldn’t get too hot to the touch. If the surrounds material absorbs too much heat you could burn your hands.
If your shopping online for a new surround or building a custom one from scratch make sure to review your local building codes. Install something that not only has a great design but is also safe.
Fireplace Surround Materials
Modern fireplace surrounds act as an extension of the overall look of the home. They should accentuate the home’s design while serving a functional purpose. You can buy or build one in a variety of styles ranging from ultra modern to rustic country or anything in between.
While some of the best fireplace surround ideas are super simple brick and wood combinations, others use marble or chiseled stone, carved real wood, tile, cast concrete or even entire stone slabs.
Some people hang artwork or decorations above the mantel while others opt for a TV. The options for decorating a fireplace are almost endless.
Fireplace surrounds are built out of a wide variety of materials which should suit the style your going for.
We generally don’t depend on fire as a source of light or heat anymore but a fireplace is still a great addition to just about any room of the house. Designers are installing them in just about every room which even includes the kitchen and bathroom. They’re so versatile that it’s hard to imagine a room that wouldn’t look cooler with one.
Pro Tip: Don’t overdo it. A nice fireplace in the living room is typically enough for the average home. Maybe another in the dining room or master bedroom would be great. A small fireplace in the master bathroom or some other bedroom suites if you have them is a nice touch. But that’s it, we don’t recommend putting one in every room or they start to lose some impact.
Wood And Marble Bedroom Fireplace Surround
Give your fireplace an elegant, luxurious look by using marble and trim. With so many styles to choose from you’ll appreciate the versatility of the stone and endless possibilities of custom trim work.
Here we have 3 marble slabs set around the fireplace with a marble slab hearth extension. Custom built wood and MDF fireplace surround and shelf which perfectly blends unto the exquisite wall paneling. The bright white paint flows beautifully with the white marble.
The original fireplace this surround covers was a simple, old fashioned brick unit with brick wall and wood shelf. You can still see the original bricks inside which is a nice look that perfectly contrasts the more modern marble and wood design.
Black Mantel With Gray Hearth
A black stone and gray cast concrete fireplace surround with matching gray cast concrete hearth. What a stunning way to create contrast in this more traditionally designed dining room.
Most designers would match the design of the fireplace with the style of the room. It’s not a bad idea and most of the time is your best option but once in a while a stark contrast is the best choice. It’s daring but when done right makes a definite impact. The current trend of wood floors with white trim and light walls is a great opportunity to add in some darker colors around a focal point like this fireplace surround.
The reason this is one of our best fireplace surround ideas is due to the contrast. If you want your fireplace to really pop try it out. You don’t have to go black but try and include something special that’ll stand out in the room.
Painted White Brick Fireplace Surround With Wood Mantel
Your fireplace is where you can accentuate the look and feel of your home. They’re undeniably going to be the focal point in just about any room so take that opportunity to create something special. If you’re going for an ultra modern style, focus on simplicity with clean lines. For a more traditional feel, opt for red brick or natural stone with a wood mantle shelf. But what about if you want something modern, but not too modern, Classic, but you don’t want red brick. Something transitional that’s on trend but not trendy. A transitional look. Consider painted white brick.
It can be daring to paint brick. It’s a hard thing to come back from. You’ll never completely get the white out of the brick if you regret it later. But when it’s done right, a painted white brick fireplace surround is stunning. Pair it with more white. A custom built mantel and wall paneling are the perfect choice along with the right crown and base moldings.
The TV hung above the fireplace is great but this would be just as nice with some colorful artwork or nothing at all. The look goes with almost anything.
Choose your surrounding decor carefully. Whatever you put on the white will really pop.
Red Brick Fireplace Surround
If you’ve got an old fashioned, rustic red brick fireplace but want to modernize it a little bit consider installing a wood mantel. Keep the red brick surround, it’s a beautiful feature found in ultra modern homes all the way to country cottages, but add a new mantel. A white mantel around the brick isn’t that expensive and totally changes the look of the fireplace.
