How to Update Your Home Fireplace
In many homes, the fireplace has become less of a family meeting place as it is an occasional
dump for pictures and flower arrangements that have no other logical place to be in the home.
If your fireplace has become just such a place, then maybe it's time to update the fireplace
surround to something that will make you want to move your television back to a corner of the
room instead of on the hearth.
Take a Look at Fireplace Screen
Begin by evaluating your existing fireplace surround. On newer homes, these surrounds are
typically stone veneers, but may be metal, as well. On older homes, the surround could very
well be the fireplace brick that serves as the construction for the entire fireplace. While being
very attractive and old-fashioned, if the brick just doesn't fit with the theme of the rest of the
room, it may prompt you to hide the fireplace. Fortunately, this is an extremely easy fix.
All of the components of fireplaces in new home construction can be pulled out of the wall and
replaced, if you want. This is because new fireplaces usually consist of nothing more than a
steel box insulated with a firebrick veneer. This makes them easy to install, and fortunately, just
as easy to replace, if you wish to do so.
The easiest way to update your fireplace is to change the way it looks. New fireplaces use
wood mantles that are attached to the studs in the wall. They are essentially decorative. Check
the stock at your local home improvement store to see if there is a mantle that you prefer. The
designs range from modern to Victorian, and as they are pre-fabricated, all you have to do to
install them is pry the old mantle off of the wall and then secure the new mantle in its place.
Mantles generally come with the fireplace surround wood trim to maintain a cohesive
Once the replacement mantle is secured in place, paint it to match the other trim in your home,
and then select a fireplace screen that compliments the style of the mantle you have selected.
These generally are not installed, but rather rest in front of the fireplace opening, preventing
sparks from getting to your floors. You can also opt for doors, if you wish, but doors require
you to screw the frame for the fireplace doors into the opening for the fireplace.
If you own an older home, consider painting the brick fireplace surround in a color that
compliments the rest of the room. When you do this, it is important that you select paint that is
safe to use on fireplaces.
In every case, a splash of paint and a fresh mantle, combined with a new fireplace door or
screen, will bring out the original beauty of your fireplace, and get you to thinking about cozy
fires on cold winter nights once again!