Beautiful Stone Outdoor Fireplaces
Stone outdoor fireplaces add a wonderful focus to your outdoor living space. A limestone fireplace is durable and comes in a variety of colors where as a soapstone fireplace is stain resistant and only comes in gray. Learning how to build a stone outdoor fireplace will allow you to add a personal touch to your outdoor living area.
Stone fireplace designs are based on your personal preferences as well as the design of your outdoor space. In Outdoor Fireplace Designs you can learn more about general fireplace design. However, stone fireplace design is unique because the natural stone lends itself so well to rustic as well as modern designs. For example, rustic stone fireplace designs may include a slate fireplace with wrought iron chairs and table. However, a limestone fireplace with evenly sized and evenly spaced stones can look very modern on a patio with a large glass table and metal chairs.
Selecting the Right Stone for Your Design.
There are basically two types of stone: natural stone and cultured stone.
- Natural stones include marble, slate, sandstone, limestone, granite, and soapstone. These stones are usually quarried and can be very soft like limestone or very hard like granite. Softer stones are easier to cut and are thus good for masonry fireplaces. In addition, natural stones may be quite pourous like sandstone, therefore, you will need to seal them before you construct your fireplace. In general, natural stones look nicer, but are heavier and more difficult to work with.
- Cultured stones are made of concrete and pigment. They are produced in molds specially designed to look like natural stones. When a manufacturer makes cast stone, the concrete mix is controled by mixing in other compounds that keep the stone light in weight and help control the texture. In this way, it is very difficult to tell the difference between the cultured stone and the natural stone. This makes cultured stones significantly lighter and thus easier to work with than natural stones.
Build a Stone Outdoor Fireplace
If you want to build a fireplace, you will need to learn about building to local codes, building the foundation, and building from scratch or from a kit. However, if you want to build a stone outdoor fireplace, that means you have to know how to attach the stones to your fireplace properly so that you may enjoy your fireplace for many years to come.
Limestone is a quarried stone that is commonly used in architecture. It comes in a variety of colors depending on where it is quarried. Limestone is soft and relatively porous, therefore, it is susceptible to staining and damage from the elements. Stone outdoor fireplaces built from limestone will need to be sealed to protect them from stains such as tea, coffee, or any drink that could leave a ring. In addition, since these fireplaces will be outside and exposed to the elements, the sealant will need to protect your limestone fireplace from acid rain.
Soapstone is a popular soft quarried stone. This stone is very abundant, but only available in gray. Although it?s soft, is very dense (non-porous). This stone is denser than other stones like limestone and even granite. This means it will not stain, and that?s what makes it so popular for fireplaces and kitchen countertops. In addition, stone fireplaces made from soapstone radiate heat very effectively creating a warmer area for you and your family.