Cultured stone mantels are a great way to add richness and depth to any room that has a fireplace. The elegant look of carved stone provides an air of sophistication that is not found in any other medium. The ability to create custom designs and patterns allow a homeowner the privilege of displaying a truly unique work of art as part of the structural décor of their home.
There are several types of cultured stone mantels. The first is a production cast type mantel. While still elegant and beautiful, these are a production pieces and are not unique. They are sold through catalogues and you may find that someone else has a mantel that is identical to yours.
The second type is a custom cast. A custom cast mantel is one where an artist carves a mantel just for you and then that is used to create a mold. The mold is then used to cast your mantel.
If you want, the mold can then be broken to ensure that no one else will ever have the exact replica of the mantel that decorates your home.
The third type is a custom carved stone mantel. This is by far the most expensive. In this circumstance, an artisan begins with a piece of stone and carves it into exactly what you want. There will never be another like it.
Once you have your cultured stone mantel installed, you need to make sure that it is cared for properly. Mantels that are installed over active fireplaces can gather soot over time. It is important to clean this residue off on a regular basis so that it doesn’t become baked on.
You can use a fairly abrasive cleaner on cultured stone. The same products that you might use to remove stains from your bathroom sink will work well on your cultured stone mantel.
There are several advantages to using a cultured stone mantel instead of a wooden design. It requires a lot less maintenance. Wooden designs need to be sealed with either paint or varnish. If this process is ignored then the wood is likely to dry out and split.
You never have to worry about this with cultured stone. The most maintenance that you will ever have to do with cultured stone is regular dusting and cleaning.
There are a lot of options available now for fireplace mantels. Though they do run higher in price, it may be worth your while to consider a cultured stone mantel. The return on your investment will be seen as the value of your home increases. Adding fine finishing touches such as this will not only increase the value of your home in the eyes of appraisers, but in the eyes of your friends and family as well.