Royal Corinthian

Add Charm and Value to Your Home with a Custom Fireplace Surround

manufactured stone fireplace

As the temperatures drop, there’s nothing quite as cozy and inviting as a crackling fire in the hearth. But why settle for a plain and ordinary fireplace when you can have the option of  fireplace surrounds that add charm and value to your home? With their rising popularity, custom fireplace surrounds are becoming a must-have feature in modern homes. They not only create a cozy ambiance but also serve as a statement piece that adds value and beauty to any room. A unique and stylish fireplace surround enhances the aesthetics of your living space and also serves as a focal point for family gatherings and adds value to your property. 

But the benefits don’t end there. A custom fireplace surround made of the highest quality fireplace surround materials can also increase the resale value of your home, making it a wise investment for any homeowner.  And with the added convenience of gas or electric options, you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a fire without the hassle of traditional wood-burning options.

If you still aren’t sure whether you need a fireplace surround or don’t know how to get one, we’ll help you make a decision. 

Let’s delve deeper into the world of fireplace surrounds.

What are Fireplace Surrounds?

A fireplace surround is a decorative feature that enhances the aesthetic appeal of a fireplace by framing the area around it. 

It is typically installed on the wall above the fireplace and may extend all the way to the ceiling or just a few feet above the mantel. Fireplace surrounds come in a wide variety of materials such as stone, wood, tile, or metal and can be customized to suit the style of any home.

Below are some more features of fireplace surrounds:

  • It helps protect the surrounding walls from the heat of the fire. 

The surround acts as a barrier between the fireplace and the wall, preventing heat and flames from damaging the wall or nearby furniture. This not only improves safety but also prolongs the life of the fireplace and reduces the risk of accidents.

  • It adds visual appeal to a room. It can be designed to complement the overall aesthetic of the space, whether it be traditional, contemporary, or rustic. The material, shape, and color of the surround can be selected to create a cohesive look that ties together all the elements in the room.

For example, fireplace surrounds made of stone with a natural, textured finish can add a cozy and rustic feel to a living room, while a sleek metal surround can create a modern and minimalist look.

  • It increases the value of a home. A well-designed and professionally installed surround can be a major selling point for potential buyers, as it adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to any room.

faux stone fireplace

Explore the Best Materials for Fireplace Surrounds

Your fireplace is the heart of your home, drawing people together and creating a cozy ambiance. But finding the perfect surround material can be a challenge! 

You want something that’s not only stunning but also durable enough to withstand the intense heat that radiates from the flames. 

Experts at Royal Corinthian have curated a list of the top materials that are perfect for fireplace surrounds, taking into account both style and functionality. 

  • Marble

Looking for a fireplace surround that exudes timeless elegance and versatility? Marble can be an excellent selection! 

This stunning material seamlessly complements a wide range of home decor styles and can easily be dressed up with pops of color and greenery. 

Alternatively, let the inherent beauty of the marble speak for itself and bask in its natural radiance. Not only is marble a feast for the eyes, but it is also easy to maintain, heat-resistant, and truly one-of-a-kind. 

  • GFRC

GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) is a highly durable and heat-resistant material, making it an ideal choice for fireplace surrounds. It has a high strength-to-weight ratio and can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing for unique and custom designs. 

GFRC is also resistant to cracking and moisture, making it suitable for use in high-temperature and high-moisture environments like a fireplace. It can also be finished to resemble natural stone or other materials, providing a beautiful and natural look without the weight or expense of real stone. 

It is not wrong to say that GFRC is the best material for fireplace surrounds due to its durability, heat resistance, versatility, and aesthetic appeal.

  • Steel

If you’re looking to create a sleek and modern vibe in your home, a steel fireplace surround is the way to go. Not only is it incredibly durable and heat-resistant, but it also comes in a variety of finishes and styles to suit any aesthetic. 

Whether you prefer a polished or matte finish, steel can serve as a stunning statement piece that effortlessly elevates the look of your space. Add a touch of warmth and texture by incorporating wooden decor elements to create a harmonious and eye-catching contrast.

