Concrete: The New Favorite Material for Building Fireplace Surrounds Provides Endless Design Options

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Concrete has become the new favorite option for interior decorating. With endless design possibilities and color options concrete can be formed into beautiful fireplace surrounds.

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There's no denying it -- the fireplace is one of the must-have amenities for today's homeowner. Not only does a fireplace provide warmth, but it also serves as the centerpiece of a room, is the symbol of family togetherness, and adds value to your home.

Now, combining the qualities of fire resistance, heat retention, and moldability, concrete is fast becoming a popular material for fireplace surrounds, mantels, and hearths. Because of its versatility, concrete is one of the only materials that can be molded into any shape, integrally colored or stained to match nearly any hue, and exhibit textures ranging from rough to highly polished. Because of these chameleon-like qualities, concrete adapts to a wide range of decorating styles, from contemporary to classic.

The very same elements that make a beautiful and unique kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity will also make a one-of-a-kind fireplace surround. The Concrete Network offers a photo gallery full of ideas for concrete fireplace surrounds.

Concrete offers a unique look and its creative possibilities are endless. Each concrete artisan approaches his or her craft personally, achieving a distinct look by building his or her own forms, developing special casting techniques, and using proprietary materials and coloring methods.

Established in 1999, The Concrete Network's purpose is to educate consumers, builders, and contractors on popular decorative techniques and applications including stamped concrete, stained concrete floors, concrete countertops, polished concrete, and much more. Over 872,000 visitors researched The Concrete Network Web site in June, 2006.

The site excels at connecting buyers with local contractors in their area through its Find-A-Contractor service. The service provides visitors with a list of decorative concrete contractors throughout the U.S. and Canada, and is fully searchable by 23 types of decorative concrete work and 200 metropolitan areas throughout North America

Photos courtesy of Buddy Rhodes Concrete Products.

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JIM PETERSON
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