The materials used and construction quality of your firebox, chimney and flue will determine the heating capacity for your fireplace or fireplace remodel.  The fireplace surround and mantels will make the fireplace a suitable focal point for a room. The choices you make in materials for your fireplace will determine how it fits with the room and the house. Do the architectural styles work together? Does the decorative style of the surround and mantel fit with the décor of the room? These are the biggest considerations when choosing fireplace surrounds and mantels, but cost can also be an important factor.
A very basic fireplace, purchased from a home improvement or remodeling store, will probably cost a few hundred to $2,500. A high-end fireplace can cost up to $5,000 or $6,000. A custom fireplace can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars or as much as $25,000. It all depends on your choices in the fireplace surround and mantel.
Proportion is important in designing your fireplace surround. Do not build a huge surround for a small fireplace simply to have an extravagant focal point in a room. In most modern houses, a large mantel and surround would be out of place and would be overwhelming. A sense of proportion is vital. You can choose more formal materials and designs if you want to convey a sense of luxury, without having to have an oversized surround.
Most home improvement and remodeling stores will have in stock several very basic fireplace kits. These will include the surround, mantel and everything you need to install them. You just have to take them home and follow instructions carefully. This can be a do-it-yourself project for many homeowners.
Premium fireplaces can also be purchased through home improvement or remodeling stores. The cost difference is usually in the options. These might include a heat-circulating blower, fireplace tools and accessories, andirons, or grate, or the firebox might be made of plate steel instead of cast iron. Accessories might be made of wrought iron or brass. Premium materials, such as granite, marble or slate will also increase the price of your surround.
Oddly enough, a custom fireplace surround and mantel can either be very costly or very inexpensive. The materials used, particularly the metals, can quickly increase the cost of your fireplace. A unique hand-carved mantel will cost significantly more than a stock design. Combining several different materials for your surround can also increase the cost (both because of additional materials and because of additional labor).   The size of your surround and mantel will also affect price.
Shopping some antiques stores or home construction salvage stores can often uncover the perfect mantel and surround for your needs at a fraction of the cost of something new. Take a great find in a salvage store, add a little elbow grease to clean it up, and install a surround and mantel that will be a great conversation piece in your home.
You can also take your existing surround and mantel and redecorate or reface them into something that is more to your taste or more consistent with today’s trends.  If you are going ultra-modern, you can remove the surround and mantel and install drywall for a clean sharp look.
Whatever your style, whatever your taste, whatever your needs, you can find or create a fireplace surround and mantel that will be a perfect fit for every fireplace in your home. With some time, thought and creative shopping, you can have the fireplace of your dreams.