Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Deciding on a color scheme can be confusing sometimes. Do you want to add a mantle to your existing fireplace but don't know whether it needs to match? Well, we've done plenty of research and have the answer waiting here for you. Let's get into it.
Although you don't necessarily need to match the mantel of a fireplace to the trim, your colors should be cohesive. In general, it's best to try and keep your mantel and trim similar in hue, but it's also fine to go with something neutral or even try matching your mantel and flooring, so there isn't one way to accomplish this.
That said, everyone's taste is different, so if you prefer a stand-out mantel design that doesn't match the trim or floors in your house, that's also fine too.
As we begin, we will cover all things fireplace mantels and discuss how to choose the right color for your space. Whether you prefer something neutral or want to grab guests' attention, we're here to offer some help. With that said, let's dive right into this post!
What Color Should A Fireplace Mantel Be?
In general, it's better to keep a fireplace mantel neutral, or at least softer and less distracting in color. As we mentioned above, a good place to match your mantel is the floor or trim in your home, which will help tie everything together.
On top of that, you can also try finding a color in your existing fireplace to match the mantel, so there are plenty of ways to do this.
Should The Fireplace And Mantel Match?
If you prefer a matching fireplace and mantel, we think that's a great idea. Following a more unified theme, choosing to incorporate similar colors for your mantel and fireplace can turn out very nice when everything's complete.
Especially for brick fireplaces, having your mantel be the same or even painting it red could be an easy way to tie the entire area together. Again, this comes down to your space and needs, so as long as your mantel matches something, it should look amazing.
Should The Fireplace Mantel Be The Same Color As The Walls?
Although you don't need to do this, matching your fireplace's mantel to the walls is great for bringing a room together.
It's also worth mentioning that having a mantel match the walls can help camouflage it into a space, so if you don't necessarily want to notice your mantel, try using a similar paint to your walls.
What Finish Should You Paint A Fireplace Mantel?
In general, it's best to use acrylic paint with a satin or eggshell finish for a fireplace mantel. Considering your mantel will attract debris from the fireplace, it's vital to find paint that is easy to clean.
On top of that, you might even want to opt for a semi or high gloss paint if you plan to wipe down your mantel often, so the more shine, the better.
Furthermore, glossier finishes tend to wear down slower than matte formulas, especially when working near the fireplace.
Majic Paints Diamond Hard Acrylic Enamel High Gloss Paint
This interior paint has an acrylic enamel formula, high gloss finish, works on metal, wood, masonry, and brick, and comes in various colors/sizes.
How Do I Choose A Fireplace Mantel?
There are a few things to consider for those deciding on a mantel for their fireplace. These typically include:
- The size of a mantel (length, width, depth)
- A mantel's face height
- The design/style of a mantel
It's also super important to find a sturdy mantel to hold the decor you want to place on top of it, so we recommend choosing a brick, wood, or even masonry option.
How Big Of A Fireplace Mantel Do I Need?
Most times, the mantel on a fireplace should extend a minimum of three inches past the firebox on either side, so that's a good starting measurement. That said, if you have enough space for six inches on either side of your fireplace's firebox, we would recommend going a bit longer, although this is entirely up to you.
Regardless of the size of a fireplace, it's a good idea to make sure your mantel is big enough to hold items and protect anything above from heat or ash damage, so as long as it extends across the entire fireplace, you shouldn't have any issues.
How Much Does A Fireplace Mantel Cost?
Typically, you can expect to spend anywhere from $300 to over $5,000 on a mantel, depending on its design. The material can also make a huge impact on how expensive a mantel is, so expect a higher price tag for stone and natural wood options.
On top of that, the time it takes to build a fireplace mantel can also affect its total cost, so you might want to consider a pre-made option instead of going the custom route.
Again, everyone will be different depending on location and current market pricing but expect to spend at least $300 to purchase a new mantel.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Mantel?
You can usually expect the installation costs for a mantel to be between $597 and $831. Like we said above, pricing can vary depending on the complexity of a job and the material you use for your mantel, so you may end up spending much less or a bit more than this estimate.
That said, your fireplace can also play a role in the cost of mantel installation, so if you're working with stone versus drywall, you can expect to spend more money.
How Much Weight Can An Average Mantel Hold?
Generally, the average 60-inch fireplace mantle should hold around 150 pounds. If your mantle measures closer to 72 inches, it will be able to hold up to 180 pounds, so this is a considerable amount of weight.
With that said, not all mantels are made the same way, so we recommend checking your product's instructions before placing anything heavy on top of it. Again, a stone/brick mantel will most likely be able to hold heavier items than a wood or faux wood pre-made design, so everyone will be different.
Can You Put A TV On A Mantel?
For anyone wanting to put their TV on top of the mantel, this can depend on how your fireplace operates. Considering that most average-sized mantels can hold between 150-180 pounds, a TV should be safe to set on top of your structure, as long as it is far enough from extreme heat.
Typically, electric fireplaces are the safest option for overhead TVs, while gas and wood-burning fireplaces tend to release too much heat, so this idea won't work for everybody.
Again, if your mantel is deep enough and isn't too close to the opening of your gas/wood fireplace, you might be able to get away with putting your television on it, but in general, we don't think it's a safe idea.
How Far Should A Mantel Be From A Fireplace?
You want to try and have your mantel be at least 12 inches away from the top of your fireplace. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), giving your mantel about a foot of space from the top of the firebox will allow anything on it to be safe from melting and heat damage, including TVs and decor.
You can also try leaving even more space between your mantel and fireplace opening, so if you have room, 18 inches may be a better plan.
Again, this can vary depending on what you want to keep on top of your mantel and whether your fireplace is electric, gas, or wood-burning, but try to have at least a 12-inch gap regardless.
Does A Fireplace Need A Mantel?
Although they add a significant amount of aesthetics to a fireplace, a mantel isn't technically required. A fireplace will generally have a mantel if there is a TV or art/decor above it, so this works more like a barrier for special items and electronics.
Of course, a mantel can also be a decorative feature on your fireplace that speaks for itself, so again, it is more cosmetic than structural.
That said, if you plan on having a TV or even a photo hang above your fireplace and don't want the heat to damage it, we do think adding a mantel is needed.
To Wrap It All Up
Whether you want to add a mantel to your fireplace or update your current one, it's always good to figure out a color scheme. From what we found, the fireplace mantel doesn't necessarily need to match the trim in your home, although this will make choosing its color much easier.
You can also try matching a mantel to your flooring or walls if the trim isn't a color you're in love with, so there are many ways to do this. On top of that, a fireplace mantel can be a bright, new color in your space if you prefer that design, so the options are endless.
Regardless of your fireplace's aesthetic, make sure to find a sturdy mantel that fits your space, and don't be afraid to check out a pre-made option to save some money.
Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related HVAC posts down below!