Stone fireplaces can make an amazing statement to your home. Whether your fireplace is a true wood burning fireplace or a gas fireplace insert, having a stone mantel or surround is going to help the fireplace make an impact. However, buying a stone fireplace isn't just as simple as picking out a piece of stone. There are numerous different kinds of stone to consider, each with their own unique characteristics, features, perks and benefits. The right choice for you is going to be dependent upon your specific needs and the current look of your home or the architectural style you are trying to achieve.
What do you mean by stone?
When you are buying a stone fireplace for a gas fire or for a real fire, the first thing that you need to do is to decide what you mean by a stone fireplace. There are a few major types.
For example, you could have a fireplace limestone surround. You could have a marble stone surround for your fireplace, including a marble mantel if you wish. You could select a cast stone fireplace surround and cast stone fireplace mantels. These are all going to be more stylised mantels, like old carved ones that you may see.
Stones looking like rocks
Another option is to have a stone fireplace where the stones look like rocks. This would give your fireplace an appearance more similar to a rock climbing wall with the stones just more tightly packed together, creating a cohesive and uniform facade, where only small grout lines separate the rocks. Stacked stone
Finally, a last choice would be stacked stone. This is sort of similar to the way that brick fireplaces look, with neat rows stacked on top of each other. It is less abstract than the natural stone fireplace where the rocks are laid next to each other with grout lines in the middle.
Real or veneer
The next thing to decide is if you want your stone to be real or veneer. This doesn't really come up often with a marble fireplace or a limestone fireplace, but it can come up if you are doing either stacked stone or natural stones separated by grout. Veneer is a thinner stone and will get you a cheap fireplace, but may not look as nice as real stone for your home fireplaces.