woodworkers

frequently asked questions

Woodworkers FAQ sheets cover almost anything and everything you need to know about joinery. Please feel free to download and use them to get answers to all the questions you ever had about joinery. If you need further help send us your inquiry using the form on this page.

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17. MANTLEPIECES

ARE MANTLEPIECES ONLY AVAILABLE IN ONE SIZE OR DO YOU CUSTOM MAKE?

Woodworkers has a range of designs suitable for various architectural styles but is willing to custom make client designs or adopt our own styles as required. Fireplaces are often built before the surrounds are considered so it is common to custom make the facing mantle to suit.

mp10 mantlepieceMantle self-details

IS THERE A STANDARD SIZE?

Yes. The majority of mantelpieces are installed around prefabricated fireboxes such as manufactured by 'Jetmaster' or made to fit traditional cast iron hearths that are standardised. Our standard mantelpiece has the key dimensions shown at right.

ARE THEY IN STOCK?

Not generally. We often make a small stock of mantles coming into the winter months in the MP10 design. All other patterns are made to order and may have lead times of four to six weeks.

HOW WIDE IS THE MANTLE SHELF?

The shelf is 190 x 40 standard. The edge is moulded on 3 sides to a cyma shape as shown with the returns being 50mm on both sides. Wider shelves can be made up to about 300mm but the timber will usually need to be laminated to achieve this width so you'll probably see a join in grain. 

WHAT ARE THEY MADE FROM?

Woodworkers generally fabricates mantles from hard Red Cedar as it polishes well to a rich colour and matches most original mantelpieces. We can, however, fabricate in other timbers or paint grade materials where painting is proposed.

DO THEY COME FULLY FINISHED OR RAW?

Woodworkers produces a raw product. But can preprime if required. Prepriming entails one coat of clear or white oil based primer to provide a temporary seal until final coats are applied. Mantles will often need to be face fixed and the screws plugged so it could be false economy to pre-finish before installation.

HOW ARE MANTLES INSTALLED?

Fireplace construction

The first issue is proximity to the heat or flame. Timber burns and needs to be distanced and protected from heat. Traditionally this was often done using ceramic tiles or hearth bricks but it is essential that no timber is exposed to the heat source as it will shrink, split and probably ignite. It is common to fully back the mantlepiece with compressed cement sheeting to insulate it from wall heat. All faces of a mantle must be fully sealed as heat from behind can cause warp or splitting to the exposed facade. Mantles are commonly adhesive fixed to a stable backing cement board with screw fixings hidden under the mantelshelf for extra support.

DO WOODWORKERS INSTALL MANTLES?

No. We can however recommend an independent BSA registered contractor to undertake the work who may also undertake site finishing if required. Where a firebox installation is being arranged by, for example, 'Jetmaster' it is common for them to site fix the mantles which they may obtain from us.

tip1

Traditionally, the fireplace is the heart of the home. Despite the warmer climate, earlier generations continued to build fireplaces wherever bricks were plentiful. Classically simple Georgian designs gave way to increasingly more ornate Victorian mantlepieces once affordable cast iron hearths were mass produced. Curved grates were superseded by simpler rectangular fireboxes earlier this century, usually with colourfully tiled reveals and ornate turned and mirrored overmantles. The Woodworkers' Company designs and builds mantlepieces to any size or style in polish grade Red Cedar or paint grade material.

All mantlepiece prices in our product catalogue.

Woodworkers mantlepiece MP1
woodworkers' mantlepiece 1
MP1
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP3
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP3
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP5
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP5
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP6
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP6
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP7
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP7
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP7
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP8
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP10
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP10
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP11
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP11
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP12
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP12
Woodworkers mantlepiece MP13
woodworkers' mantlepiece 3
MP13
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