Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Rustic Fireplace Mantels
Would you like to make your fireplace a great focal point and add something that makes it look truly unique? You can dress up that fireplace with a unique look and not spend a fortune by going with a natural wood rustic fireplace mantel. Each one of these rustic fireplace mantels and shelves are one of a kind.
The selection of rustic fireplace mantels includes a wide variety of beautiful woods, each cut uniquely so you can customize your fireplace and make it like no other. All are a horizontal shelf only and not a full mantel; that is they do not have legs or columns extending down to the hearth.
Rustic logs with a rougher cut add a touch of an earlier time or culture and can fit well in a cabin that’s rustic or as a unique decorative piece in a modern home. In a modern background, these natural cuts of wood shelves resemble more a piece of artwork than a simple shelf. The richness and beauty of the natural wood and its one of a kind shape can make it appear to “pop” from the wall in a dramatic fashion. Sometimes you need the decorative shelf for an area of your home other than above a fireplace. Rustic mantel shelves are not just for having above fireplaces any more. They can add character in a variety of places as an accent piece.
The rustic mantel shelves come in a selection of fine woods that include basswood, butternut, mahogany, walnut and pine. Most of these are available in several finish options. They are cut and sold by the linear foot. The unfinished log mantels are rough hewn or planed only. A little cleanup and sanding are normally required. If you want to save on labor, purchase the unfinished and sanded version. These are hewn or planed, sanded and ready for you to stain and finish. For the least amount of work, a finished version is offered which is finished and ready to install.
The Natural Face comes in basswood, butternut, and walnut and is a cut where on some logs the bark of the tree comes off during the sawing and drying process. The exposed bare edges will show the shape of the log along with knots and character marks. These mantels are the best value because no extra labor is required to prepare it for sale.
If the bark adheres well to the mantel piece throughout the manufacturing process it can be used as Bark Face finished. They offer the most rustic look available. The bark cannot be guaranteed to stay on indefinitely without some tacks or glue. Customers who have installed these mantels for the past ten years have reported few problems. These mantels are more difficult to find than the other styles, so fewer of them may be available. They are only available in basswood.
The Square Face style has more of a traditional flat face that allows the same grain patterns as seen on the top and bottom to shine through the rustic wood. These are available in basswood, butternut, walnut and mahogany.
The Draw Knife Face finish is one where the face of the mantel may have been damaged in the manufacturing process but has been smoothed out with a draw knife. The grain will show normally as in a Square Face mantel, but the mantel will retain the log edge look and the ends of the mantel will stay square. These are also available in basswood, butternut, walnut and mahogany.
The Carved Face cut is where the front face and ends of the mantels are molded and shaped with carving tools to add depth and character to the final product. Mantels carved in this fashion will accentuate knots on the mantel face. If cracks have developed in the drying process, they will be softened. These come in the same four wood varieties.
All of these rustic fireplace shelves are easy to assemble and install. The average homeowner with basic skills can install his own mantle shelf in an afternoon. The tools and supplies needed for a mantel shelf kit installation are typically a hammer, level, electric drill with a Phillips bit or a Phillips screwdriver, a 3/16” drill bit, and a little wood glue. A stud finder may be helpful.
Each of these rustic fireplace mantels has their own unique personality. If you love the look of natural wood, you’ll enjoy these rustic fireplace mantel kits for their warmth and uniqueness. Now that you have your rustic mantel, use it to showcase items that complement the fireplace. They’re great locations for artwork, such as portraits or landscapes, vases or small sculptures. Family heirlooms are often placed there to share with family and friends.