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Wood Mantels & Floating Shelves

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Wood Mantels

Placing a mantel above a fireplace or as a floating shelf creates a beautiful focal point in a living space. For this reason, many homeowners choose to transform the interior of their home with a mantel. A fireplace mantel is simple to install and can enhance your room in several ways.

Benefits of Fireplace Mantels

  • Changes the look of your whole room
  • Protects the wall and television
  • Provides added shelf space
  • Display artwork and decor

Rustica provides a quality selection of hand carved fireplace mantels and floating mantel shelves that can be used throughout the layout of your home. Each mantel is designed with the utmost care to ensure that the final product is a quality piece carefully customized to your design.

A Mantel Changes the Look of your Whole Room

There is a wide variety of design ideas a homeowner can rely on to change a home’s style. Some remodelers replace dated windows for a set of French doors, while others choose to add a rustic or modern touch to a living space by installing ​barn doors​ or ​pocket doors​ with decorative ​sliding door hardware​. Rustica’s handcrafted mantels offer additional interior design inspiration for homeowners who are interested in updating a room but may not want to undergo a major renovation. These mantels fit easily and securely into any wall or neatly above your fireplace, often matched with surrounds (the decorative piece that surrounds your fireplace on either side) that complement your design.

A mantel helps shape your home’s decor. You might already have a charming fireplace in your living room or a newly painted wall in your dining area that you know has the potential of making a statement. Adding a fireplace mantel or a floating mantel shelf naturally draws the eye to that section of the room, highlighting those features that previously remained unnoticed. Suddenly, the handcrafted feeling of your ceiling’s exposed beams continues to flow into the rest of your room, moving down the walls as the eye meets a decorative, unfinished wooden mantel shelf.

Or, imagine an electric fireplace that is proportionally too small for a larger-sized living area. Adding an elegant marble mantel piece and surround taps into the potential of the fireplace opening, making it the first thing you’ll notice when entering the space.

A Mantel Protects the Wall

A mantel piece provides functional detail. Originally, fireplace mantels were designed to prevent smoke from flowing out and upwards into the room, which could stain the walls and create a health hazard. During medieval times, homeowners began installing hoods over their fireplace in order to send the smoke back down into the firebox and up through the chimney. Eventually, these hoods developed into what we know to be the modern mantelpiece. Mantels are now standard over traditional fireplaces and as decoration over an electric or gas fireplace that doesn’t emit smoke. Additionally, homeowners who place TVs over their fireplace should also install a mantel in order to prevent their electronics from heat or smoke damage.

For any style of fireplace, whether gas, electric, or a traditional stone or brick fireplace, homeowners need to carefully consider​ ​fireplace height​ and depth. A good rule of thumb is to install your mantel approximately 54 inches above your fireplace hearth, which is the bottom ledge of the fireplace that extends into the room. This height can be altered for a fireplace that falls outside of standard size. However, a homeowner must comply with the ​National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) by leaving at least 12 inches from the bottom of the mantel to the top of the firebox, which is the part of the fireplace where the fire actually burns.

The greater the depth of your mantel, the farther away you must place it from the firebox. For example, a mantel of 1.5 inches in depth can be placed as close as 12 inches, while a mantel of 6 inches must be placed at least 15 inches away. Taking into consideration both depth and height will help create an essentially fireproof mantel, where both walls, electronics, and any other combustible decorations placed on your fireplace mantel will be protected from heat and flames.

Mantels Provide Added Shelf Space

A mantelpiece can be used as additional shelf space for homeowners seeking an alternative to traditional, bulky cabinetry used to hold practical household items, like dinnerware, small storage containers, or books. A floating wood mantel can be installed as a fashionable shelf, and a homeowner can attach corbels for additional support and ornate detail. A corbel is a decorative or functional structure attached vertically to the wall and horizontally to the mantel. When purchasing floating mantels from Rustica, you always have the choice of adding a pair of matching corbels, made of solid alder wood delivered in the same finish as your mantel.

Wood Mantels for Displaying Artwork and Décor

Feed your inner interior designer by expanding your decorating ideas! Utilize a fireplace mantel or floating mantel shelf to feature your favorite artwork and festive decor during all seasons and holidays throughout the year. Adorn your fireplace mantel with ornate vases and family pictures, and hang your family Christmas stockings during the holidays. Bring life to your mantel by adding plants and your favorite pictures of the ones you love.

Need more mantel decorating ideas? One trick to making a room feel bigger is to add a mirror above your mantel. Our floating mantels also pair very well with our ​barn door shutters​ to cover a TV mounted above the mantels. You can also decorate a mantel with candles, diffusers, and baskets in your bathroom or bedroom. In the dining room, line your mantel with elegant china for the perfect finishing touch.

Take your mantel decorating to the next level by adding lamps or string lighting to liven up a living room space. Whatever you choose, your mantel piece will act as the frame or altar for the decorations that you love the most. By installing floating mantels, you’ll add beauty and save the space that traditional bookshelves, wall units, and cabinets consume.

