STYLES – This refers to the front surface of the mantel which faces the room and is most visible. (shown in order top to bottom) (BARK FACE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS PARTICULAR SPECIES OF WOOD)
Natural Face – On some logs the bark of the tree comes off during the sawing and drying process. The exposed bare edges will show the shape of the log along with knots and character marks. These mantels are the best value because no extra labor is required to prepare the mantel for sale.
Bark Face– Occasionally the bark adheres quite well to the mantel piece through the manufacturing process. These offer the most rustic look available. The bark cannot be guaranteed to stay on indefinitely without some tacks or glue, but customers who have installed these mantels for the past ten years report very few problems. Bark face mantels are more difficult to find than the other styles, so the inventory may have fewer of them available.
Square Face– This style combines the look of a solid wood mantel with a more traditional flat face.The face will show the same grain patterns that are seen on the top and bottom of the mantel.
Draw Knife Face– If the face of a mantel is damaged in the manufacturing process we can sometimes smooth out the wood with a draw knife. The grain will normally show as in a Square Face mantel, but the mantel will retain the log edge look. The ends of a Draw Knife mantel will stay square.
Carved Face – The front face and ends of these mantels are molded and shaped with carving tools to add depth and character to the final product. This carving will accentuate knots in the mantel face. Cracks that may develop in the drying process will also be softened.
The method of installation will vary with the individual situation, and your personal preference. Here are some of the approaches that have succeeded for customers:
- New Fireplaces: If you install the mantel before the brick or stone face is put on the fireplace, the mantel can often be mounted with hidden lags or support boards. It may also be possible to use construction cement if a masonry shelf is built in the fireplace. The brick or stone can then be put on around the mantel. You may also use some of our wooden mounting brackets shown on the “options” link.
- Existing Fireplaces: One of the most common installation techniques for an existing masonry fireplace is to drill holes in the mortar joints where the mantel will be installed. Metal pipes or rods about 1″ in diameter can then be installed in these holes with anchors or pressure cement. Drill the mantel to line up with the pipes and slide the mantel on. Construction cement or a small corner bracket can be used to prevent the mantel from vibrating off. If the stone face of your fireplace is irregular the back edge of the mantel should be scribed to fit the stone. Again please see the “options” link for wooden mounting brackets that may be useful on an existing fireplace installation.