Earlier fireplaces were the main source of heat during
cold winters and large homes had a fireplace in each room. These fireplaces took
time to maintain, and created a mess. The fireplace, however, served as a
natural focal point, drawing families together, and stood as an important
decorative feature. Wealthier homeowners hired tradesmen to build elaborately
carved mantels out of wood, stone or marble. Todays homeowners enjoy the
practicality of central heat and the drawing power of a cozy fire on a cold
should know about fireplace mantels and surrounds
shopping for a fireplace, you have many choices. Most of the old fireplaces
seen in peoples homes are either fake or totally inefficient. The reason is
because they are designed with an open front that completely sucks newly-heated
air up and out the chimney rather than radiating the heat back into the house.
These fireplaces are often a nuisance and purely decorative at best.