  • Granite

A granite surround can take that experience to the next level, with its perfect combination of charm and durability. Not only is granite heat-resistant and low-maintenance, but it also boasts a unique and eye-catching design that can withstand chips, scratches, and stains. 

With a wide range of granite types available, you’re sure to find the perfect one to complement your decor and enhance the overall aesthetic of your space. 

  • EPS Backed Cast Stone

EPS-backed cast stone, also known as Expanded Polystyrene Cast Stone, is an excellent material for fireplace surrounds. It is lightweight, which makes it easier to handle during installation. Unlike traditional cast stone, which is heavy and requires specialized equipment to install, EPS-backed Cast Stone can be installed with minimal equipment and labor.

EPS-backed cast stone is the best choice for fireplace surrounds because it comes in many textures and colors, still at a cost-effective price. It is a more effective and beautiful stone alternative. Also, it comes with paintable, stainable versions.

Also,  EPS backed cast stone can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, which means that it can be customized to fit any design or style preference. It can also be painted or stained to match the decor of any room.

In short, it can be said that EPS-backed cast stone is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a cost-effective, durable, and customizable material for their fireplace surrounds. With its lightweight design, versatility, and beauty, it is sure to add value and aesthetic appeal to any home.

  • Tile

The beauty of tile lies in its versatility and ability to adapt to any style, making it a fantastic choice for any home.

When it comes to fireplace surround, tiles provide a canvas for creating a truly unique and visually stunning result. Opt for a striking pattern contrast, add depth with textured tiles, or go for a touch of glamor with glass mosaic tiles. Apart from that, you can keep it simple with a more straightforward design that allows the surrounding decor to shine.

  • Wood

While it may not be the first material that comes to mind when thinking of fireplace surrounds, wood can actually be a fantastic choice – as long as your fireplace is properly built, of course. With its warm and cozy aesthetic, wood can add a touch of rustic charm to any space. 

And, the best part?

It’s incredibly easy to install and can be painted or stained to suit your personal style and preferences. Don’t let the misconception that wood is off-limits for fireplace surrounds hold you back – embrace the unique beauty and inviting ambiance that this material can bring to your home.

  • Concrete

Elevate your fireplace to the next level with a stunning concrete surround that exudes elegance and sophistication. Not only does it offer a wide range of versatile design options, but it’s also incredibly durable and low maintenance. 

In fact, it’s fireproof, rot-resistant, and can withstand shaking and shifting, making it an excellent choice for earthquake-prone areas. 

Whether you want to make a bold statement with a floor-to-ceiling surround or keep it simple and understated, concrete can deliver. And because it holds heat, it can even help keep your home warmer over time. 

So if you’re looking for fireplace surround materials that’s both functional and beautiful, concrete is definitely worth considering.

concrete fireplace surround

  • Brick

When it comes to classic fireplace surrounds, it’s hard to beat the timeless appeal of brick. This versatile material can effortlessly blend in with a range of interior design styles, from modern to rustic, farmhouse to bohemian. 

Whether you prefer the natural, exposed look of raw brick or a sleek and polished white or painted finish, brick offers a stunning aesthetic that’s both charming and enduring. 

In addition, with its high heat resistance, brick is an excellent choice for fireplace surrounds that need to withstand extreme temperatures. 

In short, it can be said that if you’re looking for a durable and stylish option for your fireplace, brick is definitely worth considering.

  • Natural Stone

A natural stone fireplace surround is an ideal choice for adding a touch of rustic charm to your living space. 

You can also consider other types of natural stone such as limestone, stucco, and slate to give your fireplace a unique makeover. 

With a wide range of patterns and colors, you can easily create a custom design that complements the style of your home. 

What’s the best thing about a natural stone? 

Stone is a durable, low-maintenance material that increases your home’s value and is heat-resistant, making it perfect for creating a cozy and long-lasting warmth in your room.

Materials Not to be used on Fireplace Surrounds

According to our experts at Royal Corinthian, there are four materials that you should never use for your fireplace surround, regardless of their design or aesthetic appeal.

