Concrete Fireplace Designs
Time: 01:16
Watch this overview of 10 tips for building and designing a concrete fireplace.

Concrete fireplaces can turn an ordinary room into something extraordinary. But careful planning and design is needed to ensure your project turns out just as you hope, or perhaps even better than you expect!

Before taking the plunge into designing a custom concrete fireplace surround for your home, consider this list of tips offered by concrete contractors:

1. When considering the design focus of your new fireplace take into consideration adding foliage, such as leaves, ferns or other elements found on the property, or incorporate architectural details from the home's design. Get ideas in The Concrete Network's Concrete Fireplace Photo Gallery.

This fireplace incorporates ferns and other foliage from the homeowner's property. Absolute ConcreteWorks in Poulsbo, WA

2. Consider your home's interior d├ęcor, match or complement other design elements in the room, such as a rug, prominent work of art, cherished piece of furniture, or window treatments.

3. Consider extending the allure of the fireplace beyond the traditional living room or family room space, installing them in kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and even outdoors. Two sided fireplaces can be enjoyed from two rooms.

Buddy Rhodes Concrete Products. Photo by David Duncan Livingston.

4. Explore your options and decide how you will use your fireplace. Will you want to hang stockings on a traditional mantel? Or will you want to sit on a hearth by the fire? Will it be gas burning or natural wood burning?

5. To keep within a budget, take into account that intricate details and curves will usually add to the cost of the surround. If cost is an issue, consider turning some curves in your design to straight lines, and minimizing small details. Often simple, clean lines create a dramatic focal point in a room.

Pourfolio Custom Concrete in San Diego, CA.Read about how this fireplace was designed and built.

6. Get an idea of how your fireplace surround will impact your room before it is built. Use cardboard cutouts to be sure the fireplace is in scale with the size of the room and to give an idea of shape and placement.

7. Be sure to research photos on the internet and magazines. Show the contractor photos of what you do and don't like.

8. Be sure to pick out a firebox and have it inserted into the surround. Do not have your contractor build one.

9. Once you've decided on a design, have your contractor make a mock-up, and provide color samples so that all parties are on the same page on what to expect.

10. Don't be discouraged by the overwhelming amount of options available. Ask questions, and ask to see a portfolio of work. Contractors know their work better than anyone; they can guide you in the right direction.

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