How To Protect Fireplace Mantel From Heat [4 Simple Ways]

A fireplace mantel is a decorative element that increases the beauty of your room. Besides, it also helps to cover the joint between the fireplace and the rest of the wall. In return, the fireplace mantel protects the wall from being stained. 

how to protect fireplace mantel from heat

Therefore, the mantelpiece or chimneypiece also holds the heat to keep your room warm and provides comfort. On top of that, it protects the tv you place on the fireplace from the excessive heat that comes from the firebox. 

You can enjoy all these benefits as long as your mantel remains in its shape and its frame stays in good condition. Over time, the heat from the fireplace damages the mantel’s finish and its frame. As a result, it starts losing its protection capacity. 

However, learning why your fireplace mantel getting hot and maintaining it regularly can protect it from regular wear & tear. Now, you may ask- how to protect fireplace mantel from heat and maintain it for increasing its shielding ability?

Simply, installing a heat shield or heat deflector is the best way to save your fireplace mantel from heat and keep it cool. Besides, using a fireplace metal hood and heat-resistant mantel can be reliable alternatives to prevent your fireplace mantel from getting hot.

However, in this guide, we break down everything in detail that keeps your mantelpiece protected from the flame of the fireplace. So, let’s jump into this fireplace mantel maintenance guide for your fireplace safety. 

How To Protect Fireplace Mantel From Heat [4 Simple Ways]

In this chapter, we let you know how to shield the mantelpiece against heat. Without further ado, let’s explore the 4 simple hacks. 

1. Use a Mantel Protector Heat Shield

The best way to protect your mantelpiece is by installing a mantel protector heat shield. It prevents your mantle from getting extremely hot and the discoloration of it from the heat. 

install a heat shield to protect fireplace mantel from heat

A mantel heat shield helps to protect your chimneypiece from the heat produced by gas inserts, gas logs, and wood stove inserts. You need to be careful when purchasing a mantel heat shield. Make sure it is constructed by maintaining the local and national codes. 

Secondly, choose a mantelpiece protector that comes with every mounting hardware like a floating mantel bracket & screws, and an installation guide. Ensure you can cut the mantel shield according to the size of the fireplace. 

Finally, choose a chimneypiece protector with a black or white finish. Such a kind of mantel protector will match every home decor. 

2. Use a Metal Hood

A fireplace hood is another piece of equipment you can invest in it. Unlike a deflector, you can find the hood easily. Like a deflector, it also deflects heat and shields your mantelpiece.

We recommend you get a little bit of extended hood. Installing an extended hood is the best way to get more heat from gas fireplace.

install a fireplace hood to protect mantel from heat

On Amazon, getting an extendable hood is a breeze. You can extend some of them from 28 to 48 inches. And surprisingly, you can attach the hood to the firebox or above the brick. But we suggest you put it together in the firebox as you don’t need to drill into the brick. 

The benefit of installing the hood over the fireplace is- it doesn’t only shield your mantel against direct heat but also extends the mantelpiece’s life. 

And the best part is you don’t need to burn wood and straw to get the hood. You can find them everywhere from your local hardware store or on Amazon. 

3. Install a Heat Deflector

Installing a heat deflector is another best way to protect the existing fireplace mantels from heat. 

installing a heat deflector to save the above  mantel from heat

Get a deflector that is painted white or matches the mantelpiece color. Next, attach the deflector between the fireplace and the mantel. Then, bent it at 45-degree. In this way, the heat deflector deflects the heat from the mantel and protects it. 

On Amazon or eBay, you can find a heat deflector at a great price. When purchasing one, make sure it is made of metal like steel. 

And the best part of installing a deflector is- anyone can barely notice it. It protects your mantelpiece from heat invisibly

4. Use Heat Resistant Mantel

Why don’t you use a mantel that can protect itself from the fireplace heat? Yes, we are talking about the heat-resistant mantel.

