VentFree is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
A beautiful mantel can add stately decor to your home. However, prolonged exposure to fire can potentially damage it.
This is especially tricky if you’ve mounted a TV over your brick fireplace!
Well, if you are in such a dilemma, then this is the right article to read. We will provide you some tips on protecting your fireplace mantel from heat for durability and decor purposes.
- How to protect fireplace mantel from heat
- Use a fireplace screen
- Use insulating fire glass
- Use ceramic tiles
- Paint the brick or marble
- Replace your mantel with a fireproof material
- Use cast iron fireplace doors
- Cover your mantel with a fire-resistant material, such as fibreglass or stucco
- Use marble
- Use stainless steel
- Use a Mantel Protector Heat Shield/deflector
- Use a Metal Hood
How to protect fireplace mantel from heat
Use a fireplace screen
A fireplace screen can be used to protect the mantel from heat. The screens are meant to keep the fire confined to a specific hearth area while allowing its beauty and warmth to radiate through. These fireplace screens also enable direct viewing of the fire without risk of burns or damage to surrounding surfaces. However, note that some metal fireplaces are built with a raised hearth, and a fireplace screen is not required.
Use insulating fire glass
Another option to protect the fireplace mantel from heat is by using insulating fire glass. This glass has the highest thermal insulation coefficient, making it a great surface protector against heat damage.
However, like most ways of protecting the fireplace mantel from heat, this too has some disadvantages. Remember to keep your fireplace glass open while the fire is burning hot!
Use ceramic tiles
Another way on how to protect the fireplace mantel from heat is by using ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles are made of clay and glazed with naturally occurring materials (for example, mineral compounds) or synthetic ones (for example, metallic oxides) to protect the fireplace mantel from heat.
You can use a single ceramic tile and place it directly on the mantel. Tiles come in a variety of colors and patterns to match any décor or the color of the mantel. Or you can even paint your fireplace tile.
Paint the brick or marble
Painting the brick is a good option if your mantel is already in poor condition. If you don’t mind losing some of the visual impacts of an open fireplace, and if the fire doesn’t produce much heat, this protective measure would work. Keep in mind that flames can be unpredictable, so it’s important to stay diligent about keeping the brick fireplace clean.
Replace your mantel with a fireproof material
This may be an expensive option, depending on the costs of materials and labor. If you go this route, make sure to check around for reputable installers before making any final decisions.
You can also consider installing security bars or screens that cover the opening of your fireplace to make the fireplace safer for children. This is a good option if you want to keep an open fireplace but want peace of mind about what’s going on behind the mantel.
Use cast iron fireplace doors
Cast iron fireplace doors can also be used to protect the fireplace mantel from heat. Most people think of cast iron in terms of cooking, but in fact, it has many sophisticated applications.
Cast iron forms the natural choice in the fireplace construction industry for door hinges and other fittings. In this case, it holds more heat and prevents it from reaching the mantel.
Cover your mantel with a fire-resistant material, such as fibreglass or stucco
The downside of this option is that it may prevent some heat from escaping into the room. If you choose this method, it’s a good idea to install a layer of brick or stone on top of the material for a more aesthetic look.
If you have an insert in your fireplace and use it often, leave the mantel open and cover it with a transparent fireproof barrier. Safety glass can also be used as protection from heat and flying embers.
Marble is also a great option to protect the fireplace mantel from heat. Marble has a fire-resistant finishing such that it cannot easily stain even after prolonged exposure to heat. The marble is recommendable for fireplace mantel because it is safe to use with firewood commonly used at the fireplace. However, note that marble can be expensive, but it is worth it for its beauty and durability.
Use stainless steel
Stainless steel is one of the most versatile, and you can also use it to secure your mantel from high heat. The heavy-duty steel materials work by deflecting heat from going up. Instead is disperses the heat in the room for that warmth and toasty feeling.
So, you get to safeguard your mantel from high heat while ensuring the room has enough heat disperse.
Use a Mantel Protector Heat Shield/deflector
If you don’t want to build a protective surface on your mantel, then using shield protector materials is the best option for you.
A heat deflector can keep your fireplace mantel cool for as long as the fire is on. The deflector goes behind the firebox and takes most of the heat away from your wood, thus protecting it.
Measure the space of your firebox and use the measurements to purchase the perfect shield fit for the area.
Use a Metal Hood
A metal hood works just like the deflector, whereby it deflects heat from your fireplace to mantel. This metal hood is a better version of the deflector as it has a glass front and variable speed control.
Q: Does the type of firewood you use affect the fireplace mantel?
Yes, the type of firewood you use can affect the fireplace mantel. Some types of firewood are denser than others, releasing more heat in your home when burning.
These are the most recommendable ways on how to protect your fire mantel from heat. The provided methods may require you to install different surfaces at the fireplace, while others need you to redo your mantel. So, choose a way that works for your home décor, type of mantel and the kind of wood you burn at your fireplace. It is always good to work with a professional to make sure the installation or painting of the mantel is done correctly and neatly.