Winter is around the corner, and who wouldn’t want a fireplace mantel at their home? Waking up to a cozy winter morning with the fireplace mantel lit is just the perfect way to kick start a chilly winter day!
Now, if you are confused about what a fireplace mantel is, here you go! Fireplace mantel basically originates from medieval times and forms a hood on top of a fire grate that helps ignite smoke. Also called mantelpiece and chimneypiece. It comes in many designs and is very easily available at any home decor or furniture store.
However, a question always comes up while installing a fireplace: What should the fireplace mantel height be? This article is going to take you through a lot of questions that surround the fireplace mantel height, certain myths and understanding about it, as well as things you should keep in mind while installing one.
Why Should You Not Avoid Fireplace Mantel?
Besides making your home aesthetic visually pleasing and taking you back to the Victorian period, a fireplace mantel is something you should not go without.
- Mantel serves as a protector and a hood that captures the smoke that rises above the fire grate.
- Mantel is essential to keep the smoke within the fireplace and helps retain heat. Therefore, it is essential for your safety and should not be avoided!
- It is definitely cost-effective because you do not need any extra heating during winter. So there is no need to spend on electric heaters. Have a bonfire night already?
- During summer also, you could use the fireplace for cooking! Yes, you read that right. Cook your meat perfectly in the fireplace.
Does Fireplace Mantel Height Really Matter?
Even though there is a lot of discussion about fireplace mantel height, it really does not have a standard size. There is no rule as such about the same; it completely depends on your requirements. However, you must keep some things in mind while getting a fireplace mantel made. You need to think about the room size because if your room is large, you can still have a fireplace mantel height higher. However, if it’s the contrary, you might not get enough space for the fireplace mantel. The same thing goes for the height of the room and how high your ceiling is. In case your ceiling height is short, you will be bound to keep your fireplace mantel height lower.
There are two more criteria that you need to take into consideration, but these are completely subjective and depend on person to person. First is your personal preference, and the other has to be budgeted. Your fireplace mantel height depends on these two largely.
However, if you want to know the average height of a fireplace mantel, read further:
Average Fireplace Mantel Height
- From the floor, the fireplace mantel height should be 4-6 ft. As mentioned earlier, for a larger room with a ceiling at a good height, you may opt for a fireplace mantel at 6 ft. However, if you have a smaller room, keeping everything accordingly seems proportionate and pleasing to the eye.
- The idea behind choosing height according to the ceiling is that even after installing a fireplace mantel, you must have enough space left on the wall, or else your room will likely look tiny.
- Even though the average height is suggested as 4.5 ft or 52 inches from the floor, there is no predominant rule. You may change the height slightly to fit your preferences and desires. We suggested 4.5 ft or 52 inches, considering the average height of the ceiling that stands at 9 feet.
- Ideally, if you place your fireplace mantel height at 4.5 ft, you will have another 4.5 ft left on the wall before the ceiling. The other half can easily fit any piece of wall art, decor, or even your television.
- It’s necessary for you to plan out the entire look before you decide on the fireplace mantel height.
Thickness of The Mantel
Depending upon the type of material you want your fireplace mantel to be, the thickness of the mantel can be anywhere between 3-7 inches. For instance, thick wood planks should have a minimum of 5-7 inches thickness, whereas for thinner planks and material, a good 3 to 4-inch thickness is enough.
Installing and Mounting
- Thinking about how you want to install it, where you want to mount it, and are going to keep some space for a tv set is also very crucial while planning on the fireplace mantel height.
- Most people place their fireplace mantel in living rooms, and trust us; it’s the ideal place. However, some people also prefer to have a fireplace mantel in their bedroom. The reason why we say you should place the fireplace mantel in your living room is because you have good space there, and thus, you can do so much with it. Have a bigger fireplace and experiment with the material on the mantel, which would otherwise not have been possible because of limited space in the bedroom.
- For instance, if you want to place particular wall art, then you need to think about the breadth of the fireplace mantel accordingly. Similarly, if you plan to take a bigger couch, you must ensure that the fireplace is big enough to warm those seated on the huge couch. The little nitty gritty affects a lot in the long run, and it’s definitely better to be cautious while making decisions because you would not want to overspend.
- A little detail: When you are installing a television over the fireplace mantel, experts recommend that the television should be placed at least 4 inches above the mantel. That’s the minimum. However, you should maintain a good 12 inches distance between the television set and the mantel. Just in case your mantel is shorter than the average, which is 4.5 ft above the floor, then your tv should be 12 inches above the mantel for it to get enough clearance space from the fireplace.
- So, you see, installing and mounting a fireplace mantel is no rocket science; it’s just basic planning and a little bit of calculation. Not to forget, all the information is probably enough for you to know that there is no rule book to abide by while deciding on the fireplace mantel height.
Our Favorite Material for The Mantel
The main agenda behind getting a fireplace is to keep your home warm during the chilly winters. What’s the point in spending a lot and not even catering to the primary purpose? We highly recommend you opt for a mantel made up of stone. Stone will help retain heat around the fireplace, keeping the area warm and cozy!
- Amongst the various mantel materials, the most commonly used are wood, brick, stone, glass, and concrete.
- Always remember the prime reason for putting up the mantel in the first place. It’s for the fireplace to retain heat and keep the area warm. Therefore, you need to choose materials that can absorb heat and not radiate it.
- Basically, the wall around the fireplace should not overheat.
- Some very crucial things to remember include that the material should be fireproof; for that matter, everything around the fireplace should be non-flammable.
- Be very careful while painting or fixing your mantel.
- You should be extra cautious while choosing products, it should all be fireproof.
Fireplace mantel obviously deals with fire, and there are some pointers that you must remember for your safety. Here it goes:
- Mantel requires it to be away from the opening of the firebox because it can catch flame and be dangerous.
- There must be a 12-inch gap between the firebox and the mantel. The National Fire Agency guides you the same on the fireplace mantel height. We suggest you not to take this lightly, as it is important for your safety.
- Take the National Fire Agency rules and codes into priority. Going through the rules is ideal.
- You do not want to end up damaging your television placed above the mantel, right? To ensure this, you need to place your television at least 6 to 12 inches above the mantel. Also, make sure that the television is angled downwards. This helps in the proper viewing of the screen.
- A mantel should always be longer than the fireplace opening. Therefore, you must calculate the dimensions beforehand.
- The mantel should not be so huge that it starts to dominate and dwarf the entire fireplace.
Have A Bonfire Night Already!
With all the information given above, it’s definitely going to be easier for you to mount a fireplace mantel. By now, it must have been pretty much clear that there is no stone rule that you have to keep the fireplace mantel height at a particular level. Choose what suits you best, provided you follow the guidelines of the National Fire Agency and you are cautious about the whole setup!
Chalk out the entire plan and visualize how you want your fireplace mantel to look; take dimensions, choose a nonflammable and fireproof material, and ensure that you have a 12-inch gap between the mantel and the fireplace!
That’s all; now it completely depends on you if you want to have a floor-to-ceiling level height of the mantel!
With a Master in Architectural Studies from University of Pennysylvania, Marwa Haydar has pioneered living spaces since 2005. Her expertise, initially honed in a prestigious architectural firm, is evident in her approach to creating environments. Marwa became part of our team in 2019 and has since been a driving force in our home improvement section, known for her practical yet stylish solutions. She’s been spearheading our design workshops since then, infusing her passion for teaching into her work. In her leisure time, Marwa enjoys exploring historic architecture and is an enthusiastic pottery hobbyist, further enriching her understanding of form and texture.