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Updated: 12/23/2002 1:40 pm
Mantles are an attractive way to decorate your home. The best material for your mantle depends on what you want it for. If you want a mantle to emphasize a striking fireplace, choose a contrasting color. If you prefer to highlight collectibles you may want to select the same material used for the fireplace. Mantles are available in many shapes and styles. Intricate molding detail is used in traditional mantles but some rustic styles have a simple design. Contemporary mantles are usually smooth and sleek. They may be made of wood or molded laminate over wood. Size is another option. Virtually all mantle styles come in a variety of sizes. When choosing a mantle consider how much weight your fireplace can support. A masonry drill bit is usually required to make holes in the fireplace for attaching your new mantle. The mantle is then anchored to the fireplace by long bolts or screws. Professional installation can help ensure that the mantle is securely attached to the fireplace.

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