Tile Fireplace Surround Ideas
Looking for design inspiration for your fireplace surround?
Tile Fireplace Surround Ideas – With so many different types of fire now available it can be easy to become confused when looking for ideas. Let us help make things a little more straightforward!
Fireplace Tiles for Open Fires and Stoves
Traditional wood or coal fires give off a lot of heat when lit, and their ability to quickly warm your home is one of the most attractive attributes of these kind of fires. With such heat comes a stressful environment for the tiles that surround your fireplace and for this reason it is essential that you choose fireplace tiles that are suitable for the environment they are intended for. We would steer you away from the use of natural stone, the reasoning here being that if the stone contains ‘veins’ which run through it, the intense heat of an open fire can expand the tile so that when cooling takes place, the shrinking back of the stone and the non-uniformity in its structure can lead to cracks.
At Firetile we produce glazed fireplace tiles that are capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 1000 Degrees, which is well above temperatures generated by normal fires! Our fireplace tiles have been developed to perform in these extreme temperatures.
At Firetile we produce a dedicated range of ceramic fireplace tiles or porcelain fireplace tiles which are ideal for the purpose of withstanding extreme temperatures whilst providing considerable and lasting aesthetic appeal.
Fireplace Tiles for Gas and Electric Fires
As gas and electric fires do not give off direct heat in the same way as open fires, there is a much lower chance of damage and stains appearing on these fireplace tiles. For this reason, you can actually use any type of tile you want, within reason, to to create a hearth or fire surround. While this may be true, creating a fireplace from traditional fireplace tiles will give a more ‘authentic’ appearance to your project and compliment your interior design theme.
The History of the Tile Fireplace Surround
Over many years the particular design of fireplaces has evolved. Originally the ideas entered around function and necessity but these quickly developed as interior design considerations and trends came to bear on this basic function to incorporate the importance of aesthetic appearance. The earliest examples were really mere ‘fire pits’ when compared to modern fireplaces. These early fireplaces were chiefly used for warmth on cold days and nights, as well as for cooking. Crucially, they also functioned as a gathering place within the home, a use that many people who have an open fire will still tell you is one of the nicest things about having a real fire.
There were many defects found in the early fireplace designs. With the industrial revolution there came housing developments that required standardisation of fireplaces dimensions and materials. The most renowned fireplace designers of this era were the Adam Brothers. They perfected a style of fireplace design that was used for many generations. Their fireplace style was more brightly lit, more compact and had an emphasis on the quality of the materials used in their construction.
By the 19th Century most of the new fireplaces that were constructed consisted of two parts, these being the fire surround and the insert. The fire surround comprised of the mantlepiece and sides supports, often in wood, marble or granite. The insert was where the fire itself burned. The insert was usually made of cast iron. The insert was many times backed with decorative fireplace tiles.