While there are modern ways of keeping warm, nothing can replace a good stone fireplace. This is that special part of the home where the rest of the family can gather around and enjoy each other’s company while sharing memories.
It is also the companion of individuals reflecting on their lives as they cherish the warm glow of the flame. If you’re thinking of adding a stone fireplace in your home or is replacing one, then our top 10 stone fireplace ideas should come in handy.
10 Stone Fireplace Ideas to Add Character to Your Room
1. Fieldstone Fireplace
Very few styles of stone fireplaces can match the rustic look of fieldstone. As the name implies, these are rocks that people collect from the fields. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. The challenge in this project is to create a panel whereby one can use varying sizes, shapes, and colors of fieldstone.
It requires plenty of work, though. One has to have a rough idea of how the different pieces will fit into the frame. There will always be gaps in between the rocks. Finding the small piece that will fill the gap is crucial. In some cases, the individual rocks undergo minimal shaping. This helps ensure better fit.
2. Recycled Granite Fireplace
This can be a bit daunting to carry out. But, if you can source at least three large solid blocks of granite, this is a project that will be the envy of everyone in your neighborhood. Your best source for such materials are other projects that may have used such stones. Oftentimes, these are already cut or split. However, their shape and size may not fit the kind of fireplace that you have in mind. Hence, it is important to cut the granite block to your specification.
The suggestion is to make it as rustic as possible. It is okay if the block’s surface is not smooth. It is all part of the appeal. Be wary about individuals who may sell you “recycled granite”, though. Many of these are processed and mixed with other ingredients before they are molded into a solid block.
3. River Stone Fireplace
When Teddy Roosevelt spearheaded the back-to-nature movement, American homes started to appreciate the value of using river rocks and stones in the design of their fireplaces. It retains the classic style of rustic fireplaces of old.
It is a very simple design and one that requires patience in the stacking of river stones of uneven shapes and sizes. One has to take note of how each stone will fit into the puzzle so that the larger ones will form islands in a sea of smaller river stones. The river stone fireplace evokes memories of the farmhouses of the early 20th century, but modern enough to ensure a cozy living room.
4. Cast Stone Fireplace
There are some of us who would like to have a chimneypiece that is as refined as our tastes in life. Natural stones can provide your project with a more country feel. However, using architectural concrete can offer greater versatility when it comes to the design of the mantel.
Building a cast stone fireplace can simulate the elegance of hand-sculpted natural stone. In many cases, man-made limestone can provide the correct material for sculpting the design of your choice.
5. Limestone Fireplace
The uneven surface of limestone can provide the fireplace a more textured look. It is a great complement to a home with minimalist interior décor. The very fine lines created by the shadows of the individual limestone tiles can make for a stunning 3D effect.
For some, it would be like adding the sides of a dragon or a gigantic fish on their walls. And with the hearth heating up below, the glow will create shadows that dance on the wall.
6. Soapstone Fireplace
There are individuals who prefer the more refined look of a smooth surface instead of a rustic, textured one. If you’re such an individual, then using soapstone for your stone fireplace will be ideal.
The great thing about soapstone is that it gives you the luxurious look of marble, but without its prohibitive price tag. Choose a soapstone with unique markings like veins. These can add visual interest to the stone fireplace.
7. Sandstone Planks Fireplace
For those who wish a more rustic appeal to their minimalist and ultra-modern homes, sandstone planks will be a good choice. The contrasting gradients on the sandstone can give it a rustic appearance that is profound enough to make a statement.
However, it is never too loud that the modern residence becomes a country home. This is a wonderful balance between rustic and modern, allowing homeowners to add character to their simple interior décor.
8. Rugged Wood and Stone Fireplace
There are some individuals who think that stone fireplaces should only be made of stones. However, in the old days, almost every other material that people can source from their surroundings is a good choice for making a fireplace. As such, it is not uncommon that families in the not-so-distant past integrated wood into their fieldstone fireplace.
The trick, of course, is to place the antique timber far enough from the hearth. This can give your fireplace the rugged look that friends will be talking about for many years.
9. Stacked Travertine Stone Fireplace
If you are thinking of having a small stone fireplace, you’ll never go wrong with travertine stones. These tiles come in gold, cream, and brown hues. It is the perfect solution to creating a rustic fireplace without being obnoxious.
The irregular surfaces of each tile also produce a three-dimensional effect, which can further add to the beauty of the project. And if you add pale hues of scarlet and emerald green, your stone fireplace will be a masterpiece in your small home.
10. Carrara Marble Tile Fireplace
One of the best, no-regrets stone fireplace ideas you can ever have is a Carrara marble tile. These polished tiles come with dramatic veining, giving the surface a painter’s canvas-like appeal.
The veining themselves look more like the brushstrokes of an artist. It is durable and very easy to work with. To accentuate the marble stone’s stunning veining, you can paint the mantel with dark gray. This can provide a remarkable frame to the marble-ous canvas.
Things to Consider When Designing a Stone Fireplace
For some individuals, designing a stone fireplace can be a straightforward process. However, those who have been designing such an architectural component of the house will often consider a lot of things before they start working on the project. Here are some important points that one has to consider when coming up with a cozy stone fireplace.
Many individuals think about the fireplace as having only one function – to provide warmth for everyone else in the house. This might be true in the past when there were still no modern methods of keeping the entire house warm and cozy. But, the fireplace does not only serve as a heat source for the home. It can also function for cooking as well as for providing the ambiance that almost everyone seeks today.