Pick a mantel with a nice size shelf. Don’t go too big but make sure to have enough room for something decorative.
When you decorate the shelf try and hold back a little. It’s easy to overpower the fireplace with a ton of nick knacks and photos. One or two perfect items is more than enough.
A mantel around a red brick fireplace works great on either a wood burning or gas unit.
If you’ve got the ceiling height there a ton of options for how to decorate above the shelf. Here, the ceilings are a bit on the low side because of the ceiling trim so they opted for a simple photo that compliments the rooms color scheme and looks great.
Built In Shelves Around A Faux Brick Fireplace Surround
We built this custom fireplace surround for a local client. The bricks are faux brick secured to cement backer board with thinset and cement grout. First we framed the entire wall unit surrounding the old fireplace and then wrapped it with wood and MDF trim, crown molding, and a mix of trim pieces, finally finishing it all off with shiplap.
The sides are custom built shelving with base cabinets, white countertops and shelving with built in electrical and lighting. Hidden switches. Gas or wood firebox with a brick hearth extension.
These types of large scale, custom built fireplace surrounds are one of a kind and really beautiful when complete which makes them some of our best fireplace surround ideas. If you’ve got the budget and a good builder they’re worth considering.
Keep in mind these are completely custom. You can’t just go into a Home Depot and buy one of these. Some of the components are store bought but even so it all has to be designed and hand built on site or built in a shop and assembled on site. It’s a lot of skilled work. But because of their custom nature you can design them to fit just about any situation and home style.
Cultured Stone Fireplace In The Kitchen
Cultured stone veneer is a relatively thin man made product. It’s made to look just like real stone veneer and the premium products are hard to tell apart from the real stuff. Fireplace surrounds made with cultured stone have a frame made of another material which is then wrapped in cultured stone. Think of it in the same way as tile. It’s just for looks. The actual structure of the fireplace is made from something else. Generally cinder block, brick, stone or wood framed and wrapped with cement board.
The cultured stone is installed to the surface with mortar as a decorative finish. But as you can see, a cultured stone fireplace surround can have the look and feel of a traditional stone fireplace.
This example is floor to ceiling cultured stone with no shelf or hearth extension. It’s wood burning with a firebox mad from clay bricks. This style fireplace has a great modern twist to what is generally thought of as a traditional design.
Real Stacked Stone Fireplace
Real stone can be installed with very tight joints which is commonly referred to as “stacked stone”. This isn’t cultured stone, it’s made of real stone pieces that are carefully stacked and mortared together to form a super solid fireplace. It takes a lot of time and skill to build a stacked stone fireplace like this because each piece has to be chosen and installed carefully to eliminate large joint spaces. You see, without grouted joints, there’s not much room for error. The stones have to be stacked just right or you’d see a large gap. Getting them all to sit tight like this isn’t easy.
Stacked stone fireplace surrounds are a timeless, rustic look that’ll work in a lot of home if the styles right. Traditionally you’d find them out west in country styled homes but more and more clients are building them in a much wider variety of homes these days. I’ve even seen a stacked stone fireplace in an ultra modern home that looked fantastic. Don’t be afraid to mix styles and go away from what’s considered a traditional norm. You won’t get on the cover of any magazines by playing it super safe.
If your building a stacked stone fireplace surround find a great mason. You’ll need one.
Stacked stone is one of our best fireplace surround ideas if the home and room warrant it but consider building one carefully. The style, size and choice of stone and color are all important considerations. These are harder to design and build than a simple brick fireplace or wood mantel.
Cast Concrete Fireplace With TV Above
Installing a cast concrete fireplace surround is one of our best fireplace surround ideas because of how easy and versatile it is. A cast concrete surround isn’t that expensive and just about anyone can assemble and install one. They’re 3 pieces that come delivered to the correct size. You just mount them to the wall with some hooks, screws and wall glue. Finish them off with a coat of paint. It’s so easy and they look great.
