Just because you opt to install a cheap fireplace mantel doesn’t mean that it has to look cheap. You can get a rich, expensive looking fireplace mantel without spending a fortune on it.
If you want to create a luxurious fireplace mantel, then you will probably look at using brick, stone or even marble. Out of the three, brick may offer the most traditional look, and it is also the cheapest of the three. Marble will be your most expensive options and just because it’s costly doesn’t mean that it is the best way to go.
If you want a cheap fireplace mantel that still looks good, why not consider wood? With wood you can keep your cost down. And wood can also mimic other finishes and give you a rich look if you apply the proper stain or paint. While you may not be able to replicate the look and feel of marble exactly, by using a marbling painting technique, or choosing to paint your mantel in a light gray, you can produce the same feeling of richness as a marble mantel.
And using wood for your cheap fireplace mantel allows you to change the look of the mantel place without a lot of cost in the future. You can repaint and re-stain a wooden mantel, while a fireplace mantel made out of a more expensive material such as marble or stone would need to be completely replaced in order to get a different look.