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What Is a Slate Fireplace Surround?

A piece of slate.
A slate tile.
Slate has a wide range of naturally occuring colors.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 August 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A slate fireplace surround is a sort of frontispiece of a fireplace that is made out of pieces of slate or slate tiles. This kind of fireplace surround can vary quite a bit in size and style. It can range from modern to rustic, and from simple to ornate. A slate fireplace surround can be used to encase the area directly around the mouth of a fireplace or it can extend all the way up to the ceiling above the fireplace, covering the shaft that encloses the chimney. As there is range of natural colors in slate, the color of a slate fireplace may be blue, grey, beige, or even pink, depending on the type of slate that is being used.

Choosing the right color of a slate fireplace surround means considering the colors of the room where it will be installed and also considering the intended size of the slate fireplace surround. If the slate fireplace surround will be small, then a slate color that works well as an accent can be chosen. If it will be very large, then the color should work well with the other predominant colors in the room. In some cases, it is possible to choose a slate fireplace surround that is made up of slate tiles of various colors. This multi-colored slate tile can be quite attractive.

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Some people use slate very sparingly when they are surrounding their fireplaces. In these cases, the slate may be bordered with another material. The slate fireplace surround may itself be surrounded by a traditional wooden mantle. Other people use a great deal of slate to surround their fireplaces. A person with a raised hearth might use slate to cover the hearth as well as the area directly bordering the fireplace opening.

Those who are experienced with do-it-yourself home improvements may be able to install a slate fireplace surround on their own, especially if they have all of the necessary tools. Those who have not done this sort of work before, however, should hire a professional to complete the job. There are some companies that sell fireplace surrounds that offer full service. In addition to assisting homeowners in choosing the right slate fireplace surround, these companies will also help them to take proper measurements. Once the pieces of the fireplace surround have been prepared, these companies will send out a person to install it.

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