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Choosing the Best Materials for Your Fireplace

Picture of Megan Walden

Megan Walden

Managing Director

As part of our company ethos, we are dedicated to delivering the highest quality products to our customers. That’s why we have given you a little insight into some of the materials we use, why we use them and which ones we recommend for each type of fireplace design.

If you’re already planning a bespoke fireplace design or you’re simply searching for inspiration, read on to discover which materials make a great addition to a designer fireplace design.


Luxury fireplaces are synonymous with marble and it’s easy to see why. Its inimitable appearance, combined with its durability and heat resistance, make marble a top choice for designer fireplaces. As marble is available in a wide range of colours, it can easily be integrated into a variety of interior designs.

From white marble with subtle grey veining to sleek black, bold reds or midnight blues, a marble contemporary fireplace can be the perfect addition to your home. 


While the base of a modern fireplace is often constructed from steel, it isn’t always associated with fireplace design ideas. However, steel can be the ultimate choice if you want a contemporary fireplace with a chic, understated feel or you’re channelling an industrial interior design that’s enhanced with metallic textures and hues. 

Horizontal steel can showcase an inset fireplace, for example, while stainless steel can make the ideal base for a suspended luxury fireplace. Of course, a steel canopy is also a great option if you’re planning to integrate an open or glass-surround suspended fireplace and you want to use the aesthetic to make an unforgettable impact. 


Exposed brickwork or stone cladding is a popular option for luxury gas fires, bioethanol fires and electric fireplaces. As stone works exceedingly well in both traditional and contemporary environments, you can combine it with fireplace ideas to suit any type of design or décor. 

With an exposed brickwork backdrop to showcase the flames of your fireplace, for example, you can achieve a rustic feel while maintaining a contemporary interior. Alternatively, adding stone cladding to the base of a suspended fireplace or onto a fireplace wall can be an effective way to introduce new materials, textures and aesthetics into the space. 


When people think of wood in relation to a fireplace, it’s usually because they’re considering installing a wood-burning stove or fire, but there are other ways to incorporate timber into your fireplace design ideas. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that it can be used to create a bespoke fireplace surround. 

As wood is naturally highly flammable, it may not seem like an obvious choice when you’re designing a modern fireplace. However, there are ways to ensure that a timber surround is perfectly safe and meets relevant safety regulations. 

Now that we’ve got the practicalities covered, we can focus on the reasons why wood can be a great option when designing a contemporary fireplace. A natural finish will add a classic, outdoorsy feel to the space, while a sleek, modern finish will enhance contemporary styling, for example. 

By working with expert joiners, you can even create a custom fireplace wall that incorporates a variety of features to showcase your designer fireplace at its finest. 


While it may sound obvious, don’t overlook the benefits of using plaster as a fireplace surround. If you’re installing a luxury inset fireplace, for example, integrating it directly into the wall and not adding a dedicated surround can deliver a minimal yet impactful feel. 

Similarly, a plastered freestanding wall can be the ideal location for a tunnel fireplace that’s directly visible from either side of the wall. Combining a simple and sleek aesthetic that can be painted or papered in any colour or pattern, a plaster fireplace surround is a powerful way to showcase your designer fireplace.


Victorian fireplaces often featured small, square tiles in their surrounds and today’s period fireplaces often maintain this feature too. However, this isn’t the only way that tiles can be used to create a spectacular, statement fireplace. 

Today, tiles of all sizes are frequently used to create bespoke fireplace design ideas and the never-ending range of colours that is available means it’s easy to find tiles that reflect your creative ideas and complement your décor.

Furthermore, the tiling pattern you choose can add visual interest to the space and even impact how the room feels. A herringbone or chevron design can be used to add a feeling of height to the room, for example, while a staggered brick pattern can appear to extend the space horizontally. For an even more impactful aesthetic, you may even want to incorporate a mosaic or tessellated tile pattern into your surround.


If you’re looking for fireplace design ideas that will deliver a cool and contemporary finish, then concrete could be the ultimate choice. It’s a superb option if you want a modern designer fireplace with an industrial feel and can be an effective way to transform your fireplace into a statement piece. 

As concrete is durable, hardwearing and fire-resistant, it can technically be used on virtually every part of a fireplace. In most instances, however, people choose to utilise this material to create an eye-catching fireplace beam or base that complements the surrounding décor. 

What Material Is Best for Your Fireplace?

As you can see, there are many different materials to choose from when you’re exploring fireplace design ideas. While there are some variations when it comes to suitable materials for electric, gas and bioethanol fires, most fireplace designs can be adapted so that your preferred materials can be integrated to achieve the aesthetic you’re after. 

With our talented in-house design team available to bring your ideas to life, we work tirelessly to ensure the highest quality materials are used to create stunning, bespoke fireplace designs for each and every client.

To find out more or to explore fireplace materials in more detail, make an appointment at our exclusive fireplace studio now.