Home is where the hearth is! A great fireplace not only adds value and warmth to your home, it’s a natural focal point for winter entertaining. But if you’re having a hard time envisioning your guests sipping cocktails around your hearth that is still straight out of the ‘70s, it may be time for a fireplace facelift. Sometimes simply changing the materials on your fireplace can transform a dated hearth into a stunning piece of art and/or a conversation piece for guests.
A Brief Introduction
Half of all American homes (approximately 55 million) have at least one fireplace or freestanding stove, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. Fireplaces rank among the top three features desired by new homebuyers, after outdoor porches and upgraded kitchens. Fifty-nine percent of those homeowners consider the fireplace to be a major design feature of their home, and 73 percent of wood-burning fireplace owners say they use them to enhance the home’s atmosphere. An outdated fireplace, however, can detract from the overall appeal of your home.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to dress up an aging fireplace is to give it the look of stone. Stone has been a favorite material for fireplaces since people first started building hearths. Durable and beautiful, stone’s natural variety and richness of color marries well with virtually any design or décor. The cost and weight of real stone, however, may have some homeowners thinking they can’t have the naturally beautiful fireplace they envision. Manufactured stone veneers—made from custom mixtures of natural ingredients including Portland cement and lightweight natural aggregates that exactly mimic the look of the natural stones from which they were molded—solve that problem by providing the appearance, color and feel of real stone without the weight, cost and need to completely redesign your fireplace.
Cast concrete is another option that has become increasingly popular. Although the sides and mantle of the concrete are usually individual pieces, once placed together, the concrete gives the appearance of one solid unit surrounding the fireplace. The concrete can be painted to match the color scheme of your living space then sealed to prevent staining from ash, if your fireplace is of the wood-burning variety. For an even more decorative look, some homeowners even opt to add ceramic tile directly onto flat areas of the concrete to tie in the fireplace with other colors and/or design elements in the room.
As you can see, your tired fireplace can easily be taken from drab to fab in a relatively short amount of time (depending on the overall scope of your particular project). If you can picture it, the professionals at Ashbusters can make it happen. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to do to inject some much-needed life back into your fireplace, we can help with the design process, too. Contact our team today to schedule an appointment. You won’t be disappointed!