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There is nothing more welcoming in a home than a roaring fire. Whether a traditional open fireplace, a wood burning stove, or a modern imitation, there's something so earthy and natural and real about a fireplace; not just because of the warmth it exudes but also because of the soul it brings to a home. Natural stone is therefore the perfect accompaniment to any fireplace; rustic, warm, simple and yet still stunning, it finishes any fireplace to perfection.
Whole stone fireplaces are extremely popular at the moment, especially in country residences. Stone lintels also make for excellent mantelpieces, too. If you can't stretch to the expense of a whole stone fireplace or a stone mantle, stone tiles used to surround the fireplace and the chimney breast are a great alternative.
Travertine is a wonderful natural stone for entire fireplace surrounds and as a tile to partially or wholly cover a chimney breast. In fact, travertine stone tiles will create a very similar look to that of an entire stone fireplace surround, if you'd still like to create the whole fireplace look. Alternatively, if you want something a little more rustic than the smooth lines of a stone fire surround, why not choose irregular natural stone veneers to cover the chimney breast and create a feature wall?
Natural stone is an excellent choice for fireplace hearths, due to its durability and its natural resistance to fire. Slate, granite, limestone and travertine are all suitable stones for fireplace hearths, among others. Hearths can be created from single pieces of natural stone, or from stone tiles, using the appropriate fire-resistant grout, of course. If you're laying stone flooring, you can incorporate a natural stone hearth as part of the design.
If you're lucky enough to have a kitchen range, or are thinking of installing one, natural stone looks wonderful as the splash back and surround of a range or Aga. Traditionally this type of cooker will be found within a country cottage, and natural stone tiles add just the right touch of rustic charm to complete the look.
Whether you're looking for natural stone to complete a fireplace project, or stone tiles for elsewhere in your home, the Stone Gallery, part of the Art of Living group, has it all. We will be happy to advise on which stones will make for the best fireplaces, and which will also suit your style and budget.
Don't forget you can also find beautiful encaustic and terracotta tiles at the Ceramic Tile Warehouse, which is also part of the Art of Living triangle, as is Park Street Interiors. Create a feature with your fireplace: after all, home really is where the (natural stone) hearth is!