Fireplace Surround and Hearth

The three parts of the fireplace are the grate, surround and hearth. Here we describe the materials used for the hearth and the surround or 'chimney-piece'.

  • marble surround
    marble surround
  • Art Nouveau cast-iron surround
    Art Nouveau cast-iron surround

The choices for the surround were:

  • marble
  • slate, sometimes painted to imitate marble
  • wood
  • cast iron

Darker coloured marble was used in the dining room than the drawing room. Marble was going out of fashion by 1900 but persisted in smaller homes.

Wood gained in popularity. A mahogany surround would be polished whereas pine would be painted.

The hearths were usually tiled or marble, and smaller by 1900. As a consequence, fenders became more important to keep coals in the fireplace and clothes out.

The fireplace would have had a cloth drape. This would have been of a dark colour in the case of active fireplaces, as it would have needed washing frequently.

For companies selling fireplaces and ranges, see the Products and Services Directory.