Top Tips for Fireplaces | House and Leisure
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Top Tips for Fireplaces

There's nothing quite like the traditional wood burning fireplace to add old world-elegance, charm and, of course, much needed warmth to your home. HL chatted to Debra Retief, marketing manager at Tile Africa for her top tips when it comes to installing a fireplace: 'Whatever the weather, a fireplace is a natural focal point in any room. People naturally gravitate to rooms with fireplaces and use them to stay warm in winter. Given their role in the home, it’s really important to get this feature right and give it the opportunity to not only play a functional role but the role of a show piece too,' says Retief. 1. Keep it traditional Although there are myriad modern fireplaces available on the market, there’s nothing quite like a traditional wood burning fireplace. 'Many aspire to pull up an armchair on a cold winter’s night and indulge their senses by a crackling fire. The sight of flickering flames is hard to resist and people want to make the most of this experience by showcasing it accordingly.' 2. Branch out from brick Generally speaking, traditional fireplaces are either clad with brick, hemmed in with wood or painted. Retief suggests branching out from these traditional materials and trying something completely different, such as tile. Available in almost endless colours and styles, tile can bring a distinctive look to an otherwise dull fireplace. 'Just be sure to check with a tile consultant or masonry professional to determine what materials and application are best suited for your specific fireplace.' 3. A twist on tile If straightforward tiles don’t appeal to you, perhaps pebble-style tiles will. Tile Africa offers a unique pebble style range of tiles in a variety of colours which can be used to clad fireplaces. 'Depending on your preferences and the look you are trying to create in the room, you can choose either a stacked pebble or flat pebble style tile. For instance, if you’re looking to create a more natural look, the stacked pebble tile will work better. If a more sophisticated, clean space is what you’re after, a flat, neutral coloured pebble tile offset with grey grout will probably appeal more to you.' 4. Try marble If you really want to make a statement and your budget allows, go big and clad your fireplace with marble. 'Marble tiles are ideal for those who want to create a really grand impression. Generally speaking, marble tiles work well in rooms where they can be extended in a large-scale pattern all the way to the ceiling. What’s more is that marble tiles come in a variety of colours which means they can be easily incorporated into most settings.' 5. Go rustic No matter the advances within the fireplace space, rustic style fireplaces will always have their place says Retief. Try the Riven cladding from Tile Africa, which is hand chiselled from natural materials including slate, travertine, marble and quartz. 'Sandstone tiles are particularly well suited to rustic settings. The texture and golden hues associated with sandstone immediately impart a rustic quality which is hard to beat and can be easily paired with wooden furniture and simple, natural tones.' 6. Round it off Once you have clad your fireplace in the material of your choice, be sure to finish it off with the right touches. 'A few accessories and appropriate furniture can help create a cohesive look and bring out the best in your fireplace.'   For more information about Tile Africa, their range of products and stores, visit or call 0800 002 783