What to Consider When Remodeling a Fireplace

Now that we are spending all our time indoors, you may have noticed some aspects of your home that you are thinking of upgrading and one of those areas may be your fireplace. They tend to be the focal point of the room and the materials you select should complement the rest of your home. There are a lot of factors to think about when looking to remodel your fireplace. Keep reading to learn about some things you should consider when renovating your fireplace.

Facing Material

The fireplace face or surround is the part of the fireplace that is around the firebox meant to keep your home safe from heat, sparks, and flames from a wood burning fireplace. The fireplace face can also help add character to gas or electric inserts that would often lack a hearth and chimney. One of the first things to consider is what material you are planning on facing your fireplace with. The best materials to use are noncombustible materials that can help tie together the rest of your space. With so many options it can be tough to decipher which is right for your space.

  • Slab – a solid surface slab, like marble or quartz, can create a minimal & dramatic aesthetic and can work with most styles.
  • Steel or Copper – these materials can rustic & modern while creating a beautiful conversation piece.
  • Stone – offers a variety of sizes and colors to choose from while being able to work with many different styles.
  • Brick – whether painted or classic, brick is a timeless choice. Painted brick, especially white, offers a fresh and modern aesthetic while classic brick offers some texture and warmth.
  • River Rock – this natural material provides a textural element and looks great in traditional and rustic spaces. It is also offered in many sizes and tones.
  • Ledgestone – if you are looking to add some texture to your space, this is a great choice. It is offered in different sizes and can work in most styles.
  • Ceramic or Glass tile – there are many different styles and colors to choose from when selecting tile that this option works with any style you are looking for.

fireplace remodel

Built-Ins or Shelving

The depth of your fireplace can sometimes create voids around it that are begging to be filled. Something to think about before you install cabinets around the fireplace, is what you’re going to use the storage for, which will inform the type of storage you should utilize.

Would you like to hide cable boxes and entertainment equipment behind closed doors but still have open storage above? Are you looking to showcase your book collection or family valuables? There are many different ways to add built-in storage around a fireplace to make it work for your unique needs.

Mantle Options

A fireplace mantel or mantelpiece is the decorative framework around the fireplace. They can be quite elaborate with detailed molding or as simple as a reclaimed wood beam and are a great way to add character to your space as well as a decorative accent.
All of these are great options that will enhance the esthetic of your new fireplace.

fireplace remodel

Hearth vs No Hearth

Another consideration is whether you want to have a hearth in front of your fireplace. A hearth is the space on the floor that extends out from the fireplace, usually brick or tile. The hearth helps to prevent embers from falling on your floor, potentially causing damage or starting a fire.

A Hearth can simply be an area on the floor in front of your fireplace that you tile. Or raised and faced with tile, stone, or concrete.

If you have a gas or electric insert, you may not require a hearth, however adding one can help bring extra character to your space. A hearth will help ground your fireplace in the room it sits and creates a focal point in the space.

Gas or Electric Insert

A wood-burning fireplace offers warmth and a cozy vibe to your home but requires additional cleaning and upkeep. Wood-burning fireplaces don’t offer as much heat to a room as you might think. They also can affect people with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues with the irritants they produce. Also, they can be dangerous and cause home fires due to build up of creosote on chimney walls.

Upgrading to a gas or electric insert might be a great option and allow you to use your fireplace more often with the ease of simply flipping a switch. Gas and electric fireplace inserts can be installed by a professional in the existing wood-burning fireplace. Both options offer a much more controlled heating element and function to heat the space they are in.

Gas inserts can be quite energy efficient and since they are enclosed and vented to the exterior, they are a healthier option. While, electric inserts are a great choice if you have a nonfunctional chimney and typically cost less than a gas option. They do not have actual flames but newer models offer realistic LED faux flames to create ambience in your space.

fireplace remodeling

Are you ready to get started with your fireplace remodel and see how you can transform your entire living space? Our designers are excited to hear from you, we are offering free virtual consultations. Contact our fireplace remodeling service today to get started!

What Should You Avoid Doing During a Remodel Project?

Everyone loves the finished product after a remodel, but it can certainly be stressful throughout the process. No one wants to make a mistake that will ruin the whole thing or cause it to go wildly over budget. Here are some things not to do if when you’re going through your next remodeling project.

Avoid Delays

Once you start a project, do not do anything to delay it. Make all your decisions before you start, so you know exactly what you’re going to do at all times. This means even small decisions should be made in advance.

Avoid Changing Your Mind

Once you’ve made all those decisions and gotten into the project, do not change your mind too much. Changes will add to your budget, but also a small change early on can end up affecting something down the road.

Avoid Buying Things Yourself

Sure, you might save some money doing this, but it is generally not a good idea. Your contractor can get a better price than you in most situations, and you may run the risk of buying the wrong things, which can cause delays.