  • Vinyl Tile

Although it may seem like an easy and affordable way to update your fireplace surround, using peel-and-stick vinyl tile is not recommended. Why?

Vinyl is not as fire-resistant as other materials, and the heat from the fire can pose a safety hazard and cause the material to deteriorate over time. 

It’s important to prioritize safety and durability when updating your fireplace surround, so investing in ceramic, porcelain, glass, or concrete tiles is a wise choice. Not only will these materials provide better protection against heat and fire, but they will also give your fireplace a stylish and long-lasting update.

  • Patterned Tile

When installing patterned tile, additional measurements are needed to ensure the design is not disrupted.

For instance, if your fireplace surround is only one and a half tiles wide, the design on one of the tiles will be cut in half during installation, which can create an undesirable appearance. 

To avoid this, we suggest extending the surround to a two-tile wide diameter during measurements. This will help ensure that the pattern is not disrupted and the final look is pleasing.

  • Shiplap

Shiplap can be a beautiful addition to your home, but it’s important to note that it can’t be used as a fireplace surround. The material is combustible and needs to be kept at a safe distance from the firebox opening. 

However, don’t worry, there are still plenty of great options for your fireplace surround! And while modern farmhouse style has been popular, it’s always fun to explore new design options and break away from trends.

  • Wallpaper

Although there are several ways to update your old fireplace surround, wallpapering is not one of them. Unlike painting, you cannot wallpaper over your old fireplace because it poses a significant safety risk due to its combustibility. However, you can revive your fireplace’s look by painting your brick or plaster surround with a fresh coat of paint.

Things to Consider When Selecting Fireplace Surround Materials

When it comes to updating or renovating your fireplace, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right material for the surround. The material you choose will not only affect the look and feel of your fireplace but also its functionality, safety, and maintenance requirements. 

fireplace surround with corbel legs

Here are some things to remember when choosing a material for your fireplace surround:

  • Safety first

Before selecting a material, make sure it is suitable for use around a fireplace. Combustible materials like wood and wallpaper are a big no-no as they can pose a fire hazard. Instead, opt for non-combustible materials like stone, tile, or metal that are heat-resistant and safe to use.

  • Consider your style and aesthetic

Your fireplace surround should complement the style and aesthetic of your home. If you have a modern home, a sleek metal surround may be the perfect fit, while a stone or brick surround may be better suited to a rustic or traditional home. Consider the color, texture, and pattern of the material to ensure it blends seamlessly with your décor.

  • Functionality

Remember that your fireplace is more than just a decorative element; it should also be functional. Consider how the material you choose will affect the efficiency and heat output of your fireplace. Some materials, like tile or metal, may reflect heat and increase the heat output of your fireplace, while others, like stone or brick, may absorb heat and radiate it slowly over time.

  • Maintenance requirements

Different materials have different maintenance requirements. While natural stone may be durable and long-lasting, it may require more maintenance than other materials like metal or tile. Consider the upkeep required for the material you choose and factor in any additional costs or time commitments.

  • Budget

The cost of materials can vary greatly, so make sure you have a clear idea of your budget before choosing fireplace surround materials. Keep in mind that while some materials may be more expensive upfront, they may be more cost-effective in the long run due to their durability and low maintenance requirements.

Considering all types of materials, it is safe to say that GFRC is an ideal material for fireplace surrounds due to its high durability, resistance to heat and moisture, and versatility in design. Its strength-to-weight ratio and ability to be molded into various shapes and finishes make it a practical and aesthetic choice for fireplace surrounds.


Custom fireplace surrounds are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to add charm and value to any home. They not only create a cozy ambiance but also serve as a statement piece that enhances the aesthetics of a room. 

Besides being visually appealing, a well-designed and professionally installed surround also increases the resale value of your home. With a wide range of materials to choose from, including marble, steel, GFRC, EPS cast stone, granite, tile, wood, and concrete, there’s an option to suit every style and functionality. 

So, look for a fireplace surround at Royal Corinthian, that would be a worthwhile investment to enhance their living space’s look and feel.

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