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How to Protect Fireplace Mantel From Heat

Hugo Totty is passionate about clothing and lifestyle. I love sharing my experiences about different fashion aspects that I've picked up.


For anyone with a fireplace in their household, it makes sense to have the fireplace as a focal point. These large sections make it easy for you to add things like TVs and the like above the fireplace, too, making it a suitable focal point overall. One thing to note about such a property, though, is that it can go a very long way to making sure that the fireplace is not simply consigned to the side whilst you focus on electronic entertainment. However, one common problem with fireplaces is that your fireplace mantel can become warmed or damaged through the heat.

It makes sense, too; the sheer volume of heat being produced by your fireplace is going to have an impact on the mantel. However, a few simple adjustments can be all that you are looking for if you wish to make a committed change to this fireplace. Now, you can make sure that your fireplace mantel is not going to be damaged by the use of the fireplace.

Over time, failing to adhere to the below could see your fireplace mantel become warmed or damaged. How, then, can you avoid that?

Make Sure You Are Not Too Deep

One of the most common reasons for your fireplace mantel being damaged by heat is the depth. Many people build their fireplace to be too deep meaning that the fireplace is left looking uneven. It can also mean that the fireplace mantel is too deep, leaving a large and visible protrusion that is not very nice to look at.

The first problem you should look to solve with your fireplace mantel then is making sure that it is not too deep. As you are getting the fireplace designed, avoid any depth above 7” in depth.

Make Sure You Are Not Too Close

Another common problem for many fireplace mantels is that they are too close to the fireplace itself. Regulations state that you must have a clearance of at least 6” from the side of the fireplace to the opening. It might also have an 8” gap to the top. Many fireplaces, though, do not follow this clear regulation. A brick is around 8” wide itself, so you want to make sure that your fireplace mantel is provided with enough coverage.

For example, it is common for people to leave the gap way too close to the opening – you need at least a bricks width to make sure that this is not going to be too close to the point where it is actually quite dangerous.

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Design a Metal Hood

Another option for many fireplaces that you could install today, though, would be a metal hood. Metal hoods are an excellent choice to go for if you are able to find the space. Hoods will deflect the heat and it will properly shield the mantelpiece from being warped or damaged. If you do go down the route of using a hood, though, you should make sure that you get an extended hood.

This is also a good way to make sure that you can get the most heat from the fireplace without having to worry about it warping or damaging anything along the way. So, if you want to make sure that your fireplace is going to be safe from being damaged, install a hood. The only thing that it will not do is directly stop the heat from getting to the mantel – what it will do, though, is make sure that the heat is not serious enough to damage the mantel.

You should therefore be able to get many years of extra life out of that mantel. The fitting of a metal hood can do just that if you want to make sure that it sticks in place exactly as it should.

Include a Heat Detector

However, some fireplaces are built into areas so tight that you might not be able to get the proper clearance – or you might barely be meeting the required clearance. With that in mind, you might want to keep the fireplace but avoid the fireplace mantel from needless damage.

What we recommend you do at that junction is that you install what is known as a heat deflector. These are often made from metal, so you will need to have them painted with suitable paint to ensure it matches your fireplace. It should also be installed just below the fireplace mantel so that it does not become obstructive to the mantel itself.

Heat deflectors allow for air to pass between the deflector and the mantel, meaning that the heat is never actually going to hit the mantel in the first place. This is a good way to make sure that you are left with a safe way to avoid the mantel from being warped due to the heat.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Hugo Totty

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