How to Measure Your Fireplace for a Mantel
By Carol Agee
A fireplace mantel can help you update the look of your room to match your style. Ordering a fireplace mantel online is an excellent way to get a quality mantel at a competitive price in the style that best suits your room. When planning for a fireplace mantel it is important that you take accurate measurements as they will be the basis for crafting the mantel. Taking the correct measurements of your unique space can sometimes be a challenge. This article will help you understand the parts of your fireplace and know what to measure.
Before you begin measuring it is important to understand some terminology:
Facing + the material, usually tile, marble, granite or brick, that surrounds the fireplace opening
Fireplace Mantel + made up of a surround and a shelf, the mantel frames the facing on the top and sides
Fireplace Surround + the part of a mantel that frames the facing helping it meet with the wall to create a more polished look
Hearth + the floor of a fireplace or the brick, stone, or cement area in front of a fireplace
When measuring for your mantel it is important that your measurements include the facing as the mantel will be going around it. If you only measure the fireplace opening the mantel will cover the facing and may represent a fire hazard.
You will be taking 10 measurements in all.
#1 + The Total Width of the Facing Material + Looking at the fireplace from the front, take a horizontal measurement of the facing above the fireplace opening, measuring across the facing from left edge to right edge.
#2 + The Width of the Facing Material, Along the Leg + Looking at the fireplace from the front, take a horizontal measurement of the facing, from the fireplace opening out to the outer edge of the facing.
#3 + The Height of the Facing Material + Looking at the fireplace from the front, take a vertical measurement of the facing, from the hearth to the top edge of the facing.
#4 + The Depth of the Facing Material + Looking at the fireplace from the side, take a horizontal measurement across the facing, from the wall to the outer edge of the facing.
#5 + The Total Width of the Hearth + Looking at the fireplace from the front, take a horizontal measurement of the hearth along the floor, from left edge to right edge.
#6 + The Height of the Hearth + Looking at the fireplace from the front, take a vertical measurement of the hearth, from the floor to the top edge of the hearth.
#7 + The Depth of the Hearth + Looking at the fireplace from the side, take a horizontal measurement across the hearth, from the wall to the outer edge of the hearth.
#8 + The Opening Width of Facing Material (might also be the same as the fireplace opening width) + Looking at the fireplace from the front, take a horizontal measurement from within the fireplace opening, from the left to the right of the opening. You may do this on the ceiling of the fireplace opening.
#9 + The Opening Height of Facing Material (might also be the same as the fireplace opening height) + Looking at the fireplace from the front, take a vertical measurement of the facing from within the fireplace opening, from the hearth floor to the top of the opening.
#10 + Shelf considerations + Looking at the fireplace from the front, look at the areas on either side of the facing. It is very important that you consider any windows or light switches located nearby as they that might prohibit the shelf (which is the widest point of the mantel) from being installed. Measure from the facing to the nearest obstruction on both sides so you know how wide the shelf can be.
Congratulations! The measurements you have taken will now determine what size fireplace mantel you need. When ordering your mantel online, many websites will ask for these measurements so they can determine if you can use one of their regular mantel sizes or if you require a custom built mantel. Either way, you are sure to be pleased with how your new mantel frames your fireplace and completes the look of your room.
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