However, you can take them to the next level with a design like what’s shown in the pic above. Consider integrate a cast concrete fireplace surround into an overall wall design for fantastic results.
The old brick fireplace has been completely covered with the surround and custom built wall trim. The dark gray walls with light gray surround and white trim look spectacular together. Integrate enough space in the design for a wall mounted TV above the fireplace which sets into the wall for a flush appearance. All your wiring can be easily hidden inside the wall for a super clean finish.
Simple Wood Fireplace Surround Kit
There’s nothing as warm and welcoming as a crackling fire on a cold winters night. But how often do you actually light the fire, sit and just relax. In most homes, the majority of the time a fireplace isn’t being used. Sure they’re functional but we get our heat from other sources so a fireplace is mostly just for looks. That’s why to be truly special a fireplace has to look great even when there’s no fire in the hearth.
The fireplace is generally the focal point of the room. When a homes being designed architects put the fireplace in a spot that makes sense in order for it to be the centerpiece. Furniture is arranged around it, precious items are displayed on it, and it’s presence is felt throughout the entire room.
We try to design these huge, elaborate fireplace surrounds with brick, stone, marble or custom wood work. But sometimes just a simple wood surround is more than enough and that’s why it’s one of our top fireplace surround design ideas each and every year. Wood surround kits are cheap, they come sized perfectly so you don’t have to do any cutting and they’re super easy to install.
Look how great the kits shown above looks in this beautiful living room. Sometimes you don’t have to over design or over spend to make a great looking room.
Fireplace Mantel Decor
In a room like this one the best fireplace mantel decor would be simple. It’s easy to clutter the shelf with all sorts of pictures and nick knacks but simple things generally work best. This is an elegant sitting room with a beautiful stone fireplace surround. It’s light and bright. Inviting and very comfortable. The perfect place to just sit and relax. Resist the temptation to add all sorts of clutter.
This stone fireplace surround is a beautiful setup large enough to be installed over almost any existing fireplace. The herringbone pattern stone backing is an insert and so are the gas logs. The surround is super simple, elegant, sophisticated and is neutral enough to work in a wide variety of homes.
The herringbone backing and gas logs can be easily swapped out so if you prefer a different look it’s not a problem to change.
Coordinate the fireplace mantel decor with other elements in the room. Try and keep it simple but choose the pieces you put out wisely. They’re small but because they’re sitting on the mantel they’ll draw a lot more attention than if they were in a cabinet or shelf anywhere else in the room.
Remember the fireplace mantle decor is a focal point.
Simple Concrete Fireplace Surround With Marble
Here we have the combination of a simple concrete fireplace surround with marble slabs and an all black firebox. This design isn’t that expensive and looks great. It’s a clean design with a contemporary look that’ll work in a wide variety of homes. If you go with something like this try and keep it simple. Paint the surround a neutral color that blends well with the walls.
Even though this style doesn’t have a deep shelf you’ll still have some space to decorate. Try and keep it simple. There’s always the temptation to overdo it. Too much clutter will detract from the look.
The marble slabs can actually be set right over your existing fireplace if your remodeling. If this is a new home frame the structure out of block or wood with cement board. Either way it’s a cheap and easy job. The marble slabs aren’t that expensive either. You can go to any stone supply and but a few remnants. The slabs don’t have to be super thick either. A little thicker than a standard tile will do. Install them with mortar just like you would any flat stone or tile. Then install the concrete surround over top the marble.
In NJ we’re required to have a hearth extension on the floor to help prevent fires. If you need one too then pick something that either matches the marble or concrete surround. We’ve tried using a third type of stone for the extension but it never looks as good as when we coordinate with the fireplace materials.
Elaborate Concrete Fireplace Surround With Marble
Let’s say you want a simple cast concrete fireplace surround with marble but you want it with custom built in shelving, cabinets, wall paneling and crown molding. All that custom trim work will cost a bundle but the fireplace surround won’t. It’s a cheap and easy way to finish off a fireplace without spending a ton of money. And it fits perfectly into both a simple and an elaborate room design.
