Create a Stunning Space With a Reclaimed Wood Fireplace

August 12, 2019


Whether it’s located in the living room, family room, or a bedroom, the fireplace is the focus of any room. Eyes are automatically drawn to this feature, making it a focal point of the home.

There are many pieces that make up a brick fireplace beyond the firebox itself. The hearth and mantel are two important pieces, but when it comes to the style of the space, and making the fireplace live up to the focus that it receives, it’s the surround that gets all the credit.

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The fireplace surround outlines the firebox and gives a substantial appearance to the area. It may terminate at the mantel or extend to the ceiling. Surrounds can be rustic or contemporary and they can be made of many different materials.

One material that can complement nearly any type of fireplace and home decor, making the area really stand out, is reclaimed wood. With a variety of colors and textures to choose from, along with the unique look that only reclaimed material can bring, a reclaimed wood fireplace mantel is the ideal material for creating an outstanding brick fireplace design.

About Reclaimed Wood

wood fire place surround

Reclaimed wood has been collected from old barns and industrial buildings more than 100 years old. Barn wood has been weathered, which develops a unique patina that can’t be found on newer fireplace materials. Depending on the type of reclaimed wood mantel you choose, it may have saw marks, nail holes, and other wear marks that give the barn wood a unique appearance.

Despite its age, reclaimed wood still has years of use left in it, especially for areas like fireplace surrounds, which see no foot traffic or daily wear. Just like newly cut wood, reclaimed wood can be installed in multiple patterns and positions around the fireplace to give the area a unique look that is sure to draw the eye. 

Why Use Reclaimed Wood on the Fireplace Surround

fireplace surround wood

The fireplace is the focal point of every room it’s installed in. This is true no matter its position in the room, whether you anchor a TV or place shelving above it, or whether there’s actually a fire in the firebox. People’s eyes naturally gravitate to this area of the room, so it’s a common aspect of interior design to place a focal point here that gives people something to look at and focus on, even when the fireplace isn’t in use.

There are a number of fireplace materials that can be used here, but a few of them have been used almost to the point of ubiquity. Meaning that stone fireplaces, for example, have been used so often that people have come to expect them, and their presence in this area does nothing to enhance the room.

Reclaimed wood is different. It has the same natural appeal and variation that stone does, but it’s less expected in this area. This gives the material a freshness that can be lacking in a lot of fireplace surrounds today. Reclaimed wood can accomplish many of the same goals, but with added interest. 

For example, fieldstone is popular for rustic homes. It has a lot of variations within the stones in terms of color, texture, and wear. Antique wood has all the same variation, including variations in color and patina, grain texture, and wear marks. But wood also adds interest with its past history and use. It may have nail holes or saw marks that show its previous life, making it the area more interesting.

At the same time, solid wood has a richness and warmth to it that’s lacking in other materials. Stone is hard, cold, and heavy. And while it can produce a substantial look that can work well for fireplace surrounds, this look doesn’t always work well with the rest of the interior. Wood blends well with nearly any style or design. It works well in contemporary settings or rustic ones, and reclaimed wood can be cut, shaped, and milled to match a variety of styles as well. So, even if you have a contemporary home and are looking for a fireplace surround to match, you can still achieve your goals with the use of reclaimed wood panels.

wooden fireplace surround

Reclaimed wood installs just like other wood materials. It can be used to create a bump out surround or to create an accent wall covering the entirety of the area around the firebox. Whatever your personal style, it’s possible to find a reclaimed wood species and style that can easily complement it.

Picking Out a Reclaimed Wood Fireplace Mantel

Reclaimed fireplace mantels and shelves can make a bold statement and become the centerpiece of any room. When thinking about buying a reclaimed wooden fireplace mantel or shelf there are a few things to consider, from choosing the appropriate style and size to the installation process. ​​Reclaimed wood beams come in all shapes and sizes and it is important to choose with scale in mind while planning the fireplace makeover.

Reclaimed Rough Sawn Fireplace Mantel

Rough sawn beams feature a more clean cut design over some other beam options. The beams have a smoother, more refined finish that can fit in with a variety of home decor settings. A rough sawn beam has a distinct look and feel that highlights its rich history and past life. Antique rough sawn beams were used as the support structure of old barns from as far back as the mid 1800s. The wood beams get their distinct look and texture from the original milling process that utilized a large circular saw blade to size up each beam. When it comes to color, the beam can be left unfinished to show off its natural aged brown patina or a pigmented wax can be applied to add a darker color and luster. Typically, the fresh cut ends of the rustic wood mantel can be lightly distressed to hide the lighter color of the fresh cut.

Hand Hewn Fireplace Mantel 

A hand hewn timber is just that, a log made square by hand and it has a texture to prove it. Every side of the beam displays distinct marks that remain from the broad ax that was used to create its shape over a century ago. After the beam was the correct size, it was used as the frame for barns and homes. Today these beams are prized for their unique one of a kind look and rustic charm. A hand hewn fireplace mantel can be installed unfinished to show off its natural aged beauty or a pigmented wax can be applied to achieve a finished look in a darker tone. Just like on rough sawn mantels, the fresh cut ends of the barn beam mantel can be lightly distressed to hide the lighter color of the fresh cut.

Rustic Faux Wood Mantel

For homeowners that can’t install a solid wood beam as a rustic fireplace mantel (or simply don’t want to) a faux wood beam is a lighter fireplace material option. There are many benefits to using faux wood beams that go beyond just needing a lighter material due to the interior design. These beams are still made from real, reclaimed wood but are hollow, which makes them a better option for some remodel projects. 

Take Your Fireplace Style to the Next Level

Reclaimed wood can give your fireplace the natural appearance and style that many people crave for their homes. It can also bring the warmth and richness that only wood contributes to a room, while also bringing history and character to the space. Consider installing a reclaimed wood fireplace surround to make the most of this prominent feature in your home. Our team of experts are here to help support you and your fireplace makeover! We can provide advice and expertise from years of experience in the reclaimed wood industry. Contact us to learn more about choosing the right rustic wood mantel to make your living room ideas or diy fireplace surround come to life. After the wood mantel is carefully cut to size, it gets packed up and well protected so that it can be shipped via ground and delivered to your front porch. Once your beam arrives, there are a variety of mounting methods that can be done to safely secure your fireplace mantel into its new home. Matching corbels are also available rather than having a floating shelf design. 

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