What Is the Best Fireplace Surround for My Home?

Date: 14 March 2023

Choosing the right fireplace for your home can be a tricky task. Finding the right style that complements the rest of the room is part of it but then you need to factor in the fuel source. Do you go wood, electric, or gas? And then, once you have settled on the fireplace type, you need to factor in whether any of the wide-ranging fireplace surrounds will be the perfect finishing touch to your latest home interior project.

With marble, limestone, iron and wooden fireplace surrounds in plentiful supply across our  Ignition Fires Cranleigh and Holmwood showrooms, you can make a well-informed decision as to which fireplace surround is the type you need to make your fireplace become the focal point of your home.

Perhaps you would like a little insight before visiting us. If so, read on and find out more about the fireplace that could suit your home.

What is a fireplace surround?

This may seem an odd question, after all, if you are planning on buying a fireplace surround you probably have a good idea of what one is! However, many are often left unsure as to what a surround may include.

A common definition is that a fireplace surround is a part that protrudes from the wall and surrounds your fireplace-simple enough right?

Some will come with the hearth – the base of the fireplace – and some will not. This should be something you factor in when shopping for your surround. You may find the perfect surround only to find it doesn’t have a hearth with it.

In many cases though, a fireplace surround will come as one full unit that consists of the sides, also known as legs, the mantel and the hearth.

The fireplace mantel

This is the part that acts as a shelf, commonly it is part of the surround, but many people are now looking to the “floating mantel” style where the shelf is not connected to the rest of the surround at all. This is seen in more modern fireplace styles. That being a modern fire does not look at all out of place with the mantel being part of the entire surround.

The surround sides

The fireplace surround sides, or legs act as the support for your mantel if needed and will also double up as a barrier between fire and room.

The hearth

The hearth, as touched upon above is the flat area at the base of the fireplace where the fire is positioned. It protects the floor and acts as part of the decorative element of the entire fireplace. You may or may not have one supplied with the fireplace surround you choose.

Do I need a fireplace surround?

A fireplace surround can be a costly investment and as a result, be one that you might consider putting off or abandoning altogether. Now we could be very biased and say that all fireplaces must have a surround but that would be a lie! In all honesty. Fireplaces do not need a surround. However, without one the area your fire sits in can look very bare and take away much of the character you have helped give the room. They add a finishing touch to your fireplace and give you an additional place to put family photos, birthday cards or any ornaments you want to show off. They also give an added element of protection around your fire which is never a bad thing.

Marble fireplace surround

The marble fireplace surround is seen by some as the surround at the higher end of the market. Easy to maintain, stunning to look at and very durable, a marble fireplace surround adds a touch of sophistication to your room. With its polished surface, cleaning it is never a chore and thanks to the variable styles you can find, there are a host of patterns and colours that can transform your fire into something spectacular. Marble is also heat resistant – an obvious bonus when around fire – so this means you have no fear of the fire causing the surround any damage and then needing it to be replaced. With fireplaces creating such an impact on the home, many property experts say a high-quality surround can increase the value of your home.

Stone fireplace surround

Stone fireplace surrounds are a popular style of surround in many homes up and down the country. Much like marble, it is durable, stylish, and easy to clean. Cheaper than marble but more expensive than wood, a stone surround perfectly accompanies a contemporary-looking fireplace. That being said, stone is so versatile that it suits classic styles too. It is probably also worth noting that stone fireplace surrounds are excellent at retaining heat so your room can stay warmer for longer. Just like marble, the addition of a high-quality stone fireplace surround could see you benefit from an increased house valuation too!

Commonly crafted from limestone, stone fireplace surrounds are readily available in a host of intricately curated pieces.

Wooden fireplace surround

The wooden fireplace surround is perhaps one of the most commonly seen thanks to its affordability and ease of installation. In most cases, unless you have gone for a solid wood surround, the wooden fireplace surround is hollow. This means easier transportation, easier installation and should it need taking away, easier replacing when compared to other materials. Great for the more classic, rustic look, they help accentuate the character of older properties. Darker wood can help boost the profile of the fireplace in an older property with larger rooms and lots of natural light, whereas lighter shades will enhance the smaller rooms of a more contemporary property.

Cast iron fireplace surrounds

Proudly classic and perfect for illuminating the past within your property. Excellent at retaining heat, built with longevity in mind and available in a variety of classic styles, cast iron surrounds are beautiful yet in many cases rare. Seen by some as collector’s items these heavy items are not seen as much anymore. That being said, at Ignition Fires, we are delighted to have some incredible cast iron surrounds within our stock.

You may also find cast iron used as a backplate that separates the opening of a fireplace that has a surround made of combustible materials.

Can you paint a fireplace surround?

If you are looking to give your fireplace surround a bit of a refresh, then a touch of paint can certainly help but it needs to be done correctly. Each material requires a different approach. That approach could be the paint you use, the preparation you need to do before painting and how you apply the chosen paint. It would be best to check any user manuals before racing ahead just to ensure you do not cause any damage to your stunning surround!

Should you be looking for a fireplace surround, speak to our team. With over 40 years of fireplace knowledge, our experts can guide you through everything. From choosing the best surround for your fireplace through to the delivery and installation. As the premium installers and suppliers of fireplaces for Surrey and the surrounding areas, we take tremendous pride in helping you transform your home. With a wide range of electric log burner fire as well as gas fire stoves and lots more, start to reignite the spark of your home interior plans with Ignition.