Versatility is what makes this design one of our best fireplace surround ideas year after year. And not to mention it’s fairly cheap and really easy to build.
Bedroom Sheetrock Fireplace
With all the fancy and expensive ways you can finish a fireplace or cover up an old one don’t forget that simple options are sometimes best. This old bedroom fireplace has been covered by a super simple framed wall with sheetrock. It’s modern, clean and super cheap.
No need for anything too fancy. A sheetrock fireplace goes beautifully in a contemporary home and fits right in with this minimalist bedroom.
Painted White Brick Fireplace With Built Ins
I just love how this painted white brick fireplace blends perfectly into the custom woodwork and built in cabinets creating a beautiful corner that wraps into the hall and more shelving. If you’ve got a setup like this consider giving it a try. The fireplace doesn’t necessarily have to be in the center all the time and makes a great corner in an arrangement like this where it still manages to be in the center of the room.
If you’ve got a white brick fireplace surround with matching white built ins then you’ve got the add a little contrast. Make smart choices with what you put on those shelves. Try and add some color and stay away from clutter.
To build this you’d have to rough frame your shelves and around, firebox and up the chimney. Then do all your finish trim work and cabinet installations. We build them all the time and are working on a free how to guide that we’ll eventually link to when it’s done so check back. Built ins are expensive but if your handy and have the right tools you can build them yourself and painting the brick is easy enough.
Modern Stone Slab Fireplace Surround
Natural stone slab fireplace surrounds are appealing to clients who want to make a crisp, modern statement. Real stone is timeless and can be installed into various fireplace surrounds, including frames, mantle shelves, or floor to ceiling designs like what you see here. These types of fireplace surround designs become like pieces of art in themselves without the need for much additional ornamentation.
Prices vary on a design like this quite a bit depending on the type of stone you select and the quality of the slab. Your best bet if you lie the design is to go directly to your local quarry and pick a slab yourself. If you like granite or marble where the veins make a huge impact on the look of the slab you really should see the slab in person rather than making a choice from a small sample.
Carved Marble Fireplace Surround
These carved marble fireplace surrounds make me feel like I’m in a castle on the French Riviera. While they don’t fit in most homes, if you’ve got the right house for it, they look spectacular. The pictures don’t do the work justice. These are made from marble and hand carved. They’re pieces of art, some of which so beautiful they belong in a museum.
Marble Slab Mantel
Another great example of marble slabs being used as a fireplace surround. Some people consider stone slabs to me too contemporary for a traditional home but that’s not the case. As you can see in the pic shown above the marble slab mantel looks great and works perfectly with the decor of the room.
If your worried about the cost then go to your local quarry and make a deal. It’s not like buying slabs for a countertop. A fireplace surround doesn’t require the same square footage so you can get a better price. Try buying a remnant. Remnants are the left over pieces from customers that ordered countertops. Sometimes only 1/2 or 3/4 of a slab is used so they sell the rest at a discount and that could be more than enough for what you need.
Take care when designing the sides if you go with marble or anything with veins running through it. If you really want a beautiful marble surround then cut the pieces so that the marble lines flow around the corners. Three different pieces won’t look as good.
Fireplace With Small Marble Tile Surround
Installing a beautiful marble tile design around your fireplace is a great way to establish it as a focal point. It adds a lot of interest by incorporating a style and material you don’t usually find around a fireplace. Generally smaller tiles like these are saved for a backsplash or shower detail but they also work fantastically as a fireplace surround.
Available in stone, marble, glass, slate, ceramic and more, tiles offer a durable, heat resistant surface that adds style to your fireplace surround.
Because tile is offered in a huge variety of shapes, colors, sizes and materials the design options are nearly unlimited.
