Wood Fireplace Mantle Shelves – The platform above a fireplace is called a mantelpiece. Many people refer to it simply as the fireplace, but this is incorrect. The mantel includes the entire frame of the fireplace, not just the platform at the top. Some chimneys of the late Victorian era also incorporate side shelves embedded in the columns next to the combustion chamber.
Fireplace shelves have existed for hundreds of years. But, it did not become common in the American colonies until the Georgian period in the 1750s and 60s. Until that time, chimneys were usually of simple, rough construction. Subsequently, the chimneys were create increasingly recharge, often in paint and with ornamental wood above the platform that extends to the crown molding below the ceiling. Later tablecloth styles can be more or less complex, but the mantelpiece became a standard component.
Mantles are usually build of wood, stone or metal with marble or faux marble a preferred option. If the platform and the rest of the chimney are create of wood or other flammable material, which must be a certain distance from the combustion chamber, separate by a fireproof enclosure. Mantles made of stone act as thermal mass, sustaining the heat of the fire and releasing gradually, even after the flames are out. Metal chimneys, on the other hand, tend to reflect the heat in the room.