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4 Benefits of a Natural Stone Fireplace Surround

A fireplace
Homeowners often choose to have a fireplace included in their remodel or new-build plans because it serves as both a design and gathering focal point. When you go to choose the material for the surround, you can pick from options such as stucco, tile, and concrete. However, one of the most popular options is a natural stone surround.

With a natural stone surround, the contractors actually apply a veneer. They spread a layer of concrete and press thinly-sliced stones into the concrete. They can mortar it or leave it natural. In this way, they simulate the look of a mason-built fireplace without the material investment. Below are some reasons you should consider such a surround.

1. Beauty 

Perhaps the main reason stone is so popular as a finishing material is its natural beauty. While just a plain rock may not present its beauty to you, fabricators start out with some of the prettiest base materials, leaving the plain rocks for foundation projects. They then cut or otherwise finish the stone to best showcase its color and patterning for projects such as your fireplace surround.

Along those lines, natural stone offers a unique façade. The material goes through a different process of formation depending on what kind of stone it is. However, stone is still formed of different minerals that give the material its own variegations in color. For example, layers of minerals and impurities are what form the characteristic veining in marble.

2. Durability 

The other main reason natural stone is such a popular building material is its durability. Nature has come up with very few things harder than natural stone, and humans haven't developed much more. This strength is the reason manufacturers include stone in so many foundation materials, such as concrete and asphalt.

Particular to your fireplace surround, though, the durability of natural stone means you won't have big repairs in the near future. In fact, natural stone can take quite a few hard knocks and not chip or break. So, if you're planning a wood-burning fireplace, you don't have to be gentle when feeding the fire box. Likewise, you'll have little maintenance through the years to maintain the surround.

3. Design Adaptability 

Builders use many different stones for fireplace surrounds, including soapstone, quartz, marble, and granite. When you think of such stones, you can come up with an almost infinite variety of images. Because stone showcases such unique façades, it offers a plethora of design options.

For example, many people imagine a fireplace made of stacked stones, probably without mortar. Such a surround presents a rustic, homey appeal. By contrast, imagine a slab of sleek, charcoal granite. Contractors can use this slab to make a modern fireplace that almost resembles a work of abstract art.

The stones used for fireplace surrounds often feature variegated color and patterning. The color options range from cool grays to warm yellows and reds. You can use these color variations as a palette for the rest of your room or choose hues that specifically complement your décor. The appearance of the surround also changes depending on the laying pattern used.

4. Home Value

When you put all of the above together, you understand some of the reasons natural stone is considered a premium material. When potential home buyers see natural stone used in any finishing project, such as a fireplace surround, they mentally add value to the home. Even if selling your home isn't in the immediate future, you can make the same impression on visitors.

That said, natural stone also carries a generational appeal. Long ago, before the prevalence of manufactured materials such as steel and concrete, builders used stone as one of the primary materials. Therefore, stone often creates a homey appeal.

Take advantage of the benefits of natural stone by choosing it for your fireplace surround. Let Natural Stoneworks, LLC, provide the stone and masonry services for your home improvement or new-build project.