The sheer variety of tile options available for your fireplace surround is crazy. Just go to the tile isle in any Home Depot and you’ll find a hundred options. Go to a tile supplier and you’ll find a thousand. Visit am importer or search online and the options are in the hundreds of thousands. That’s not even including the various patterns and inlays. It’s safe to say that if you decide to go with a tile fireplace surround you’ll have plenty of great design options. We’d recommend considering marble.
Pair your marble fireplace tiles with a white border and real wood mantel shelf and custom wall paneling.
Marble Tile Fireplace Surround With Cast Concrete
Selecting marble tile for your fireplace surround means you can find something that’ll both make a statement and fit your style. Create a sleek, modern look or go for a more traditional, classic vibe, they both look great with marble.
It’s important to consider how the color of your fireplace tile affects your room’s overall palette. The fireplace will be a focal point. But do you want it to fit seamlessly with the color scheme or contrast it with a vibrant splash of color that really pops? Your fireplace surround is a rare opportunity in the room where you can take some bolder chances.
Above we see a n elegant fireplace surround with large square marble tiles and white grout. Cream cast concrete mantel which flows perfectly into the surrounding walls and trim work. Custom built wall paneling with inset columns and crown molding complete the look along with some tasteful mantel decor and flat screen TV.
This bedroom fireplace design with marble tile surround is the perfect touch in a room that’s all about relaxation.
Ultra Modern Black Fireplace Surround
Black is a great color in an ultra modern home. Here we see a super modern gas fireplace set into a black wall surround. Flush and super clean with no shelf or hearth extension. At night when yo fire this up it looks like the flames are floating. It’s a super cool look that doesn’t work in every home but if you’ve got the right house consider giving it a try.
The materials could be made from just about anything. Sheetrock, concrete, stone, or wall paneling would all work fine. The inside of the wall is either wood framing, block or brick. If you like the look you could re-create it pretty cheap. The only real expense is the modern gas firebox but everything else is cheap.
Marble Slab Modern Fireplace Surround
I really love this design because it break so many things that are considered to be a norm. These long thin fireplaces are generally considered modern and for contemporary homes only but look how beautiful it looks in this more traditional dining room. Same with the huge marble floor to ceiling slabs. This isn’t at all what I’d expect to see in a dining room like this which is exactly why I like it so much. Some contrast is a good thing no matter where you put it. Contrasting styles, designs, colors, textures. Don’t be afraid of it, things don’t always have to match.
The inset wall mounted TV is a nice touch but we would’ve finished the slab and mounted the TV. I mean, what if some day you want a bigger one or a new one that doesn’t fit exactly into that space. New TVs are as thin as a pencil and technology is always getting better so go with a mount and not an inlay. This was a great design 10 years ago when mounted TVs were 6″- 8″ off the wall but that’s not the case any more.
Stone Fireplace Mantel
Another fantastic stone fireplace surround. These are among our best fireplace surround ideas every year for a reason. They’re affordable, look great, are super easy to install and extremely versatile. This unit would look good in just about any home you put it in. They come in a wide variety of materials, styles, size and colors so chances are you can find a kit that’ll look work in your home.
Outdoor Cast Concrete Fireplace Surround
Cast concrete fireplace surround kits work great for outdoor use too. In a home like this the finished concrete matches the other masonry finishes perfectly so it’s an obvious choice here.
Real Stone Outdoor Fireplace
An outdoor fireplace with real stone is a beautiful thing. They’re more money than a fireplace built with cultured stone but the finished product is much nicer. From far away it may be hard to tell the difference but up close nothings as nice as real stone. Manufacturers still haven’t found a way to perfectly replicate the beauty of real stone.
White Brick Outdoor Fireplace
If you’ve got a red red brick outdoor fireplace but want a more modern look consider painting it white. Simply painting the existing fireplace completely changes the look and feel of the entire room.
Stacked Stone Fireplace
Real stone looks fantastic no mater where you use it. We use cultured stone a lot but it’s just not the same as the real thing. A stacked stone fireplace like this one is expensive and takes a lot of time and skill to build, but when complete few fireplaces look as good.
