The Definitive In-Depth Guide to Rustic Mantels

Helpful Information about Rustic Shelves, Log Fireplace Mantels, and that Natural Wood Look


Fireplaces are the center of a home– the perfect space to gather around, fireplaces have the potential to create a warm and inviting room that serves as a true focal point. With proper decoration, the style of your entire home can be easily improved and upscaled through a fireplace. Mantels and shelves are a great and manageable way to improve the design of your fireplace.
Rustic mantels add an antiqued, natural vibe to a room and can help bring together a simple, raw style. The wood products we have featured create an organic and rural feel because of their very natural and organic appearance. Rustic mantels and shelves can be made from different types of wood, have different finishes, and be found at many different price points.
Wondering where to buy rustic mantels? Want to know how to decorate your fireplace with a rustic mantel or shelf? We’ve done the research for you– keep reading to find out everything you need to know about shopping for log, wood, or rustic-style mantels and shelves.


Why choose Rustic Wood Mantels?

Each rustic log mantelpiece has a unique character because each mantel is made from real, natural wood– not just thin pieces of cheap wood assembled to look like a rustic wood mantel. Each piece we sell is a genuine unique log mantel made to enhance the design of your fireplace. 

The differences in each log is due to the unique natural makeup of the timber. Some of these woods are smooth and straight, while others have knots or rough bark. The grain and varying characteristics of the wood selections dictate the look, rather than a designer’s choice . Each mantel is unique because every tree is unique. Some wood types are more likely to have streaks or inconsistencies than others are. This is part of the appeal of rustic-type mantels– the individuality. Some of our rustic mantels can be enhanced with custom features such as a carved or hewed faces and custom sizing to perfectly fit your fireplace.
Selecting a real wood fireplace over a faux wood design not only brings a more authentic look, but will make for a durable and long-lasting piece. Faux wood tends to be cheaper looking and will not provide as much sturdiness or visual appeal. The integrity and natural features, such as knots or streaky finish, are lost in the design of faux wood options.


Take a look at some of our rustic mantel options here.


Mantels vs Shelves:

To quickly dress up your fireplace, both pre-built mantels or shelves exist in a rustic style. Purchasing shelves and mantels are an easy way to quickly install a new look into your fireplace setting. Building mantels are always an option, but with low prices and a variation of designs, purchasing shelves or mantels provide a much easier and simple route to a rustic fireplace makeover.
Shelves simply sit over the top of your fireplace and create an additional detail that allows for decoration. They are completely functional, as they add a great space for pictures, vases, and other decor, but with the right choice they also add an entire new layer of decoration to your fireplace. Shelves are typically better for tighter spaces, or as an addition to wall that already has a unique finish. They can be carved with cobles to add additional details and up the richness of their look.
Mantels, on the other hand, can completely revamp an entire room. Mantels completely surround a fireplace, typically with a shelf space above and legs enclosing the sides. Mantels are a good option if you’re looking to accent an entire wall or add new life to an otherwise bland room.



What Log Mantel Styles are Available for my Fireplace?

Log style fireplace mantels fall under the rustic category– “rustic” means country, rural, or natural looking. These log mantels fit the category because they are all made from raw, hand-hewn wood or carved logs. While they all have their real wood makeup in common, rustic mantels come in a few different styles: Carved, Bark Face, Beam, and Half Round Log are the common log styles for shelves and mantels.

Carved mantels have been chipped away by craftsmen to give the log a “chiseled” look and smooth texture. These are typically cleaner looking and have a polished appearance. This is a great option for a more intricate piece, and can often be decorated with corbels to add more elegance.

Bark face logs utilize the bark of the tree for additional interest by displaying the bark face forward, for the most authentic rustic appearance. Bark face logs utilize the natural imperfections on the surface of timber, for a completely organic feel. These pieces will bridge together outdoor ambiance and the comfort of your indoor living room.



Beam mantels are logs that have been carved into a square-style for a cleaner, simple style. These have more of a traditional feel, but still maintain a rustic essence because of their log make-up. Beam mantels are extremely easy to pair with any room’s design and are a great option for a simple rustic flare to an otherwise simple room.
Half round log mantels are made from timber that has been cut in half and set up open faced. This style also utilizes the natural, rugged appearance of timber and creates a very outdoorsy appearance. This decoration is an excellent way to obtain a cozy, austere design.

You can see these different styles on our rustic log mantels collection page.


What Wood Types are Available for Log and Timber Fireplace Mantels?

There are many types of rustic woods that can be used for your fireplace, but we have outlined the most common:
Pine, Cedar, Basswood, Butternut, and Walnut are popular choices among many manufacturers– and we offer all of these options in styles on our site.

