Did you know that homes with fireplaces are consistently listed for 13% more than the median home sale price?
Adding a traditional fireplace to your home, or constructing a new home with a fireplace installed, is one of the most reliable ways to boost its value.
Even if you have no intention of ever selling, nothing beats the feeling of cozying up next to a warm hearth on winter nights. But before you have your custom fireplace installed, you have a choice to make.
Should you install a brick or stone fireplace?
While that will ultimately be between you and your interior designer, we can share some tips to help make the choice easier. To discover the differences between stone and brick fireplaces, keep reading.
At first glance, brick and stone may not seem all that different from one another. In terms of durability, they are more or less equal. Whichever material you use in your fireplace, it will stand the test of time and may even outlast you.
And where pricing is concerned, given how long a fireplace can last and that it’s often the centerpiece of a home, most people aren’t too concerned about what they spend as long as they get a result they like.
So for most people, choosing a brick or stone fireplace will depend on design factors. Which material do you like best, and which will best complement your living space?
This is a decision you should only make by comparing your choices next to each other. Most fireplace installation contractors will offer material samples or photographs for you to compare.
However, we can offer some suggestions now to get you started.
If you want your room to have a sense of strength and warmth, brick might be the best choice. But if you prefer a cooler, more neutral aesthetic, stone is the way to go.
That isn’t taking into consideration the wide variety of stone and brick materials available, though.
Bricks come in a wide variety of textures and colors. It’s easy to find bricks that complement the rest of your interior design, whether it be traditional or contemporary.
That said, brick may not be the ideal choice for someone looking for a unique fireplace with a high degree of individuality. The standard square pattern, uniform sizing, and straight lines on a brick fireplace can feel uninspired to some.
Unlike uniform brick fireplaces, every stone fireplace is going to be unique. Stone arrangements have a more random appearance, as the stones come in different sizes and don’t fit together uniformly.
Stonework can also blend in with any surrounding decor, thanks to natural color variations in stone. However, this somewhat depends on the type of stone being used.
Stone materials come in two broad categories: natural and cast stone. Natural stone includes materials like granite, slate, marble, limestone, and travertine. Cast or cultured stone is manufactured using cement, dye, and stone aggregate.
The neat thing about cast stone is that it can be made to look exactly like a wide variety of natural stones. It isn’t quite as long-lasting as authentic natural stone, but considering the permanence of natural stone, that’s a given.
At the end of the day, you or a designer will need to compare different stone and brick materials alongside your interior design preferences to make a decision. But these tips may help you begin to get an idea of what you prefer.
So now you know what the aesthetic differences between brick and stone are. But what are the differences between brick and stone fireplaces when it comes to the installation process?
Bricks come in a consistent shape and size that make them easier and faster to build with. In fact, an entire brick fireplace can be installed by a single individual in a pinch. This may help you save on labor costs.
As you might imagine, brick fireplaces are simpler to build than stone fireplaces. Laying bricks is not too much like stacking toy blocks—they fit together neatly and can be assembled in relatively little time.
On the other hand, stones differ in shape and size, and even a minor mistake can require starting over. Installing a stone fireplace involves cutting stones to the right shape and size, which is a lot harder and more time-consuming than laying bricks.
It’s also easier to calculate the correct number of bricks needed for a project than it is to calculate the exact amount of necessary stones. This is because bricks come in uniform sizes that make it easy to accurately estimate how many are needed.
Additionally, bricks are typically sold in specific quantities, while stone is sold by weight. This also simplifies the process and makes it easier for masons to order just what they need for a project.
We’ve already hinted that stone fireplaces typically cost more than brick ones. But just how significant are these cost differences?
As you might have guessed, the costs of both brick and stone fireplace installation vary widely depending on the project. This largely comes down to the type of brick or stone chosen.
Different kinds of brick material vary widely in price. For example, reclaimed brick usually costs more than new brick. On average, however, bricks cost around 30-50% less than stones.
Unlike brick, authentic stone is a natural material that can’t be mass-produced just anywhere. It has to be shipped from the quarries where it’s found, and shipping costs can be quite high.
However, before you make a decision based on cost alone, bear in mind that a good fireplace can last over 100 years. However much you spend, you can be sure it will be a worthwhile investment. It’s worth spending extra to get the material you like.
See About Getting Your Luxury Fireplace Built Today
Now you know what the most important differences between brick and stone fireplaces are. From appearance to cost, you should be well prepared to compare your options and make an informed choice.
If you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, Dreifuss Fireplaces can help you make that choice and build a fireplace you’ll love. Contact us to find out how.