In our time, more and more often they began to install fireplaces in their homes in order to enjoy flashes of live fire and calm down under the crackle of burning logs. Fireplaces made of natural stone have become very popular due to the many advantages of such a finish.
The design attracts the admiring glances of not only residents, but also guests. Thanks to the stone, you can turn the fireplace into a masterpiece of art and bring individual features to the interior.
The main advantages of stone cladding
- Safety and environmental friendliness. When heated, the stone does not emit toxic substances or smoke, there are no smells at all.
- Heat resistance, natural stone can withstand any kind of thermal stress, temperature changes or high humidity. Therefore, it is possible to finish with stone both in heated rooms and in the country, without a permanent heating system.
- High density and strength of the material. Thanks to these indicators, the stone easily withstands physical and mechanical stress through various impacts, deformations or scratches. Therefore, a stone fireplace is durable and has untimely wear resistance.
- High thermal conductivity. Due to the preservation of heat, stones are used not only for decorative purposes, but also for heating the house.
- Stone-lined stoves and fireplaces look expensive, luxurious and aesthetically pleasing. Such an exclusive design decorates the space and conveys the depth of the spiritual beauty of the owners of the house.
- Natural stone can be processed in various ways, creating a variety of shapes and textures of products. Therefore, a stone-look fireplace gives a unique design approach to decorating your home.
Modern technologies of our time offer many options for finishing the fireplace portal. It all depends on the transmitted style of the desired structure. For example, Hi-tech obliges to use metal panels and refractory glass for concise implantation of a fireplace into space. Using noble stone, you can transform a variety of interiors, ranging from classic to modern styles.
Varieties of facings for the fireplace
Facing a fireplace with natural stone is not a cheap pleasure, although many choose it. A wide range of materials and textures of stones help to fit structures into various design solutions for interior decoration.
It is clear to many that the fireplace in space plays a significant role. Most often, it is erected to give aesthetic beauty, and not for practical reasons. Other types of heating system are usually used to heat the house.
Fireplace in the «Classic» style corresponds to the strict forms formed over several centuries. The classic suggests an open hearth. This style is characterized by structures located along the wall or corner structures.
Fireplace in the style of «Country» reflects the favorable attitude of the owners to natural materials. In the composition with stone, wooden elements are most often used in the cladding, giving the effect of antiquity.
The fireplace in modern style «Modern» conveys the severity of forms and straight lines. Natural stone is combined with sheet metal, glass and modern finishing materials.
For a fireplace in the style of «Hi-tech» unusual, bold and original forms are characteristic. Tiled stone, refractory glass, metal or even plastic are used for decoration. This style implies a minimum of details for cladding.
Varieties of rocks for facing
Among the variety of natural stones for facing the fireplace, any breed is used, although granite, marble, limestone, serpentine, onyx, sandstone and large river pebbles are preferred. The leaders among finishing materials are granite and marble.
Granite has high resistance to temperature extremes. Experienced stove-makers do not recommend using it for lining the fireplace, as over time it begins to crack due to the deformation of quartz inclusions, which are part of the stone.
Recently it became known that granite finishes are not used in living rooms with the constant presence of people. This is due to the fact that the mineral has natural radioactive radiation, which is released in small doses, which, accumulating, can adversely affect the health of residents.
Marble can be called an ideal stone for facing, as it perfectly withstands even sudden changes in temperature. It can be used to decorate the external and internal parts of the portal.
In the production of marble slabs, coloring pigments are sometimes added to give the material expressive veins and unusual interspersed patterns.
Thanks to modern technologies, figures of any complexity can be cut out of marble, having even and smooth edges, while maintaining the natural structure of the stone. This is how facing materials are created that convey the delightful ornaments of a stone fireplace.
Sand rocks for finishing the fireplace are rough processed and look spectacular in massive structures. Thus, the mood of the ancient buildings of the East is conveyed and the nature of the hearth is emphasized.
