This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Your Guide to Antique Mantel Shopping

Shopping for an antique mantel is an exciting process that requires thoughtful research ahead of time. We're sharing some key steps to take prior to placing your mantel order so that you can feel extra confident in your purchase. While purchasing a mantel requires a substantial investment upfront, our pieces are truly meant to last a lifetime.  From functionality to style, sizing, and budget, this comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to select the perfect mantel for your space.


1. Establish Functionality Goals

If you're starting from scratch, what do you want your fireplace to do? Are you interested in a primal, open-fire experience or a convenient remote option, or is your mantel going to be purely decorative? Knowing this upfront will give you a clear path to buying and budgeting for your fireplace mantel. Although we do not sell inserts or inspect chimneys, we can connect you to specialists to determine what is possible within your space.


2. Find the Right Size

Sizing is critical if you are trying to fit the mantel with an existing insert or firebox. The size of your chimney and your insert or firebox will dictate what size of mantel you should purchase. If the mantel is too small, it won't do its job; if it's too big, it will look awkward. Also, consider clearance requirements for units and hearths in your state and the overall size and placement in the room. 


3. Choose Your Style

Fireplaces that are recessed into the wall are called built-in fireplaces. This can encompass wood burning, electric, gas, and ethanol options. Traditional wood-burning fireplaces require chimneys and vents, which can make them one of the more involved installations, requiring a licensed contractor in many cases. 

Sometimes, styles are pre-determined, such as if you have a period home whose architecture you want to match or the size of the room. Some mantels project further out into a room or need additional materials to frame a firebox opening or insert. Are you looking for a Victorian-era mantel with an arch-shaped opening, or do you hope to recreate a classic Parisian look with a French mantel? Alternatively, are you in search of a simpler-looking traditional square opening to fit your contemporary living space?  Whichever style you choose, the most important thing is to use one that matches your functionality goals, budget, and personality. When replacing an existing mantel in the home, consider the period of the home and your overall preferences of marble type, color, and finish.  

Browse our website to get a sense of the various mantels that we offer, which include antique and custom options that come in a range of stone and vary based on detailing, shape, and size. 

Need some more inspo as you shop? Our Instagram page features a mix of designer and client photos showcasing a wide range of mantel types as they appear in a range of homes. Not seeing something you love? Keep in mind that Mantel House DC also offers private sourcing and bespoke design, where we will locate, restore, customize, and ship you a bespoke mantel. 

4. Budget

Once you've determined the size and style of the mantel that you would like to buy, you'll want to look at the mantel options that fit within your desired price range not only for the mantel but shipping and delivery fees associated with getting it safely to your home which is part of your Mantel House purchase. Our mantels are priced between $4,000 and $10,000, and the full installation process (including mantel purchase) can generally range from $7,000 to $15,000.

Keep in mind that installing your mantel—and removing an existing one if needed—can cost between $2,000 to $4,000, so you will want to allocate room in your budget to cover these expenses, too. Our network of installers is expertly trained to integrate these antique pieces into your modern spaces with ease and ingenuity; we are happy to connect you with reliable professionals to make this process seamless and to consult with you before installation to make sure your fireplace is properly prepared for a new mantel surround.  

Leave a comment


No more products available for purchase

Your Cart is Empty