What are the Pros and Cons of an Oak Fireplace Surround?

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  • Written By: Faye Cox
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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A room with a fireplace is a decorator’s delight because it is an instant focal point for arranging furniture and creating a theme for the décor of a room. An oak fireplace surround is a much-used and popular type that allows great versatility in the decorating choices for a room. Oak is an especially pleasing wood because the nature of the wood grain itself is easy to blend with other types of wood in a room. Typically, a fireplace surround determines the mood for the rest of the room, and an oak fireplace surround allows the décor of the room to develop with a good bit of variety. There are very few limiting qualities of an oak fireplace surround for most people when they weigh its pros and cons, but it does lack formality for some people.

There are many options and types of fireplace surrounds on the market. A prefabricated oak fireplace surround is often used to freshen up an old fireplace or to create an entirely new look for a room. It is possible to install an oak fireplace surround on an existing fireplace so that construction costs can be minimized when redecorating.


Oak is considered a hard wood and tends to have a very interesting cathedral grain pattern that resembles the arch of a church or cathedral. This pattern tends to create tighter growth in some areas and more open patterns in others, making it a wood species that has variations of light and dark coloration. This works very nicely to enable oak to blend with other wood types in the room. The variation in color makes it easier for the wood to be repaired without the repair work being noticeable.

An oak fireplace surround might be used with maple, mahogany, cherry or walnut furniture and still be very attractive. Not every wood species is as easy to work with. On the other hand, an oak fireplace surround does tend to lend itself toward a less-than-formal appearance, which is a negative for some people. For a more formal look, marble, granite, cherry or mahogany would be a better choice.


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