Facing with flexible stone
The progress of the latest technologies among natural building materials has given us a flexible stone made of sandstone, it is also called acrylic tiles. It has many wonderful qualities, although it is difficult to compare with marble or rhodonite, while the finish looks aesthetically pleasing and neat.
The main advantages of flexible stone include:
- Elasticity. The main characteristic that determines its widespread use for finishing work. The ease of application of the material does not require special tools and construction skills. Anyone who can wallpaper can handle flexible stone fireplace decoration. When decorating a surface that has strong curves or corners, it is recommended to use heat with a building dryer.
- Light weight material. Finishing does not increase the load on the structure, while it can be used to decorate very thin surfaces. It can be transported to any height without the use of construction equipment or outside help. 1 square meter can weigh no more than 5 kilograms.
- High moisture resistance and porous structure. The plastic base is not subject to brittleness, you can not be afraid of damaging it. Thanks to the sandstone of which the material is composed, it maintains a high quality exterior finish throughout the entire period of operation.
- Heat resistance and fire resistance. It can withstand sudden changes in temperature without changing its qualities, therefore it is successfully used for decorating stoves and fireplaces. The temperature range ranges from — 30 to + 6500C. Does not ignite when exposed to direct fire.
- Excellent decorative quality. Lots of unique and varied material colors. It is difficult to find the same pattern due to the different structures of the sandstone.
Inclusions of various components give original colors and unique shades. For example, an admixture of clay in a stone sets off red and brown, iron gives a rich brown color, while natural sandstone has a gray, yellow and even pink color.
- Manufacturability. With the help of the material, it is possible to veneer surfaces with high quality, accurately observing their contours. It is economical to use, as it can be cut with scissors and easily glued to the surface. Finishing fireplaces with flexible stone is possible even for people who do not have special skills and tools.
- Durability. Manufacturers claim a guaranteed service life of up to 35 years. Moreover, for some types of flexible stone, this figure is much higher. When using special impregnations, the service life can be increased.
- Environmental friendliness. The material consists of natural components, heating up, does not emit toxic fumes.
With a large number of advantages of such a material, it also has disadvantages. The main disadvantage is:
- Relatively high price. The cost ranges from 500 to 7,000 rubles. for 1 m2. Such a price is associated with complex production — in the manufacturing process, it is necessary to cut off thin layers of sandstone on high-precision industrial equipment.
- The specificity of the preparatory and final processing of the stone. In addition to gluing the material, it is necessary to apply several layers of protective coating.
Most often, different types of stones are used for decoration, combining rocks and shades of natural minerals. This is how the splendor and originality of the natural facing of the fireplace with natural stone is achieved.
Recommendations when choosing a stone
For the right choice of material, consult with experts in advance. Having examined the finished fireplace, they will be able to offer you various options for its decoration.
- If you yourself decide to use granite or marble, then pay attention to the integrity of the rock.
Important check sections of the material that may be disturbed during processing and grinding.
Before acquiring marble, it is carefully examined in different planes of illumination, noticing any cracks or chips. Supplement visual inspection with a touch check, it should have a uniform surface.
Remember! Even small defects do not immediately affect the wear of the fireplace lining, but over time, dust and soot clog in cracks and chips, and this worsens the appearance of the fireplace.
Foundation preparation for stone fireplaces
Natural stones are a rather heavy material, if the weight of the hearth itself is added to it, then a very difficult construction is obtained. In this regard, the foundation must be created, taking into account the conditions for the location of the structure.
Either it will be a base, separate from the general foundation, or a single structure. You can find more detailed information about the parameters and characteristics of the base in the corresponding article.
Raising the question of the benefits of cladding with natural stones, given the cost of the material, we can summarize the following:
Competently created finishing brings not only aesthetic beauty, but also keeps the fireplace for a very long time.
This design is not subject to external influences or corrosive processes and is maintained under any aggressive environmental factors.