Ideas for Fireplace Surround

Fireplace with pendant light and Sullivan freizeJust like a frame decorates and shows off a picture, a fireplace surround should do the same thing for a fireplace. Whatever the décor of your home, there is a surround that will enhance the atmosphere and beauty of your home’s fireplace. There are numerous ideas for fireplace surrounds available to purchase or use for inspiration.

You can look online for prefabricated surrounds. There are many companies that will deliver and install your new surround within a few days. This is the easiest way to replace an existing surround with a completely new look. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars this way.


The overall style of the room should compliment the style of the surround. If your furniture is modern and up to date, a contemporary styled surround of stone, wood or marble may be the best choice.

If your fireplace surround is an antique, you may want to preserve it’s historic and artistic value. It may be an example of the intricately carved, elaborate designs that used to be created by wood carvers with pride. Perhaps it just needs a new color, new finish and a good cleaning. Make sure to check with your local hardware store for the appropriate paint and cleaning product for the type of material to be painted. Consider whether it needs new tuckpointing or not.


West Baden Springs Hotel Fireplace with Stone SurroundFireplace tile is designed for use in a fireplace surround. With many colors, sizes and shapes to choose from, you can create your own unique design or hire a professional to design one for you.

Tiles can be cut and arranged into any pattern of your choosing. Tile can be secured in concrete. It is also relatively easy to change or replace if damage occurs or if you just become bored with it.

A brick surround can give the appearance of an older, rustic fireplace. A simple brick surround is practical. But they don’t have to be plain. They can have patterns inlayed and can contain different colors of brick.

Stone Surrounds

Natural stone is a beautiful and long lasting choice of material for building a fireplace surround. Each stone surround is unique because no two stones are exactly the same. In fact, a beautifully installed stone surround can be considered a work of art. It does require some maintenance. An annual application of a sealer to protect the porous material of stone is usually all that is needed. A stone surround can be expected to last a lifetime.

The choices of stone are many. Marble is one of the most attractive and expensive of them all. Depending on your budget, there are a lot more affordable options as well. Slate is an uncommon choice that can create an unusual surround.

A more affordable stone is sandstone or flagstone. Although much less interesting than marble or natural stone, there are nuances of color and texture that can be incorporated to make it more unique.

Concrete is a common material for building surrounds. It can be inlaid with designs made from tile or stone. It is easy to paint.


A surround made out of wood lends itself to any color scheme or design. It can be painted or stained to match the room. It can be easily updated by a new owner should you sell your home. It will not last as long as stone, but sometimes this is to your benefit. However, consideration should be made as to fire prevention, in that care must be taken not to install wood too near the open flame of your fireplace. Please consult the local building codes for requirements in this regard.


Redecorated Fireplace with Slate Hearth,Once you have completed the surround, you can continue to decorate in the same style. There are fireplace tools in as many styles as there are surrounds. If your look is modern you will probably have to purchase new tools to accent the fireplace. Prices range from moderate to quite expensive.

If your look is older or antique, try garage sales and thrift stores. You may get lucky and find the perfect tools for a few dollars. Here we show a beautifully done refinished room featuring painted stone and black slate hearth with a Zen aesthetic touch, care of Flickr user Wonderlane.

Mantel Shelf

The mantel shelf should be coordinated to fit in with the surround style. They are available in elaborate designs or simple, classic and refined. Mantels can be made of many of the same materials as surrounds. Try a wood surround with a stone mantel. Or try the opposite. The materials should compliment each other.

A fireplace used to be the focal point of daily life. It was where meals were cooked. It gave light by which to see at night. It gave warmth to the cold. A great fireplace today can still be a comfortable expression of welcome to guests and family alike. Let yours reflect your personality.

Photos by cindy47452, greenbroke and Wonderlane- Creative Commons Attribution License