There are two main aspects of fireplace design. The first aspect is about function. Your firebox, the hidden shelf above the firebox, and the flue must be installed properly to avoid smoke blowing into the house.

The second aspect of fireplace design is face value. How does the fireplace look to you and others who come into your home?

For the aesthetic component of fireplace design, you’ll be looking primarily at three parts of your fireplace: the mantle, surround, and hearth. The mantle is like a shelf above your fireplace. The surround is the area around the outside of your firebox. Finally, the hearth is the floor that extends in front of the firebox.

A fireplace symbolizes warmth and comfort. The centerpiece of any room, it should complement the space as well as the rest of your home. 


If you’re thinking about having a new fireplace installed, or you just want to revamp an existing fireplace, here are some of the materials you can use to make it a true focal point of your home.


Steel is one of the most popular fireplace surrounds. It comes in various finishes to suit different interiors. Steel gives a modern, industrial look to a room.


Sleek and sophisticated, marble comes in white, mid-tone, and dark shades. It’s versatile; you see it on floors, countertops, and backsplashes as well as fireplaces, and it has made a comeback in recent years. Marble is a bit more expensive than other materials, such as granite.


Brick is a more traditional material, but it can be used in modern settings for a stylish look. It is versatile, available in several colors, and you can mix colors and different elements for accenting. You can even brick the whole wall if you so choose for a warm, appealing feel.


Stone is certainly the most traditional material you can use. Stones will heat up with the fire and keep the room warm longer. You can use a stone veneer to save yourself labor and time.

Ceramic Tiles

Tiles add a beautiful, distinctive look to your fireplace. They’re easy to clean and can be found in a variety of colors, styles, and patterns. Installing them can be a do-it-yourself project.


Granite is one of the most cost-effective materials you can buy and comes in many different shades and colors. It is often used on countertops.


Wood is probably a less common material for fireplace surrounds, although you will often see wood mantels. Still, you can use reclaimed wood for a farmhouse look or driftwood for a maritime theme.


Concrete is durable and relatively inexpensive. It comes in a wide variety of colors and textures. Use concrete for a contemporary, industrial look.

Before beginning any project, you should consult your town office or city hall for building codes that may prohibit the use of certain materials. Some building codes, for example, only allow brick or stone fireplaces.

If you don’t already have a fireplace, enlist the help of a professional to have one installed. Fireplace installation is not a DIY project. One small mistake could lead to disaster down the road. When it comes to fire, it’s always best to consult an expert.

Call Brick + Ember Outfitters of Indiana at 317-500-1250 to help you design and install your fireplace. We have years of experience and are happy to answer all of your questions about fireplace installation and design. Call us or make an appointment on our website today.