Avoid Having Children and Pets Around

Contractors and their workers are very conscientious of kids and pets, and will work to keep them safe. However, it is best to keep them out of the equation altogether. An accident or injury can happen in the blink of an eye, and it is just not worth it.

Avoid Staying At Home During the Work

Find a place to stay, or rent another house as the work is being done. It will be inconvenient for you to be there, and it could cause delays if workers are waiting for you to leave for work.

Avoid Being a Distraction

Let the workers go about their business. They want to get their work finished before the end of the day, and you want the work completed as well. Talking to them while they’re working will cause delays, and also could distract them while they’re doing something dangerous.

Nobody wants a renovation project to go over budget, and they certainly do not want anyone getting hurt, or something getting damaged during the process. Hopefully with these tips your next project will go as smooth as possible.

Do you have questions about your home remodel project? Do not hesitate to reach out to our designers at Crystal Kitchen + Bath. We have served Minnesota for more than 40 years. Contact us online or by phone at 763-544-5950.

How to “Go Green” During Your Next Home Remodel Project

Everyone nowadays wants to “go green” and help keep the environment sustainable. The advice is to “think globally and act locally,” and there is nothing more local than our own homes. Here are some tips to be more eco-friendly when you remodel your home.

Water Waste

There are several ways your home can be more efficient with water. For one, a dual flush toilet will help reduce the amount of water used for flushing by having a more powerful flush and a softer flush, depending on what is in the bowl. You can also install low flow water fixtures.


Paint is a big part of any project, but it also can contain toxins that damage the environment and our health. Use a brand that is Low-VOC, meaning non-volatile and organic. It is more expensive paint, but the earth and your doctor will thank you.


There are a few flooring options that are better for the environment than others. Cork flooring is comfortable and durable, and also does not contain any toxic adhesives. It is a renewable resource as it is made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which grows back to be harvested again. If you do not have to replace your floors, then you can always resurface and refinish them, which is just like having a brand new floor. Or, if you have wood underneath your current floor, you can remove the current floor in favor of the wood.


Carpet tiles are a great choice if you want the warmth and comfort of carpets but also want to be friendly to the earth. They are usually manufactured with recycled material, and offer a multitude of options. They clean well and are easily installed. If you do install carpet, then padding sometimes is not needed. That way you’ll save using materials as well as avoid the chemicals that are used to adhere the padding to the carpet and floor.

These are just a few of the many options available to make your home more green. When planning out your next home reno project, try to keep the earth in mind when you’re choosing the materials and pieces needed for your renovated home.

Crystal Kitchen + Bath has a LEED Certification through Minnesota Green Path. It is our objective to build with products and strategies that save energy, are sustainable, and result in a healthy home. Our designers will guide you through green product selections and work with you to obtain any level of certification requested. You can contact us online or by calling 763-544-5950.

Remodeling Options to Make Your Home Safe for Seniors

When remodeling, repairing, or even building a home, it is important to design with the occupants’ needs in mind. This is especially true when it comes to senior citizens. There are certain things that can be difficult for a senior, but may seem easy to you. Here are some remodeling techniques that will help seniors be more independent and more comfortable at home.

Single-Lever Faucets

Faucets can be difficult to handle with arthritis or other muscle and joint issues. A single lever faucet can make it easier, but it must be clearly labeled for hot and cold so that anyone unfamiliar with the tape does not burn themselves.

Central Vacuum

Vacuuming itself can be difficult, and it is made even harder by having to lug the vacuum and accessories from location to location. This is not even mentioning emptying the container and keeping it maintained. A central vacuum system will make it easier to move the equipment, and the container only has to be emptied occasionally.

Extra Outlets

Having a lot of outlets available will make it much easier when it comes to holidays and other occasions that may involve plugging in extra things. With more options, it is less likely that furniture will have to be moved or that someone will have to contort themselves to plug something in.


Having an intercom system set up through the house will help with those who wish to talk to someone but may find it difficult navigating through the building. With an intercom, they can call to any room and find the person for which they are looking.

Bathrooms Near Entrances

There may be times when a senior has to rush into the house from outside to use the bathroom. For this reason, it would be handy to have bathrooms close to entrances so they will not have to navigate the house to get there.

Motion Sensor Faucets

Motion sensor faucets are great for people who have trouble with turning faucets, and may not react quickly if the water’s too hot. The water is dispensed at a pre-set temperature, so it will not be too hot, and it will turn on and off with ease.

These are just a few ideas to help seniors be more independent at home. Make sure to take into consideration any seniors when you plan your next remodeling project.

Are you interested in remodeling your home? At Crystal Kitchen + Bath, we do not cut corners. Every client receives the same superior craftsmanship and service. Experience and a focus on detail, paired with the strongest level of craftsmanship and customer service, puts us above the competition. Contact our friendly staff today to learn more.