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mantel width

How to Choose Mantel Size

French Country Mantel designed by Penrose Design

Mantel Size

mantel height

So many times customers ask how to choose the right size of mantel width for their room. This article is dedicated to helping you identify key points for choosing your mantel. We’ll be referencing our most popular mantel for examples – French Country fireplace. With this model you can bring a truly personalized approach to the interior and achieve luxury design. It’s always about clients’ wants and needs. What do they like to do? Do they have a big family? All those factors can be reflected in interior design where a fireplace is a keynote speaker on a home’s decor and style preferences. 

Mantel height

The French Country is available in 2 different heights: 53 3/4″ and 60″. When deciding on fireplace size, you should take into account your room size in the first place. 

How can you determine which mantel height is right for your space:

Are you going to put a fireplace in a large or in a small room? When considering the height of the French Country, the size of the room can impact the height of the mantel. The French Country model should be proportional to the room, or it can feel out of place and affect the visual appeal of the room. 

  • Standard ceiling height in most houses today is 9 feet – so the fireplace mantel should be between 50″ to 56″ from the floor. The optimal height is 53 3/4″. 
  • For a space with an 8′ or 9′ ceiling height, you should leave around 4 1/2′ from the top of the mantel to the ceiling. It is recommended that you leave at least 3′ above the fireplace mantel for decorations (family photos, mirrors, decorative items, etc.) that will help tie the whole room together. 

Since this is really personal preference as well, the French Country height can be customized to suit. Our in-house interior designer can help if you need further assistance. 

Mantel width

mantel width

Mantel width: The French Country comes standard in 60″ and 72″ and can be customized to suit depending on the available wall space you have. When considering the width of the mantel, it is essential to consider following moments: 

  • Overall room size and layout. Observe the position of windows, doors or if there are build outs on either side of the fireplace mantel. How will the fireplace mantel size affect the balance of the room? What size mantel is most advantageous to the general presentation of the room? Will a wider mantel protrude too much and be in the way? Most of these will depend on personal preference, but they are questions that should be factored into the equation. 
  • Dimensions of the fireplace insert. We want to be sure that the fireplace mantel covers the actual fireplace insert,  but also be sure that you are meeting clearance requirements for non-combustible mantels. So be sure to check the installation manual of your fireplace insert. If you have a buildout, the fireplace mantel should not be so long that it extends from wall to wall. A mantel that long will make the room and fireplace look smaller. It is best to leave a little bit of room on either side. 

When Do You Need a Hearth?

HEARTH is found at the bottom of the fireplace mantel/surround on which a fireplace insert is placed and extends x of distance into the room. A hearth can serve both for aesthetics and functional features of a fireplace. But it also provides a barrier between the floor and the fireplace insert. So when do you need a hearth? 

  • REQUIRED if your fireplace insert (such as gas, wood burning or stove) requires a non-combustible hearth in order to barricade from the combustible flooring. 
  • NOT REQUIRED if your fireplace insert is electric but can be used to enhance the aesthetics of the fireplace. If your fireplace insert is installed right to the floor (and your fireplace insert does not require a hearth or your flooring is non-combustible) then a hearth is not needed. If your fireplace is installed about 2″ from the floor, you can consider a hearth if the design of your fireplace mantel will not fit.

The hearth can be installed on top of the floor or flushed – it is personal preference on how you would like to install it. Consider a raised hearth if your fireplace insert is installed more than 3″ in order to keep it proportional. Since the fireplace is typically the center of the room, you’d want it to be proportional. So, how to choose mantel width? So easy!

Do You Need Trim Panels? 

mantel width

Trim panels are needed only if your fireplace insert is smaller than the interior dimensions of the fireplace insert. It is personal preference, as the French Country can be customized to suit if you do not want trim panels or would like even trim panels all around. Be sure to follow the first two steps first and then consider the trim panels. 

Compatibility with Wood, Electric or Gas Fireplaces? 

The French Country mantel is compatible with most fireplaces because it’s made of concrete. However, there are some gas units that do have clearance requirements for non-combustible mantels, like concrete or stone. Be sure to check the installation manual for the requirements. 

Disproportionately sized fireplaces can break the whole room view, that’s why we are interested in helping you to make the right choice. We create concrete fireplaces with the small details in mind, ensuring that it will add beauty to your living space. View our library of mantel designs for more inspiration.

If you’re still stuck on how to choose mantel width for your home reach out to our interior design team, and we’ll be happy to guide you! 


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