Facing the fireplace with decorative stone
In the view of most people, a fireplace is not only and not so much a source of heat. First of all, this is the part of the interior that gives particular comfort and chic to the room.
Historically, fireplaces were made of natural stones, and finished with tiles or ceramics. In our time, the choice of materials for this has greatly expanded, and therefore there are always options for different possibilities, tastes and prices. Let's try to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of decorative stones in this issue.
Features of natural stone
Granite, marble, sandstone, quartzite, limestone, slate, tuff, pebble and even cobblestones are used as facing decorative stones for finishing the fireplace. For particularly luxurious options can be used and semi-precious stones - jasper, onyx, jadeite, serpentine.
The advantages of finishing from natural stones include:
- Durability, such a finishing option can last more than a dozen years, or maybe a hundred, and over time the beauty of such a finish will be complemented by a touch of antiquity.
- Strength.Most natural stones perfectly tolerate high temperatures and do not lose their qualities due to temperature differences.
- Ecological purity. When heated, natural stones do not emit any chemical compounds hazardous to humans.
- Beauty. It is difficult to argue that the beauty created by nature with skillful processing will not leave anyone indifferent. Creating a cozy atmosphere of unity with nature, good energy.
There are natural stones and their disadvantages:
- Great weight. The use of natural stones for decoration requires a preliminary assessment of the weight of the fireplace with such a finish and the ability of the foundation to withstand such a weight. In addition, the weight often requires special additional structures for fastening stones.
- The complexity of the work. Most of the work on finishing the fireplace with natural stone is within the power of the professionals.
- High price. Mining and production of natural stone are labor-intensive and costly processes, which affects the final price of products.
Each of the types of natural stones has its own characteristics:
- Granite.It is considered the strongest and most frequently used stone for decoration. It has many color options, allowing you to find the perfect option for the interior. Good treatment (grinding, sawing, etc.)
- Sandstone. Also has a wide range of colors. Widely distributed, making it more affordable. Uncomplicated in processing.
- Slate Not much inferior in strength granite. Easy to handle. It has a kind of overflow in the light of fire. Marble. Can be considered as a version of the front decoration. There are many colors of marble ranging from snow white to brown and black. It has an amazing property to give products tenderness and lightness, while it is very strong and durable. Marble finishing without a doubt should be made by professionals. Facing with marble is considered the most difficult and meticulous.
- Cockleshell. Quite light, easy to process stone. It has an original porous structure made of petrified seashells. Such porosity contributes to high heat-resistant and heat-insulating qualities. Color options are usually in white and yellow.
- Tuff. Another option for porous stone.Its advantages include the ability to withstand temperature extremes, moisture resistance. Convenient for processing.
- Pebbles, cobblestone. Natural budget options for natural stones. If you have certain skills can be an excellent option to create an unusual and stylish design of the fireplace.
If the option of facing with natural stones is impossible for any reason, then there are a large number of options for artificial decorative stones.
First of all, the price of such stones attracts. It is significantly lower than that of natural, while maintaining excellent external qualities. Low weight. This will allow you to apply this finish without fear of increasing the load on the structure. Facing by an artificial stone is possible for any surfaces. Many color options that will give the opportunity to choose for any interior. You can also choose the texture of the stone and change the shape of the elements. Relative simplicity of performance of work. Finishing using modern artificial stones is quite easy to do with your own hands.
The main disadvantage of artificial stones is the possibility of their release under the influence of heat of chemical compounds hazardous to health.Therefore, it is especially important to seriously choose an artificial stone. It is better to dwell on the products of well-known companies and be sure to get acquainted with the certificate for the product. It is also necessary to pay attention to the texture of stones, the presence of chips, porous surfaces and other defects. Modern materials, made to strict standards, minimize drawbacks and are not dangerous.
They are created on the basis of a crumb of natural stones, have high strength and meet the requirements of fire safety.
Consider two options from the latest development of artificial stones.
- Acrylic. It is made of a natural marble crumb, to 80% in structure. Acrylic resins are used for hardening, which gave the name to the stone. The use of acrylic stone provides great opportunities, because using different color additives and texture selection, they achieve similarity with almost all finishing natural stones, up to semi-precious stones. It has durability and does not require special care, a simple wet cleaning is sufficient without the use of chemical and abrasive agents.
- Flexible stone. One of the latest developments, which allows you to reduce the installation of facing of the fireplace to bring to the floor of linoleum on the floor. It is made in the form of sheets with dimensions 960x480mm and thickness 1,5-4mm. It consists of natural marble chips and has a rough surface. The texture and color of this stone is similar to natural finishing stones and gives unlimited possibilities to create various interiors in a short time, including “under a wild stone”. Low weight and flexibility makes it possible to mount it on any surface. Large sheet sizes eliminate the need for tedious grouting. The flexible stone does not contain harmful substances and is safe for health. Perfectly cut even with office scissors.
As a simple and budget option, you can use a plaster stone. It is easy, does not overload the structure. Processing is not difficult. It is possible to create various forms of such stones by creating your own designs.
Tips for facing your own hands
If you decide to do the work yourself, it is useful to take into account some tips that experts offer:
Conduct a thorough surface treatment for cladding, taking into account the stone used.
Pre-pick the stones according to the colors and lay them out on a plane so that you do not have to redo them on the working surface.
If there is a need for sawing, choose files with small notches, so as not to spoil the material. A smart solution would be to use a regular hacksaw.
Strictly follow the instructions for choosing and making fastening solutions for selected finishing materials.
Work in a warm room, not lower than 5ºC. Start facing with the largest and thickest elements with a small amount of mortar, so it will be easier for you to adjust the thickness of other elements in the future.
When grouting, it is necessary to allow the solution to dry and then remove the excess so as not to stain the surface of the stone.
After completion of the work it will be useful to treat the surface with a composition that protects it from moisture and dust.