Fireplace Mantel Materials

Rustica’s fireplace mantels are crafted using high-quality materials in two different style series. The Builder Series offers carved mantels made of several types of wood. The Unfinished Fireplace Mantel features raw, rough sawn alder planks that allow the owner to sand and stain the mantel piece upon arrival. This piece is perfect for those whose design journey is a process that develops as they decorate, or for a homeowner who desires an uncommon finish.

Another natural design is the Haven Fireplace Mantel, a hand-hewn wood beam with an appearance of recently cut timbers still showing their cuts from a band saw. This piece comes finished with a clear stain that allows its natural wood grain to take the design spotlight. The Builder Series offers several other similar styles of alder planks that can be placed above a rustic fireplace. The finished products are stained with dark and light mahogany, barn gray, faded white, or a weathered look. The Smith Fireplace Mantel, in particular, features finished alder planks treated to have a distressed texture, similar to worn or recycled wood.

The Designer Series is the second grouping of mantels and floating shelves that Rustica offers. You can turn a simple and modest fireplace into a gorgeous reclaimed wood fireplace by installing The Prairie Camp or Open Range Fireplace Mantel and matching surrounds. Like the mantels of the Builder Series, these mantels are made of new, sturdy alder planks that are stained to look reclaimed.

The Native Fireplace Mantel features a gorgeous, grey chevron design made of individual pieces of recycled wood left over from barn doors. Homeowners with a modern or an industrial mantel styling in mind will love the Coho Fireplace Mantel, which is made of an aluminum plate with aircraft rivets encapsulating solid cedar wood.

How to Install Fireplace Mantels

Choosing from the beautiful variety of Rustica fireplace mantels is the most difficult part of the process. Once you’ve selected your mantel, DIY installation is a breeze and can be accomplished by even a beginner! The process can be broken down into the following steps:

1. Determine the height of the mantel. We suggest placing a fireplace mantel at least 54 inches above the fireplace hearth, adjusting for non-standard fireplace openings or larger room sizes. Remember, there needs to be a 12-inch minimum gap between the bottom of the mantel and the top of the firebox, more so if the mantel is deeper than 1.5 inches.

2. Mark a line closest to this height, either on the wall or on the nearest grout line.

3. Extend your line horizontally, making tiny marks until you reach the length of your mantel. This length should extend at least 3 inches beyond your firebox. To ensure that the line is even and level, use a leveler as you make your marks.

6. Within this length, find your studs in the wall using a stud finder. Studs are placed every 16 inches behind every wall. Mark your studs. Sometimes, finding studs behind fireplaces can be difficult because wood is often installed in front of the studs to make TV installation easier. Do your best to find a stud nearby and then measure every 16 inches, even if your stud finder doesn’t detect the subsequent studs.

5. Hold your cleat (your piece of wood that will first attach to the wall and then to your mantel) up to your marked line, using a leveler for accuracy. Mark the stud locations on the cleat and drill holes using a masonry bit to create a pilot hole, which will guide your screws into the studs.

6. Line your cleat up once again to your line and stud marks. Use a Phillips bit to insert your screws through the pilot holes and into the wall, mounting the cleat.

7. Hook your mantel onto the cleat by placing the mantel’s opposing cleat onto the mounted cleat. For added security, screws can be installed through the opposing cleat and into the mounted cleat.

Note: Floating wood mantel shelf installation is an identical process—except that in Step 1, you will determine the height of the shelf that works for you.

How Much Does a Mantel Cost?

Prices of a standard Rustica fireplace mantel or floating shelf mantel that runs 30” x 6” x 10” range from $99-$199 in the Builder Series and $349-$775 in the Designer Series. This price increases with the addition of corbels and surrounds or when purchasing a larger mantel. Generally, a pair of corbels adds $48 to the final price and surrounds can increase the cost by $250. This means that the cost of transforming storage and decorative spaces, as well as your fireplace, is very affordable.

Does a Fireplace Need a Mantel?

Mantels are often the centerpiece for rooms where family or guests gather. The mantel is a perfect way for a family to put their signature on a living space. Our mantel shelves are not only used above fireplaces but also, as floating wood shelves, in bedrooms, dining rooms, and kitchens.

Whether for decorative or functional use, every fireplace should have a mantel. The choice to install this simple room renovation is a no-brainer—mantels can improve the aesthetic of any living space in your room and installation can be done in under an hour. Decorative fireplace mantel ideas are virtually endless, as are the reasons to choose floating mantel shelving for practical safe-saving purposes.

Rustica’s collection of wood mantels and floating shelves creates a cozy gathering place anywhere in your home. Choose from one of our many styles, or customize your own mantel to perfectly match your space today!

Fireplace Mantel Decorating Ideas

Fireplace mantel shelves are not just for hanging stockings once a year. Bring life to your mantel by adding plants and your favorite pictures of the ones you love. One trick to making a room feel bigger is to add a mirror above your mantel. Our floating mantels also pair very well with our barn door shutters to cover a TV mounted above the mantels

Rustica’s collection of wood mantels and floating shelves creates a cozy gathering place anywhere in your home. Choose from one of our many styles, or customize your own mantel to perfectly match your space today!

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