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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Mantels

The fireplace mantel or mantelpiece, also known as a chimneypiece, originated in medieval times as a hood that projected over a fire grate to catch the smoke. The term has evolved to include the decorative framework around the fireplace, and can include elaborate designs extending to the ceiling. Wikipedia


Two Birds mantels are constructed from reclaimed lumber and in this article, we help you understand what you need to know before you go ahead with a mantel install of your own.

Can you guess which mantels are solid and which are hollow?

Construction Material

Our mantels are available either dimensional or cased. A dimensional mantel is constructed from one single solid piece of timber whereas a cased mantel is constructed from smaller pieces and nailed/glued together to form a hollow box. For those looking for a true historical reproduction, a dimensional mantel fits the bill but they are significantly heavier, availability is limited and they are not available in as many sizes as a cased mantel.

And the answer to the above question is...only the bottom black mantel is solid (dimensional), the rest are hollow (cased)!


Surface Prep

All of our mantels are available in a variety of surface preparations. They can be left raw, stained, painted or even hewn (cut or chopped with an axe to replicate wear and tear). We currently offer 20 different finish options as well as hewn.

End Treatment

Our cased mantels are available in either a wraparound or endgrain finish. With a wraparound, the grain of the front face follows around to the sides (lower mantel). With an endgrain finish, the ends look as if they would if it came directly from the lumber mill (upper mantel). Dimensional mantels are only available in endgrain finish.



All of our mantels come with cleats which attach to the wall first. Once the cleats are firmly attached structurally, the mantel slides over top and is affixed to the cleat.

As our mantels are built from wood, there are regulations as to size and how close you can install your mantel above your fireplace. Fireplace mantel size and placement is dictated by the fireplace manufacturer combustibles distance requirements. Please ensure that you have this information available when you are sizing your mantel.

Mantels can be a DIY project but our Two Birds installers would be more than pleased to install your mantel for you.

Top mantel - hollow core cased, Bottom mantel - solid dimensional



Our standard sizes include 4” x 6” (face x depth), 6” x 6”, 6” x 8” and 8” x 8” but we can also do custom sizes.


Our mantels start at approximately $75 per lineal foot and are dependent upon size, construction material, surface prep and end treatment. We would be more than happy to provide you an estimate for your next project.


To learn more about our projects, you can visit us here

To view our online store, visit us here.

If you're interested in having us start a project for you, you can request additional information here --> Get An Estimate | Two Birds Furniture | Okotoks


Come visit us or contact us by social media.

119 Fisher Street Okotoks, AB


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