Such a kind heat resistant mantelpiece can deflect or absorb heat and keep itself safe. Non-combustible materials like concrete or steel mantel shelves can take the heat. 

install non-combustible steel mantel

You can also have the non-combustible wooden mantel. But the thing is- you need to spend a lot of bucks to get a non-combustible mantel. However, it will save you money in the long run.

Should I Use A Fireplace Heat Shield In My Electric, Gas & Wood-Burning Fireplace?

Fireplace accessories like a fireplace heat shield or mantel shelf are indispensable to place over your fireplace. But if you have an electric fireplace, you don’t need to set up a heat shield. Why? 

Like a wood or gas fireplace insert, an electric fireplace insert doesn’t produce any emissions or fume. So, it will bring no damage to your wall or tv (if you place it over the heater). 

However, we recommend you not keep combustible material like cloth near your heater or fireplace. Otherwise, there is a risk of fire hazards.

On the other hand,  if you have a masonry fireplace or brick fireplace, you must install a sheet metal or heat shield. It protects your home from the high heat and flame coming from the fireplace. Therefore, it also heightens the look of your hearth. 

Watch how to measure and install a fireplace heat shield:

Fireplace Mantel Maintenance Guide And Tips

From this chapter, you can learn how to maintain your mantel to give it an extended life. 

 maintenance of fireplace mantel

Here we go. 

  • If a mantelpiece uses stone as its construction material, wash it regularly to shield it against the stain. 
  • Use a soft scrubber to wipe down the mantel to keep it neat & clean. Never use a wire scrubbing brush as it will damage the finish of the stone mantel.
  • Seal the wooden mantel properly from the adverse environment. 
  • Never keep the coffee cup or wine glasses on the wooden mantel as they leave a small ring on it.
  • Paint the wooden mantel to protect it from heat and polish it regularly to keep it shiny for a long time. 


How far does a mantel need to be above a fireplace?

The general rule of thumb is you should install a fireplace mantel about 12 inches above the fireplace opening. In simple words, place the mantel 12 inches above the firebox.

How thick should a fireplace mantel be?

A fireplace mantel should be 10-12 inches thick. If you need a bit narrower than this, you can also find one on Amazon. 

Should a fireplace mantel be wider than the fireplace?

The wider your fireplace mantel will be, the more it can take the heat and protects your wall. Experts recommend your fireplace mantel should be 3 inches wide both either side of the fireplace. It would be better if you can get a more extended mantelpiece. 

What is the best wood for a fireplace mantel?

Maple is the best wood for a fireplace mantel as it can take a lot of pressure. 

How do I protect my TV from fireplace heat?

You can install a mantel, a deflector, or a fireplace hood to protect your  TV from fireplace heat. 


We hope you find the solution to this issue: how to protect fireplace mantel from the heat? You can install either the mantel protector heat shield or the deflector. Also, a metal hood will be another excellent way to protect the mantelpiece. 

If you have enough budget, you can also go for a heat-resistant mantel. Using one, you don’t need to install a deflector or a hood. Therefore, follow the maintenance tips we provided to keep your mantelpiece clean and protect its shiny look. 

Anyway, just leave a comment in the comment box about any queries. We will be back ASAP with a solution.

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

2 thoughts on “How To Protect Fireplace Mantel From Heat [4 Simple Ways]”

  1. Client’s 7 yr old ventless gas fireplace in her living room emits too much heat, even on the lowest setting, causing the first horizontal plank of wood*—not the mantel— directly above the fireplace insert to get too hot (*1″x 4″x 48″, & probably yellow pine framing lumber, painted w/interior latex acrylic white), has been cracking & chipping since 3yrs after installation; original home builder has ghosted the homeowner. Help??
    Cathy Emerson
    Sensible Solutions, Co., LLC

    • Hi Cathy

      To fix the issue, it would be wise to take help from a professional to inspect your fireplace to find out the main culprit behind the issue & fix it.

      Best of luck!


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