The process of designing and planning your travertine fireplace hearth, mantel and surround will involve numerous sketches, drawings and lots of google searches looking for ideas. The picture above shows some of the sketching that was done on paper and on our fireplace wall prior to construction. Sketching on the actual fireplace wall is especially helpful in that it gives you a full size visual idea of what the proportions will look like. Hearth and Mantle dimensions are very important as well as column height. Stone mantels and hearths that are too thin or too thick or just too different from one another will look odd. Columns that are too thick, thin, short or too tall will also throw the entire project out of proportion. You are trying to achieve a balance that keeps the entire project in proportion but also matches your taste. It is fine to have thick columns as long as the other components are thick as well. No one component should overpower another but should all complement the actual fireplace. Visiting and photographing fireplaces that you like is also very helpful. Make sure to get measurements of the key components so that your design achieves the same balance as the fireplace you like.
As you design and research your stone fireplace project you will no doubt run into hurdles. Some of these will be the cost and availability of materials, finding a qualified installer, installation price and basic physics. The main thing is to not give up or get frustrated and accept something that you do not want. Be willing to compromise but do not build something that you know you will never like. Remember, if you have seen it done before, it can be done again. Don't be discouraged by untrained installers who say something cannot be done when you have seen it done elsewhere. If you talk to enough people and do enough research you will be able to get the project done the way you like it and on your budget assuming both of these things are within reason. We never thought we could have a fireplace built for what it ended up costing us. In our case, the key was having a fantastic installer and a stone supplier that was very reasonable and knowlegable.
After you have designed the way you want your fireplace to look, you are ready to begin looking for stone and other materials. At the same time you will want to start looking for an installer. Most stone suppliers will have a list of installers that you can call for a consultation. This is how we found our installer.
You will find below an index of the articles that I have put together on this subject. I have tried to cover building a granite, travertine or marble fireplace hearth, surround and mantle using a step by step approach.
Step by Step Articles on Building a Travertine, Marble or Granite Fireplace Surround.
Intro - An Overview of Designing your Stone Fireplace Surround, Mantel and Hearth - Overview of our articles on Building a Natural Stone Fireplace.
Article 1 - Sketching and Designing your Stone Fireplace Surround - Measuring, planning and sketching out your Natural Stone Fireplace.
Article 2 - Finding an Stone Installer - Choosing a craftsman to build your travertine, marble or granite for your natural stone fireplace.
Article 3 - Finding your Materials - Choosing your travertine, marble or granite for your natural stone fireplace.
Article 4 - Finding your Materials 2 - Finding Marble, Travertine, Granite, Concrete or Cement Columns for your Fireplace
Article 5 - Installing the Fireplace Hearth - Installing your Marble, Travertine, Granite, or Limestore Fireplace Hearth
Article 6 - Installing the Fireplace Surround - Installing a Marble, Travertine, Granite Tile or Slab Fireplace Surround
Article 7 - Installing the Fireplace Mantel - Installing a Marble, Travertine, Granite Tile or Slab Fireplace Mantel
Article 8 - Installing the Fireplace Surround - Installing Wall Tile on a Marble, Travertine, Granite Tile or Slab Fireplace
Article 9 - Grouting the Fireplace Surround - Grouting Wall Tile on a Marble, Travertine, Granite Tile or Slab Fireplace
Article 10 - Enhancing and Sealing your Fireplace Surround - Applying Enhancer/Sealer to your Travertine or Natural Stone Fireplace Surround.
Picture Page 1 - Photos, Pictures, Images of Installing a Marble, Granite, Travertine or Limestone Fireplace Hearth, Mantel and Surround.
Picture Page 2 - Photos, Pictures, Images of Installing a Marble, Granite, Travertine or Limestone Fireplace Hearth, Mantel and Surround.