Pine: Pine is an inexpensive, widely available wood. It can be grown and sourced virtually anywhere and comes in a variety of stains and finishes to perfectly fit your ideal image. Pine is a common choice for cheap mantels in both traditional and antique styles, but when tailored to be distressed or “raw”, can also create a beautiful rustic piece.
Basswood: Basswood is a wood that easily carves and creates beautiful details. Basswood is an excellent choice for a sturdy and antiqued look in your home. It needs to be maintained in a dry environment, making it the perfect choice for an indoor living room. It is lightweight and light in color, perfect for a simple design and easy installation.
Butternut: Butternut is very similar to black walnut, except it naturally has a mild tan color. The wood is soft and easy to carve. The finishes may range from its natural medium to shade, to darker added finishes. It has a natural luster and straight grain for an effortless, simple rustic look. It is a species of walnut, giving it the durable qualities, but its uniform natural appearance makes for great, unique decor.
Cedar: Cedar is a very common wood, often used in outdoor furniture. It is extremely easy to work with, and its pale color and smooth texture means it can be shaped and finished to perfectly match the appearance of any room. Natural cedar can contain knots and Eastern Red Cedar naturally has a beautiful streaky, auburn finish. Cedar can add warmth and texture to any space.
Walnut: Walnut is a domestic wood grown in the midwest region. A more expensive option, this wood is darker,stronger, and sturdier than options such as pine or cedar. The natural dark finish gives it an antique, natural look and typically requires no additional stain or finish. This wood will hold up well and make a great accent in your home. It is a heavier wood, meaning it will provide a durable and reliable shelving option. It may also have knots and a streaky texture, bringing a true rustic detail to your wall.

Each of these wood types can complement your home’s decor depending on the stain and paint colors in your room as well as the style of your fireplace. Since each type of wood has a different internal character and color, each one has its own unique look when it’s stained and ready to be hung.


Shopping for Rustic Mantels:

An obvious question when searching for any product– Where do I shop for rustic mantels? Where can I find the best prices? How do I find quality products?

When shopping for rustic mantels, you want to be sure that you are choosing the right materials that will last, maintain the integrity of the wood, and provide durable support in order to obtain a true rustic look and offer a functional shelf space.

Cheaper options exist, such as Pearl Mantels, which are uniformly manufactured at low prices. These are extremely accessible and can be found at major retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, or Home Depot. Pearl mantels are typically composed of medium density fiber wood, a composite wood blended to create a uniform look. These mantels are cheap, easy to install, and can be shopped for virtually anywhere. Pearl mantels offer some true rustic style pieces, such as pine shelves and pieces with a distressed finish. The cheaper prices can be attributed to lower end wood choices and the mass produced pieces will not have the unique touch that more organic pieces may bring to your living. However, these are a great option for an easy and affordable fix.


Pearl Mantel 



Here at Brick-Anew, our selection of wooden rustic mantels and shelves factor in both cost and quality. With a great selection, variation of materials, and well-trusted manufacturing, you are sure to find a unique piece that won’t break the bank either. These true, solid mantels are different, but each crafted to perfection. With a variety of sizes and colors, at different price points, there options for everyone. We have options made from all different types of wood and with the different log designs, as mentioned before.

Home Depot offers both simple, clean and more distressed, natural looking rustic shelf options. With popular brands such as Rustica or Builder’s Choice, many wood shelves are offered that fit a rustic style. The options for log mantels and shelves, however, are typically not found in big name retailers. For truly detailed and carefully crafted pieces, it is typically better to seek out a company that is more specialized in crafting timber to make such unique, raw pieces. Niche companies will have more detailed and specific products available and the difference in price is minor compared to the improved specialized styles.


Cut to Order, Sizes, and Finishing:

Brick-Anew, as well as other mantel retailers, offer cut to order log shelves. This means that the shopper may select the style and wood choice, and then have their selection perfectly crafted to fit an intended space. You can choose the face style of your liking and pick from either Walnut, Cedar, or Butternut wood selections. These pieces are still budget friendly and the customization allows you to be in control of your ideal design.
If you are not interested in these levels of personalization, different sizes ranging from 48” to 72” exist for shelves. Wood mantels also exist in a variation of sizes and can be customized to your fireplace.
Many rustic shelves may be offered finished or unfinished. Depending on the level of an authentic, natural look, you may want to opt for an unfinished piece to truly appreciate the beauty of a piece of timber. Unfinished pieces are also great for DIY projects, should you want to finish it yourself.
Finished pieces are offered to help with the tone and color of a rustic shelf or mantel. Offered in a variety of shades ranging from pale to dark, finished choices offer a bit more of an antiqued, clean look.

No matter what kind of rustic or timber fireplace mantel you’re looking for, we can help you find it! If you have questions that aren’t answered here, or concerns about how a mantel may look in your room, check out our selection of rustic mantels or give us a call! Our customer service representatives love to talk with you about your home and what products we have that may best suit your needs! For more information, helpful tips, and product options, check out our Fireplace Mantel And Shelf Resource Center.