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Natural Stone for Outdoor Fireplaces

Posted 07/17/2012 by sitecore\Anonymous

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Are you thinking of creating a space outdoors for entertaining? Enhance your patio for summer evenings with the ambiance of an outdoor fireplace. An outdoor fireplace creates a natural gathering spot for small groups or creates a cozy setting for two. Natural stone is the perfect material for building outdoor fireplaces. The physical beauty of stone harmonizes with outdoor settings to bring out the best in the stone and the scenery. And of course, natural stone is made in nature by nature. It was designed to withstand the out-of-doors!

Wondering what materials to choose for an outdoor fireplace?

Medallion: Sopris Waterjet, Emperador Dark Polished Marble, Rojo Alicante Polished Marble, Troy Travertine. Background: Turco Travertine 6”x6. Border: Mexican Noce Tumbled Travertine 1”x1”. Hearth slab: Colonial Cream Granite. Photo courtesy of Linda Hauser of California Designs for Living.

The interior structure of an outdoor fireplace will be made from fireproof concrete. The natural stone will be the facing or cladding that will adhere to the concrete, creating that gorgeous outside appearance. An outdoor fireplace has two surfaces – the horizontal surface and the vertical surface. The horizontal and vertical surfaces may be covered using the same natural stone for a uniform look or contrasting stone for more variety. When choosing your fireplace facing, consider the stone used in planned or existing retaining walls, outdoor columns and patio floors to create a contiguous effect that is aesthetically pleasing.

When considering materials for fireplace stone facing, remember that the fireplace and chimney must meet state and local fire codes, so only certain products can be used. We recommend the following materials when designing and building an outdoor fireplace.

Horizontal  Surfaces:

Natural stone slabs like granite, travertine, limestone and slate / quartzite can be cut to exact dimensions for a perfect fit for a custom fireplace. These materials are resistant to heat - ideal for an outdoor fireplace hearth. Their durability stands up to most temperatures and weather conditions through the baking heat of summer to cold winter nights.

Tumbled stone, including travertine, and marble are excellent choices to create stunning beauty in a backyard landscape while withstanding the outdoor elements. If you are considering slate, call us for recommendations on the ideal slate for outdoor projects. Some types of slate can be used in freeze/thaw conditions, but not all are designed for outdoor use. We’re happy to discuss with  you the best slate for your project.

Vertical Surfaces:

Outdoor Fireplace in Café Forest Marble

Granite, travertine, limestone, and marble can also be used for vertical facing on an outdoor fireplace. But if you want to make the fireplace the focal point of the patio, don’t miss the opportunity to design a custom vertical facing using 3-D split or slate stack tiles, tumbled stone mosaics or stone moldings. Used alone or combined to make a stunning design, you are nearly guaranteed to create a one-of-a-kind outdoor fireplace that is a work of art.

When choosing colors, gather your inspiration from the colors that nature provides in the surrounding outdoor landscape. Natural stone harmoniously accents the greens, browns, rusts and reds found in backyards everywhere.  With a well-designed outdoor fireplace as the focus of your patio, you’ll find that you may spend more time outdoors than in. Make your favorite room your outdoor patio with a stunning natural stone fireplace!

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