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When deciding on a stone fireplace surround, the piece's tendency to collect dust, as well as the difficulty to clean the surround must be considered. On the other side of the argument for the stone fireplace surround is its ability to project a warm visual feeling and even the tendency to retain heat and aid in maintaining a comfortable temperature in the room. There are advantages and disadvantages to using both cast or artificial stone as well as actual field stone in the surround. Ease of installation is a benefit of the flat-sided cast or manufactured stone, while home resale benefits accompany the application of a genuine field stone fireplace surround.
A stone fireplace surround can be a welcome addition to any home. The visual appeal of the stone fireplace surround is a positive for most home buyers, adding to the value of the property at time of sale. One disadvantage that many consumers fail to identify when deciding on a stone fireplace surround is the inability to hang pictures or other objects on the stone surface. This can hinder holiday decorating and leave the room with only one visual setting for the duration of the home ownership.
Another drawback in having a stone surround is found in the difficulty of cleaning the surround. The crevices and concrete joinery used between the stones can become traps for dust and household dirt. Cleaning each and every crack and crevice in a stone surround can be a time-consuming ordeal for even the most diligent cleaning personnel. There is also a continual risk of a stone becoming loose or, worse yet, actually dislodging from the surround. The falling stone may be of sufficient weight to damage furniture or injure pets and people if it should happen to make contact on the way to the floor. The colors of the stone on this type of surround also limit the colors that can be used when decorating the room.
On the positive side, the stone fireplace surround adds a look of distinction to the right home and often becomes the focal point of any abode, giving it a warm and inviting appeal. When using natural stone in the construction of a stone fireplace surround, the stone often acts like a heat sink, retaining heat from the fireplace and radiating it back into the room long after the fire has subsided. A stone fireplace surround can also link the interior of a home with architecture and landscaping outside of the home if the same type of stone is used both inside and out.