When choosing a material for a mantel, there are some different materials to choose from. Some homeowners choose wood, while others may go for brick, man-made materials, or even metal.

Another popular choice, natural stone, not only offers great strength but also a wide variety of colors, textures, or styles, depending on the stone you choose. Let’s explore some of the reasons why natural stone is a great choice for mantels.

Durability and Maintenance

Natural stone is a great choice for a mantle piece because of its strength and durability. The density of the stone helps to give it a long-lasting appeal and the ability to offer different finishes, from rough to smooth and polished.

Of course, some stone types are denser than others. However, the maintenance of this natural surface is minimal thanks to its strength, which is derived from eons of pressure being applied by surrounding stone.

Wood is also a very popular choice for a mantel but doesn’t offer the strength and durability of stone. Additionally, wood mantels can warp over time, whereas stone will remain unchanged.

Multiple Styles and Types

Natural stone mantels can be created out of a variety of different stone types, which then offer lots of different colors, patterns, and finishes. Some types of natural stone, such as marble, are very dense and can be polished to a high shine.

A stone like slate or soapstone, on the other hand, can be a bit more malleable and is often used for a raw stone look, with less polishing or shining involved. Other popular stone types include travertine, granite, quartz, and limestone. Stone can be derived from different quarries all over the world, too, offering variations of similar stone types.

Brazil, for instance, is a huge exporter of natural stone. In 2019, according to Litos Online, Brazilian exports topped $1 billion and surpassed 2 million tons in exported raw materials. The marble from Brazil will look different from that of Italy, although the stone classification will be similar.

Cost and Availability

One of natural stone’s many benefits is its price points. Specialty stone types can be quite expensive, with their rarity dictating much of their overall value. A specific type of finish or installation method can also drive up the price.

On the other hand, there are numerous stone types or cuts that are moderately priced and offer exquisite colors and aesthetics without compromising durability. Granite, for instance, is one of the more plentiful stones used in mantles, offers excellent strength, and can be polished to a high-gloss finish. Granite also comes in various styles or types, which offer different patterns and colors.

The beauty of natural stone is in its one-of-a-kind look, which varies from piece to piece, even among the more readily available stone varieties. When choosing between natural stone pieces for mantels, it’s possible to achieve your desired aesthetic without breaking the bank.

Environmentally Sound Choice

Using natural stone is a good choice for the environment in the sense that most stone is taken from a quarry. This means it isn’t a man-made material that can harm the environment. The durability of stone also ensures that it can be used for many years without requiring replacement or much maintenance, which means that fewer natural resources are being used.

Using wood or a man-made material can involve deforestation, manufacturing pollutants, or other environmentally harmful actions. These materials are also more likely to break down or become structurally unstable before natural stone will.

Great Conductor of Heat

Natural stone’s heat conduction properties also make it ideal for use around a fireplace. Stone holds heat and radiates it back into the room, even after a fire dies down or goes out. This feature is great for long and cold nights.

High-Quality Appeal

Natural stone also gives a fireplace a certain sense of style and beauty, which isn’t easily achieved with man-made alternatives. The look and feel of natural stone exemplify its age-old appeal and convey a sense of quality in design and construction. As a high-quality finish, natural stone is truly timeless.

Hygienic Material

Stone tends to be allergen-free. Natural stone won’t attract and embed dust and dirt like carpet or wood. This isn’t as much of a concern for choosing a mantel but is still a beneficial characteristic for any material used in home design.

Choosing natural stone for mantels is a fantastic idea for a variety of reasons. Durability, beauty, cost, and color options are just some of the positives of Earth’s amazing natural creations. To learn more about designing gorgeous mantels, contact Stone Mountain Castings & Design today!