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8 best fireplace mantels

Which fireplace mantel should you buy?

There are many accent pieces in your living room that complete its overall aesthetic. The extra furnishings go a long way toward making your home feel cozy and stylish. 

Your fireplace, whether it sits in a living room, kitchen or bedroom, is an important focal point. The right decoration around the fireplace can tie the room decor of the entire room together. The mantel on your fireplace can add a sleek, stylish aesthetic or provide a traditional feel, depending on the look you prefer.  

What is a fireplace mantel?

A fireplace mantel is the decorative piece that goes around a fireplace. This typically consists of a shelf above the fireplace, which often extends down into two legs or pillars on either side of it. 

Types of fireplace mantels

Material and style can vary widely from one mantel to another, but there are generally two types of fireplace mantelpiece:

  • Mantel surround: This refers to a mantelpiece that includes a shelf supported by pillars or legs either side of the fireplace. More traditional mantel surrounds usually have corbels to join the two together. Corbels are decorative pieces that jut out under the shelf and over the top of each leg, almost like a supporting bracket. So the mantel surround is like a three-piece frame to go around the fireplace. Mantel surrounds are usually more suitable for large fireplaces and big rooms.
  • Mantel shelf: A mantel shelf floats above the fireplace without legs or pillars down the sides. You'll often see mantel shelves used above contrasting finishes around the fireplace. For example, a wooden mantel shelf might be placed above a stone fireplace surround. For smaller rooms or a minimalist look, a mantel shelf is less intrusive than a full mantel surround. 

What to consider before buying a mantel for your fireplace

  • Length: Mantels come in different lengths depending on the size of your fireplace. If you're getting a custom mantel, the size can be more precise. But you can pick up pre-built mantels between 55 and 70 inches long. If you're struggling to select a length, measure the firebox and make sure the mantel shelf will extend beyond the firebox's width by at least 3 inches on either side. 
  • Depth: Mantels come in various depths, too, so you can choose a more sleek and subtle one or go for something that will give you plenty of room to place decorations on the shelf. Most mantel shelves will give you at least 6 inches of depth.
  • Material: The most common material for mantels is wood, particularly for mantel shelves. You can choose from almost any type of wood, including pine, oak, mahogany or maple. However, the type of wood can have a significant impact on price. For example, a solid oak mantel shelf will usually be far more expensive than a pine shelf. 
  • Color: If you want a specific color for your mantel to tie the room together, such as a white shelf, look for painted wood. But if you want a traditional finish, consider darker wood options such as mahogany and walnut, medium-dark woods like oak and cherry or light woods such as maple and ash.
  • Style: Depending on the overall aesthetic of your fireplace and the rest of the room, you might want something very simple. Many mantels have no embellishment, providing clean, simple lines. Alternatively, choosing a mantel with carvings or added features can suit rooms with a more traditional feel. 

Best fireplace mantels to buy

Mantelsdirect Dakota Floating Pine Wood Fireplace Mantel Shelf

This 60-inch mocha mantel offers a timeless colored piece with the rustic charm of an old farmhouse shelf. The attractive wood is durable and designed for versatility while being easy to install.

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Boscomondo Solid Rustic Wood Fireplace Mantel

This mantel comes in five sizes ranging from 48 to 72 inches, so you can choose the size that best complements your fireplace. Choose from five rustic wood colors, including a sleek gray and a warm dark oak.

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Pearl Mantels Shenandoah Pine Fireplace Mantel Shelf

At 60 inches, this pine mantel shelf has hand-hewn edges and can be hung with or without corbels depending on your preference. It's also easy to install and comes with a pearl inlay that shows it's a Pearl mantel.

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Mantelsdirect Breckenridge Floating Fireplace Mantel Wood Shelf

This pine shelf is available in six colors or finishes to suit the style and aesthetic of any home. The corbel bracket arches are a nice added detail to give this mantel shelf a classic feel, regardless of the finish you choose.

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Welland Real Wood Floating Wall Mantel

This imported pine mantel comes with a walnut stain, giving the wood character and the feeling of natural imperfections that can complement brick fireplaces perfectly. It's handmade, easy to install and (depending on the style of your room) can provide an industrial or farmhouse feel that looks great.

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Dogberry Collections Modern Farmhouse Mantel Shelf

Made from alder planks, this mantel shelf is 48 inches long and comes with all the hardware you'll need to install it. It's suitable for mounting to drywall and provides plenty of width to display decorations.

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Mantelsdirect Floating Fireplace Mantel Wood Shelf in White

This timeless, charming mantel is easy to install and comes with a mounting board, screws and step-by-step instructions so you can hang it in no time. It's made from natural Asian hardwood, and its sleek white finish makes it compatible with almost any room's design.

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Pearl Mantels Crestwood Mantel Shelf

This 60-inch mantel shelf is made from medium-density fiberboard with semigloss white paint to create a sleek look that can illuminate any room. The included hanger board makes for easy installation, and it can be used almost anywhere, if not as a mantel, then as a floating shelf.

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Lauren Farrell  writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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