Right about now, you might be wanting to renovate your fireplace or build one from scratch. After all, it’s starting to get closer to that perfect Autumn weather. What materials should you use, though?
There are so many different materials that have been used for years to build extravagant fireplaces, but one tends to stand out above the rest for its natural beauty and low maintenance requirements. That’s natural stone.
Natural stone doesn’t just give you something mesmerizing to stare at as you warm yourself by the fire. It outlasts the competition, and it makes the most out of the fire you build.
See, natural stone materials retain heat better than just about anything else, and they’re unlikely to need any serious maintenance for decades. In the following sections, we’ll go over the benefits of stone fireplaces in detail.
It’s A Low-Maintenance Material That Lasts
Most natural stones can be cleaned by simply wiping them down. You don’t have to pull out any complicated cleaning tools or chemicals. Warm water and a washcloth will do just fine for removing soot and burn marks.
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, but most stone fireplaces don’t even need to be sealed. That will help you save a few bucks up front, and it’ll keep you from having to reseal them regularly like you have to with bricks or other materials.
Some of the more porous stones do require a little more maintenance, though. Marble is the one you want to look out for the most. Its pores are rather large, and you’ll have to seal them once a year or so to keep them from getting filled with soot.
Finally, the stones will most likely outlast you. With brick and other materials, cracks and other forms of damage can occur if your fireplace gets too hot, and one unintentional knock, while you’re moving a couch, can send a chunk of it flying.
That’s not the case with natural stone fireplaces. They tend to be nearly indestructible unless you’re intentionally trying to demolish them, and even then, it’s hard to take them down. This ensures that your fireplace will look beautiful and pristine 100 years from now.
It Resists Mold and Water
If you live in any area that is prone to receiving a lot of rain or flooding, you have probably experienced what it’s like to deal with water damage. Fireplaces aren’t cheap. So, it’s a good idea to have one that resists water as much as possible.
That’s another reason that stones are good fireplace materials. In nature, it takes thousands of years for water to break down rocks. Natural stones are unlikely to be affected by any sort of water damage that occurs in an average home. Sure, your carpets and walls might get ruined, but your fireplace will stand tall and proud through it all.
Since stones don’t absorb water, it’s also extremely unlikely that they’ll develop mold problems. If you have mold in the walls around your fireplace, it can creep out onto the fireplace a little bit, but it won’t damage it, and it won’t originate from your fireplace. That resistance to mold is great for health reasons and the longevity of the fireplace.
It Retains Heat
This is probably the most useful benefit of a stone fireplace. Have you ever lit your fireplace, and then it lost all of its heat shortly after the fire went out? That can increase the cost of your heating bill, or it can force you to buy more firewood to light. Either way, it increases your expenses.
Luckily, stone retains a phenomenal amount of heat, and it slowly releases it throughout your home. This ensures that your home will stay heated long after you’ve burned through your firewood, and you can keep your heater off for a much longer period of time. That level of efficiency lowers your heating bills, and you don’t have to constantly burn your fireplace.
A Variety of Options
There aren’t just a handful of options when you work with stone. You’ll find that just about any type of stone will work extremely well for your fireplace.
You won’t have to dig through mountains of catalogs to find the right one for you. However, It’s best to stick to the most commonly used stones.
Limestone is great if you want your fireplace to slowly radiate heat, and it ages in a very sophisticated manner. So, it’ll constantly get better as you continue to use it.
Granite is a great option if you want the fireplace equivalent of a tank. You won’t have to worry about it breaking.
Soapstone is another great option if you want your fireplace to keep heating your home after it’s burnt out. It doesn’t age the same way as limestone, but it behaves in an almost identical way.
Marble and quartz are what you want to use if you want to add a sophisticated vibe to your living room. They can be polished, or they can be left in their natural state, and both varieties look like they belong in the fanciest of homes.
Natural stone is only slightly more expensive than brick and other cheap materials, but it will outlive you, and it will perform much more effectively than other materials. Next time you think about rebuilding your old fireplace, take the time to consider one of the many variants of stone as your building material of choice.