Another Stacked Real Stone Fireplace
These stacked stone fireplaces look better in person than in the pics. The small colors throughout the stones don’t come through unless your standing in the room. Notice how in the last two pics the choice of stone color flows perfectly with the overall color theme of the home. That’s one of the many wonderful benefits of real stone. There’s so many options to choose from it’s easy to find something that works.
Luxury Cast Concrete Fireplace Mantel
Many people think cast concrete is on the low end of fireplace finishes but that’s not the case. There are tons of high end luxury options available like the example shown above.
Large Cast Concrete Fireplace Mantel
A cast concrete fireplace surround with large top shelf and matching hearth extension. This is a regal look made even grander by the matching stone wall tiles stacked from floor to ceiling. What a beautiful look for almost any living room that really shines if you’ve got an especially high ceiling. Black framed gas fireplace with glass face and matching black mirror frame are nice touches.
This style cast concrete works best in a large room with high ceilings. Low ceiling can make the stone wall tiles and huge shelf seam squashed. larger rooms are where this type of fireplace surround looks best.
Marble Fireplace Mantel With Built In Shelves
You don’t need an entire wall of built in shelving to have built ins. A simple, clean design is all you really need if you want a sophisticated looking fireplace. A black firebox with marble surround and cast concrete mantel with built in shelving and top shelf.
A black and white fireplace surround creates a stunning contrast you just cant ignore.
This is a simple and easy to install fireplace surround idea that’s mid priced with a lot of bang for your buck. Buy it as a kit and assemble it on site to fit whatever size firebox you have.
The top shelf isn’t huge but it’s enough to fit some nick knacks or small photos. Be tasteful with your choice of decor and resist the temptation to fill that shelf with tons of stuff.
A large piece of colorful artwork or wall hung TV would be a great addition if you’ve got the ceiling height.
Heat Resistant Fireplace Tile
So much in a room revolves around the fireplace. It can really set the mood and is the natural focal point of the living room. But as beautiful as it can be it needs to be equally tough. Because of this tile is a great option for your fireplace surround.
The fireplace surround is the front facing portion of the fireplace. It’s the part that’s most visible so you’ll want to dress it up with something really nice. But even though it’s not directly coming into contact with the flames it still needs to be durable enough to handle high heat.
There are lots of different types of tile, so which can you use? Most wall tile will work as a fireplace surround but just to be sure check that they’re rated for high temperature applications. Most tiles are but double check anyway. Just about any tile used as a backsplash will work since these are meant to go behind a hot stove.
Make sure to use a good thinset that’s rated for use at high heat and not wall glue unless it’s also rated for high temperatures.
Above we see a beautiful gas fireplace with marble tile surround and stone hearth extension. Custom built white wood mantel with built in cabinets, crown molding and fireplace TV.
Black And White Fireplace
Have you ever wondered why the default color in home decorating is so often white. I’m not complaining, white is our go to color for most doors, trim and ceilings. Tubs and toilets are almost always white and so are most sinks. And more often than not these days we’re installing white cabinets and tons of marble. White’s also pretty much a standard for windows, exterior trim, columns, railings, fascia, soffit, etc. Some contrast is desperately needed and nothing contrasts white quite like black.
A black and white fireplace make a striking impression made even more stunning when you light a blazing fire. A black firebox with black granite or tile surround is a great choice. For the mantel go with either a cast concrete unit or custom built wood mantel, painted white of course.
Try some other splashes of black or other dark colors for added effect. Don’t go crazy and throw black everywhere, subtle touches here and there work best.
A fireplace is a great feature to have in any home. Sure, it’s functional and great to fire up on a cold winters night. But most of the time it just sits there looking pretty. So dress it up a little with a new fireplace surround. This list is filled with some of our best fireplace surround ideas and we hope a few of them help you pick your next fireplace surround. Check back, we update these pages with new pics all the time as we get them. If you’ve got any pics you’d like us to showcase send them over.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.