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What Are the Advantages of Marble Fireplace Mantels?

Fireplaces generally form the focal point of any room they are added to, so opting for the best one possible only makes sense. There are times you can get away with looking for the second-best material, but this is not one of them; when you’re searching for a fireplace mantel, marble stands unparalleled.

Here are just a few reasons why you should strongly consider purchasing a marble fireplace mantel.

Marble Fireplaces are Stunningly Attractive

Marble has been valued since the times of the Ancient Greeks for its rich, luxurious style, and that popularity continues well into the present day. Strikingly beautiful and sophisticated, marble adds a rich sense of style to any room, and it works with a variety of design styles; whether you want to adopt a modern, minimalist tone or create an antique feel, marble is going to work wonders.

Marble Fireplaces Can Be Easily Maintained

Marble carries a reputation for being slightly tougher to take care of than other materials, such as quartz and granite. However, this is an issue that is more important when you’re considering flooring or countertops; your fireplace mantel won’t need to be as resistant to staining or scratching. Most drinks and foods will be simply dealt with using a damp washcloth. You will have to make sure soot isn’t allowed to build up, but that just means giving the mantel a quick wipe over once or twice a week.

Marble Fireplaces are Heat-Resistant

When you’re dealing with a fireplace, heat-resistance is clearly something about which you should be concerned. Marble remains wonderfully cool to the touch, even when used next to a fire. This is part of the reason it was so popular in the ancient world. Even the hot Athenian sun wouldn’t be able to rob the surface of its welcome coolness.

Marble Fireplaces Will Last for Years

Marble does tend to cost more than other fireplace mantel materials, but you should consider it an investment rather than a sunken cost. Marble is known for being exceptionally durable, so it should last for years to come without showing any signs of wear. When you finally come to sell the property, you can expect the marble fireplace to add value; going cheap with such a central part of the room in question is not likely to make potential buyers willing to accept a higher asking price.

How to Clean a Marble Fireplace

Marble fireplaces form stunning centrepieces in living rooms all across the country, but they need to be properly maintained if they are to remain in pristine condition. Marble might be a glorious material with which to work, but it is also quite porous, meaning that dust and other contaminants can easily dull its appearance over time. Since even a misplaced mug of coffee can leave a nasty ring, you need to know exactly how to keep your marble fireplace looking its best.

Step One: Use the Right Materials

The fact that marble is extremely porous means that it will also absorb any liquids that you use to clean it. Many people only discover that certain cleaning agents should be avoided when it is already too late, so make sure you know what’s what before starting.

Conventional cleaning products and harsh chemicals should be avoided; they will damage the appearance of the stone when absorbed to its core, and they could even cause cracking across the surface.

In particular, make sure you avoid:

  • Baking Soda: Too abrasive – it could ruin the finish.
  • White Vinegar: Too Acidic – it can leave etches across the surface.
  • Limescale Remover: Another acidic product.

You’ll also want to avoid using any abrasive brushes and cloths. You don’t want to ruin the finish or damage the underlying material, so use a soft micro-fibre cloth to remove surface dust and dirt.

Step Two: Employ the Right Method

Now that you understand which products to use and which to avoid, you’ll need to know how to go about cleaning your marble fireplace. To start with, dip your cloth into some distilled water; you can distil some yourself by boiling it and then allowing it to cool, though you can also pick up distilled water from the supermarket.

Next, lightly wipe your cloth along the surface of the fireplace, paying special attention to any areas that have been stained. If you find that the water has not been effective, try using a specialist marble cleaning product. Read the label to familiarise yourself with the process before getting started, and make sure you conduct a test run on one small, out-of-the-way area of the fireplace to make sure no damage or discolouration occurs.

 

Cleaning a marble fireplace isn’t as tough as it sounds. In fact, you’ll find it easy as long as you know which products to use and how to use them.

Fireplace Trends of 2016

Anyone looking to chart the design changes we’ve seen in 2016 would be remiss to miss out on the fireplace. Evolution is the keyword here – the fireplace has reinvented itself. Here’s how we’ve seen it changing.

Less is More

Fireplaces are still statement pieces for 2016, but that statement is whispered more than it is shouted. The modern fireplace has embraced a minimalist aesthetic, so these are no longer the ornate repositories of a myriad of photo frames and knick-knacks. Detailed carvings and dramatic designed choices have been slowly supplanted by monochromatic styling, usually in black, white, or a soft grey, to achieve a sophisticated appearance.

Divide and Conquer

The most eye-catching fireplaces of 2016 might be those that embrace minimalism, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t becoming focal points for each room. We’ve seen many designers bring the fireplace to the centre of a room, usually by removing the walls to either side. The fireplace becomes a central divide between two living spaces – everything else revolves around it.

Added Height or Length

It isn’t just the style of your fireplace that needs to change for 2016. In fact, we’re seeing a marked change in the very built of them. No longer restricted to the traditional designs, fireplaces are growing either longer or taller. Homeowners are opting for either a floor-to-ceiling design that adds height to the room and draws the eye upwards, or a longer, narrower fireplace to make a room seem larger.

New Materials

The evolution of the fireplace isn’t just a matter of style; we’re also seeing new materials coming forward to offer homeowners something out of the ordinary. Uncommon stone, for example, is becoming popular, while cutting-edge materials such as Dekton are also making inroads as the style-conscious turn away from the conventional.

Practical Touches

What with the favouring of new materials and less-is-more styling, the fireplace certainly seems to be losing its rustic edge and traditional appearance. Perhaps that’s why we’re seeing more and more people carving out a space to place an attractive pile of firewood, even when they don’t use a wood-burning fireplace. This acts as a nice counter to the modern styling, and the rich, earthy colours contrast with and bring out the simpler, cleaner colours used for the fireplace itself.