Hence, if the main function of the fireplace is for cooking, then you might want to place it in the kitchen or in the backyard. This will give you the chance to cook some of your food while enjoying the company of friends and family during a weekend gathering. If it is for ambiance, a good place to put the stone fireplace will be the bedroom and the bathroom.
Size of the Stone Fireplace
Determining the size of the stone fireplace can help you determine the type of stone to use. This will also guide you in the architectural style of the stone fireplace. There are fireplaces that start from the floor and extend all the way to the ceiling. There are also those that limits the stonework from the floor to the mantel only.
Type of Stone
There are two types of stone used in the design and building of stone fireplaces. These are the natural stones and the cultured or veneer stones. There are many natural stones that one can choose from. Some of the more popular choices include limestone, slate, travertine, river rock, marble, and granite.
One of the things you have to consider when using natural stone is the strength of your home foundation. It should be able to support the weight of stones stacked one on top of the other. This can exert pressure on the floor.
Veneer and cultured stones are synthetic materials that can mimic the look of natural stones. They are lightweight and are more affordable solutions, especially for those individuals who would like to build the fireplace themselves.
Architectural Style of the Mantel
If you look at a standard fireplace, it does not look that much. What makes it very appealing is its mantel or chimneypiece. This is the decorative framework that many fireplaces have today. As such, if you want to create a cozy and appealing stone fireplace, you should also pay attention to the design of the mantel. This where your choice of mantel architectural style will come in.
In general, the style of the mantel should be appropriate to the architectural style of the house itself. This ensures unity of design. The Renaissance style of chimneypiece is always magnificent. It works well in homes with large interior spaces. Seventeenth century English chimneypieces, on the other hand, are renowned for their simple design.
Of course, there are other styles that you can use in the design of your fireplace. Some of the more popular stone fireplace architectural styles include Country, Medieval, Colonial, Italian Renaissance, French, and Gothic, among others. If you are not sure about the architectural style of your house, then you may want to consult with your home builder or architect.
Style of Grouting and Mortar Color
One of the most often-overlooked aspects of stone fireplace design is the style of grouting to be used in the joints. There are three styles that you need to know about. The dry stack joints do not show any joints, allowing the fireplace to achieve a dry stack effect. There is also the standard grout line, which you may be familiar with the grout in your bathroom or kitchen tiles. If you want an old world look, then choosing an over grout style is a must. Grout overlaps the stones, creating an irregular pattern. This gives the fireplace a more rustic look.
Another major consideration is the color of the mortar to be used in the joints. In general, the color should complement or enhance the natural color of the individual stones.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Why should I have a fireplace in my home?
There are many reasons why people put a stone fireplace in their respective homes. For one, it gives them the chance to enhance the overall aesthetics of a given room. In cold regions, the fireplace can have a more functional purpose – to provide warmth. In other places, the fireplace also doubles as an open-fire pit for cooking certain dishes. If you have any of these needs – aesthetics, warmth, and utility – then installing a stone fireplace in your home is a good idea.
• Which parts of the house should I build my fireplace?
Traditional stone fireplaces are always located in the family room or the living room. It allows individuals and families to gather in front of the fire while sharing stories. However, this is not the only place in the house where you can build a fireplace. You can also build one in the kitchen, the porch, in the garden, your bedroom, the bathroom, and the den. Everything depends on the main function of the fireplace.
• I don’t have a fireplace and a chimney, can I still have a fireplace?
One of the fundamental requirements of a stone fireplace is a chimney. This will help move both excess heat and smoke away from the interior of the house. However, if your home does not have a chimney, it is still possible to have a fireplace; albeit it will not be in the traditional sense of the word.
You have two options: ventless gas-fired and electric. Ventless fireplaces come with a thermostat to help regulate the flame on gas-heated logs. There are also gas fireplaces that can use existing chimneys. Electric fireplaces run on electricity and offer the advantage of better thermoregulation.
• Should I use natural stones or veneer stones?
There are individuals who prefer using natural stones for their fireplaces. These materials provide a more rustic vibe because of their irregular shapes and uneven color. It can add character to the room while also adding some form of texture to the existing interior décor. Natural stones are also better at absorbing, storing, and radiating heat.
They make an excellent addition to conventional heating systems in the home. Natural stones are also more durable and require very low maintenance. On the other hand, veneer or cultured stones may be cheaper and easier to install. They can also give you the look of authentic, natural stones. Your choice depends on how much you are willing to spend for an authentic stone fireplace.
• What should I keep in mind if I am going to use cultured or veneer stones?
Cultured or veneer stones look like the real thing. However, these are synthetic products that manufacturers finish with a fire retardant. Having said that, it is important to check with your local building code, whether they allow the installation of such products in residential homes or not.
If the building code allows for the use of such materials, it is often necessary that you incorporate natural stones in the design of the hearth and the fireplace opening. This will help minimize fire hazards stemming from stray sparks.
• What architectural style should I choose?
Everything depends on the existing architectural style of your home. There are many architectural styles to choose from. For obvious reasons, it would be “inappropriate” to go for a Medieval or Gothic style of stone fireplace if you have an ultra-modern house. The same is true for wood cabins and backcountry lodges.
A Neo-Classic or Contemporary style may not be “ideal” in these homes. If you are not sure which architectural style to go with your fireplace, it is best to ask an interior designer for his or her opinion.
Designing your stone fireplace can be a daunting task. By considering certain things in the design of a fireplace, you can come up with your own version of a warm and cozy fireplace. These 10 stone fireplace ideas are a good place to start.