If you are lucky enough to buy a house with a marble fireplace, celebrate your good fortune. In truth, a fireplace is a cozy addition to any space, making it worthy of a snuggle and a cup of tea.
However, marble fireplaces are a step above regular brick fireplaces. These fireplaces are elegant but down-to-earth and work well in traditional as well as contemporary spaces. Marble fireplaces come in many colors with many styles of surround designs.
Marble Fireplace: Pros and Cons
A marble fireplace is a beautiful addition to any room. However, this natural stone fireplace material is not suitable for every situation and person.
- Style – A marble fireplace adds chic style and class wherever it is. In addition, marble goes with a range of design styles from contemporary to historic rooms.
- Durability – Marble is a durable material that will last. Also, this stone is heat resistant, so you do not have to worry that stray embers will catch the marble surround on fire.
- Cleaning – Marble is a smooth surface that is easy to wipe down and keep clean. Nonetheless, like all fireplace surrounds, it can become stained due to exposure to soot over time. Most of the time, you can clean the soot stains with more intensive cleaning.
- Cost – Marble is a more expensive material than other options like brick for marble surrounds. This is true for the facing but also for the hearth material.
- Long-term care – Marble is a porous stone. In order to make sure that marble looks its best from year to year, it must be sealed on a regular basis.
- Maintenance – If not sealed or it treated in a rough way, marble will scratch and stain.
Marble Fireplace Inspiration
A marble fireplace surround is valued by many for its beauty and durability. We have gathered some ideas featuring the ways that others have used this beautiful natural stone to elevate the look of their interior spaces.
White Marble Fireplace
Marble is a luxurious natural stone, but it has a look of simplicity that belies its elegance. Yet, this simple style is one of its great benefits as it can be used in a variety of settings and styles.
This fireplace uses white marble surround with a white mantle design. The builders extended the paneling of the mantle up to the ceiling to give the room a more custom look.
The paneling provides visual texture without any color contrast to extend the neutral tones of the marble and keep the style clean and uncluttered.
Modern Marble Fireplace
The marble fireplace surround has a more sleek contemporary style than historic marble fireplaces. This surround features honed Breccia Marrone Marble. Honed marble, rather than polished, creates a more natural texture and is more resistant to water etching than a polished finish.
If you are decorating in a contemporary or modern style, creating a fireplace with a marble surround but not covered with a fireplace mantel, make the style more sleek.
Ornate Marble Fireplaces
Many historic homes have hand carved marble fireplace surrounds that feature ornate patterns. These elegant marble surrounds work with a variety of styles.
If you want to pair this mantel with a contemporary or modern design, minimize the superfluous detail around the mantel. Paint the walls a shade that contrasts with the mantel and add a piece of striking contemporary wall art.
Of course, this ornate fireplace would also complement any traditional style decor.
Black Marble Fireplace
This black marble fireplace mantel has the clean lines of the contemporary or modern style. The stunning black marble has a delicate white veining that gives the mantel a visual texture that is sophisticated and elegant. The designers have created a distinct contrast that creates a dramatic focal point for the wall. The wall art above the black marble highlights the contemporary style of the room.
Calacatta Marble Fireplace
If you aren’t interested in the more traditional marbles like Carrara or Nero, opt for a dramatic marble-like Calacatta. This designer installed a Calacatta Luxe fireplace with no mantel to interrupt the flow of the slab.
This beautiful high contrast marble has a distinct veining of gold, brown, and gray. The raised honed gray hearth area complements the lighter tones of the gray in the marble.
Herringbone Marble Tile Fireplace
If you are remodeling your fireplace and want to use marble for the surround or the mantel, marble tiles are surprisingly affordable. This homeowner uses a herringbone tile with a white wooden mantle.
Tile works well for remodeling as you can choose custom sizes that work with your existing fireplace mantel.
Herringbone tiles have an intricate design and the tiles have soft variegated colors that create a pleasing visual texture.
Contrasting Marble Fireplace
If high contrast is your style, try a mantel painted in a strong color with a contrasting marble fireplace. This is a great look for a home if you want to emphasize the area of your wall with the fireplace. It is also a great idea if you want to create a natural focal point for the room.
Marble Fireplace Wall
One of the most dramatic ways to use marble as a focal point is to allow it to speak for itself. This room has a simple architectural style with large windows to bring in ample natural light.
