Pros and Cons of Porcelain Fireplace Surrounds: A Comprehensive Guide

Example of a modern style porcelain fireplace

Porcelain fireplace surrounds are a popular choice for homeowners looking for a durable, stylish, and low-maintenance option. Porcelain is a type of ceramic that is made from clay and fired at high temperatures. This makes it very strong and resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. Porcelain fireplace surrounds are also available in a wide variety of colors and styles, so you can find one that perfectly complements your home décor.

Pros of Porcelain Fireplace Surrounds

  1. Remarkable Durability: Porcelain is known for its exceptional durability, making it a perfect choice for a fireplace surround. It is resistant to heat, scratches, and stains, ensuring that your surround will maintain its pristine appearance for years to come.
  2. Versatile Design Options: Porcelain fireplace surrounds come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, providing endless design possibilities. Whether you prefer a classic, contemporary, or eclectic style, there is a porcelain surround to suit your taste and complement your existing decor.
  3. Easy Maintenance: Cleaning and maintaining a porcelain fireplace surround is a breeze. Porcelain is non-porous, which means it resists absorbing liquids and is less prone to staining. Regular dusting and occasional wiping with a mild detergent solution are usually sufficient to keep your porcelain surround looking its best.
  4. Heat Resistant: Fireplaces generate significant heat, and porcelain’s ability to withstand high temperatures is a significant advantage. It ensures that your porcelain surround remains undamaged and unaffected by the heat generated by the fire, providing both safety and longevity.
  5. Hygienic: Porcelain is inherently hygienic due to its non-porous nature. It does not harbor bacteria, mold, or mildew, making it a great choice for homeowners concerned about cleanliness and indoor air quality.

Cons of Porcelain Fireplace Surrounds

  1. Cost: One of the primary considerations when choosing a porcelain fireplace surround is the cost. Porcelain tends to be more expensive than other materials, such as natural stone or ceramic. However, considering its longevity and durability, the investment in a porcelain surround can be well worth it.
  2. Installation Challenges: Installing a porcelain fireplace surround can be more complicated compared to other materials. It requires professional expertise and precision to ensure a proper fit and secure installation. It is recommended to hire a professional installer with experience in working with porcelain to achieve the best results.
  3. Vulnerability to Impact: While porcelain is highly resistant to scratches and stains, it is more susceptible to chipping or cracking when exposed to a significant impact. Care should be taken to avoid accidentally knocking or dropping heavy objects on the surround.
  4. Cold Surface: Porcelain can feel cold to the touch, especially during colder months. This may not be ideal for individuals who enjoy resting against the fireplace or using it as a secondary heat source. However, this can be mitigated by using rugs, cushions, or maintaining a comfortable room temperature. Of course, when your fireplace is running a cold porcelain surface shouldn’t be a problem!

How to Choose the Right Porcelain Fireplace Surround

Example of a modern style porcelain fireplace surround
Example of a modern style porcelain fireplace surround

When choosing a porcelain fireplace surround, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Size: The size of your fireplace will determine the size of the porcelain surround you need. Make sure to measure the width, height, and depth of your fireplace before you start shopping.
  • Style: Porcelain fireplace surrounds are available in a wide variety of styles, so you can find one that perfectly complements your home décor. Consider the style of your home and the other furniture in the room when choosing a surround.
  • Color: Porcelain fireplace surrounds are also available in a wide variety of colors. Choose a color that you love and that will coordinate with the other colors in your room.
  • Price: Porcelain fireplace surrounds can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Set a budget before you start shopping so that you don’t overspend.

How Porcelain Fireplace Surrounds Are Installed

Here are the basic steps involved in installing a porcelain fireplace surround:

  1. Remove the old fireplace surround.
  2. Prepare the fireplace opening. This may involve cleaning the opening, removing any debris, and patching any cracks.
  3. Cut the porcelain surround to size.
  4. Install the porcelain surround. This may involve using adhesive, screws, or a combination of both.
  5. Seal the porcelain surround. This will help to protect it from moisture and staining.

The Tops Solid Surface can help you to arrange for all of these steps!

Caring and Maintenance for a Porcelain Fireplace Surround

Porcelain fireplace surrounds are very low-maintenance. You can simply wipe them down with a damp cloth to keep them clean. If the surround becomes stained, you can use a mild soap and water solution to clean it. Be sure to dry the surround thoroughly after cleaning it.

Porcelain fireplace surrounds offer numerous advantages, such as durability, versatility, and easy maintenance. However, it is essential to consider factors like cost, installation challenges, and vulnerability to impacts before making a decision. Ultimately, weighing the pros and cons will help you determine whether a porcelain fireplace surround is the right choice to enhance the beauty and functionality of your home’s centerpiece. For more ideas check out the galleries at Infinity, Florim, and Lapitec.

Ready to move forward with your Western Washington porcelain fireplace surround project? Feel free to submit your contact information here.

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