This dark marble overwhelms the room with its natural beauty. Still, because the designer has kept the style of the furniture and decor minimal, there is perfect balance.
Carrara Marble Fireplace
Carrara marble fireplace mantels are one of the most classic marble mantel designs. This Carrara mantel has a new twist on the historic style. This mantel does not create contrast as others do in contemporary settings. Rather, it blends with its surroundings. The simple, clean shape is unadorned save for the simple dental pattern at the top of the firebox.
Green Marble Fireplace
Green marble mantels are not the most common choice for modern homes, but green marble is beautiful in the right setting. In this historic home, it looks right at home. The designer has decided to play up the green tones rather than hide them by accenting the room with multiple shades of green throughout.
Pink Marble Fireplace
Pink marble has come into its own in recent years. It has a compelling color that is surprising in its versatility. Pair it with modern or traditional styles and it will work in any context. We love how this designer has leaned into the pink by painting the walls a shade of pink that is just a shade darker than the mantel.
The home decorating styles that work with marble are many. Consider this black marble surround in this eclectic room. The ornate black fireplace mantel and marble surround emphasize the wall art above and together create a focal point for the room.
Contemporary Marble Fireplace Slab
Marble fireplaces work well in coastal and transitional styles too. Consider this white marble with soft brown and gray veining. The slab runs up to the ceiling with a contemporary style fireplace. This minimal style blends with the understated styling throughout the room.
Faux Marble Fireplace
If you feel like a marble fireplace is out of your range right now, consider creating a faux marble look for your current fireplace. You can do this by combining white, cream, and gray paint and creating a marbled effect. This project won’t break the bank, but it looks fantastic.
Simple White Marble Fireplace
And so we end where we began, with a simple white marble fireplace. Is there anything as elegant as this look? This simple mantel does not need more ornamentation. Rather, the textures in the marble are more than enough to create a look that is fit for any room.
Cleaning a Marble Fireplace
While marble is a smooth surface that is easy to wipe down, over time, it can accumulate a blackish soot staining that needs to be cleaned. If you are just doing routine cleaning of your marble fireplace, you can clean with warm water and some mild detergent that is non-acidic or for cleaning marble surfaces.
If your marble is stained with smoke, you have a few options to try. Begin by using a homemade solution of three parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide.
Scrub with a soft bristled brush to remove the staining. Rinse with distilled water. If this doesn’t work, you can try to break up the stain with some mineral spirits.
Last, you can try Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) which is powder that you mix into water. Mix 1/4 cup TSP to one gallon of water.
Use gloves and wash down the marble with the solution.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Is marble a good choice for a fireplace?Marble is a good choice for fireplace surrounds or mantels for some people and in certain situations. It has an elegance that is hard to match with other materials. It is also durable and easy to clean, but it is an expensive material as well as requiring some maintenance in order to look attractive for many years.
How do you maintain a marble fireplace?
You need to make sure that you seal a marble fireplace on a regular basis as well as clean it so that it stays free from soot staining. In addition, make sure that you don’t place items that will scratch the hearth as it is a stone that scratches.
Does a marble fireplace need to be sealed?
Yes, marble is a porous stone. It needs to be sealed on a regular basis in order for it to maintain a strong barrier between it and things that would scratch or stain it.
Why is marble used for fireplaces?
In historic times, marble was used because it was durable, beautiful, and a mark of wealth. Now, marble fireplaces are still popular. Marble has such appeal today because there are many different types of marbles from around the world. These marbles have striking character and color that look great around fireplaces.
Is a marble fireplace timeless?
Yes, marble has a timeless style that looks great in any era.
What happens to marble in a fire?
A natural stone like marble is not considered combustible. Marble is heat resistant, so this is why people have used and continue to use marble around fireplaces. Yet, marble is not as fire resistant as granite. If the fire is hot enough, the marble will change color and become damaged.
Stone Fireplace: Conclusion
Marble is a timeless material that has been used in fireplace design in the past and still remains popular today. It has wonderful benefits that make it popular including its durability, its beauty, and its adaptability to different design styles.
Depending on the style you want to create, it is worth considering this beautiful natural stone for your fireplace to bring just a bit more elegance into your everyday life.