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How to make your fireplace love story come true

Have you ever been in the position where you wanted to renovate a part of your house but didn’t know where to start? Finding that right inspiration can be challenging but sometimes, it can hit you when you least expect it. We had the pleasure of working with the Warringtons, a lovely couple from Vancouver who wanted a fireplace update, but common to a lot of couples, weren’t sure of the shape or style that that they wanted. In looking through a design magazine, they actually found a picture of the perfect fireplace that we had installed at the Executive Suites hotel in Squamish (near Whistler). In order to confirm, they drove up there to check it out and were sure that this was the perfect one for them. They took a picture of it with their phone and brought it into our showroom to show us.

The fireplace surround they were referring to was the Fraser which is nice because it comes with an 4″ (depth) mantel, perfect for hanging Christmas stockings. For even more space, it can also be available with an 8″ overmantel. Another great feature about the Fraser surround is that it, along with the Taper surround, are fully customizable, allowing them to be cut on-site, to any shape of firebox.

A true fireplace love story, the Warringtons ended up getting the Fraser surround and were very pleased with the results. They were kind enough to send us this picture and lovely message.

“As promised I have attached a picture of our fireplace. Your product and service was awesome. The Installer you recommended was good. I think if you compare our fireplace to the picture my Wife liked we did pretty good. Thanks for all your help getting this done and have a great holiday season”

If you’ve had a similar experience to the Warringtons, we’d love to hear about it. Also, feel free to come by our showroom with a picture of your ideal fireplace surround, and we’ll help make your fireplace love story come true as well.

Fraser mantel
Fraser fireplace mantel beautifully decorated for Christmas


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How to get a contemporary look with a wrapped fireplace

Your creativity has met its match – Solus wrapped fireplaces! As creative as you can get with modern architecture and design, Solus wrapped fireplaces can accommodate it with our large and unconventional formats that can mold to just about anything.

We recently worked on this custom job where the client wanted a long, linear, contemporary look that matched their west coast inspired home. Rather than just place drywall around the fireplace insert, they opted for our hand cast concrete tiles to properly finish the look by adding a unique touch. The beauty of Solus tiles is that they have a lustrous, well worn, almost smooth leather feel as they are made from real stone. Each tile will be almost slightly different than the next so you won’t get any pattern randomization like you would with ceramic. Overall, this leads to a more refined and elegant look.

Once your fireplace insert has been installed, one of our installers will come and cut the tiles on-site to perfectly wrap them around the insert for a great, custom look. If you like the flush look of this feature wall around a fireplace, know that we can accommodate all sizes of fireplace inserts, whether long and linear or more traditional. If in the research phase, you can also check out the other styles of modern and contemporary fireplace surrounds that we offer.

Contact us today to discuss your ideas at 1(877) 255 3146.

Contemporary wrapped fireplace
Contemporary wrapped fireplace with hand cast concrete tiles


Contemporary wrapped fireplace
Notice the smooth, suede like, texture of these concrete tiles



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An inside look into our Taper floating fireplace surround

Are you looking for a modern fireplace that sits flush inside the wall? You like clean, linear lines and would like to minimize space taken up by a traditional fireplace mantel or surround? Then we invite you to consider Taper, our floating fireplace surround which works perfectly with this kind of fireplace. Rather than just placing drywall around the fireplace, our Taper surround beautifully frames the fireplace giving it a floating appearance.

We recently completed a custom installation that created this beautiful, contemporary floating surround. It gives prominence and respect to the fireplace while not seeming like a foreign object on the wall. The colour chosen was linen which lends itself as the quintessential choice for a contemporary look. As you can see, this Taper surround will still give you a small mantel of 4″ giving you the option to place or hang something from it (think Christmas stockings or petit candles) or place a picture above.

If you’d like to know more about our Taper fireplace surround, contact our design team to discuss your ideas for free at 1(877) 255 3146.

Taper fireplace surround

Taper fireplace surround

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Adding value to your home with a concrete fire place surround.


How can a fireplace add value to your home?

According to the National Centre for Real Estate Research, a fireplace increases the value of a home by 12%. But does this apply to every home? We think yes! Whether you live in a small condo, or a 10,000 square foot mansion, there is a fireplace insert and surround to suite your needs. From electric, to wall mounted units, to traditional masonry fireplaces, there are a variety of different insert options to explore. Local building codes will determine what you are able to use and most building codes can be found online or at your local fireplace shop. Considering the addition of a fireplace to your property may be beneficial when the time comes to re-sell, as 77% of homebuyers would like to have a fireplace in their home, (according to the National Association of Home Builders Consumer Preferences survey).

Elton Huard proudly stands by a fresh installation of Solus Concrete Panels
Elton Huard proudly stands by a fresh installation of Solus Concrete Panels

Having a fireplace in your home is not only noticed by buyers, but is also recognized as a “hot button” by realtors for potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors  Profile of Buyers Home Feature Preferences, it was determined that a fireplace is one of the most desired features in a home. In addition to the desire of the fireplace, 46% of home buyers said they would pay extra for a house that incorporated at least one fireplace. Whether you are considering selling your home through a third party or not, the demand for a feature fireplace is prevalent across the market.

Where is the best place for a fireplace in the home?

When adding a fireplace or beginning a renovation, you should give some thought into which room the feature fireplace will go. It is recommended that the fireplace is installed in the most used room in the house, (besides the kitchen and bathroom). This leaves usually the living room or great room. Once properly framed by a surround or wall of tile, it will provide the WOW factor that only a properly finished fireplace can add.

What is a realistic budget for a new fireplace?

Before beginning your project it is important to put together a budget of what you have to work with. Costs for materials and labour to add a new fireplace can run from several hundred dollars, to $20,000 or more. Among the popular options, a factory built gas or propane fireplace insert can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.

You can also update the design of your existing fireplace by keeping the current insert in place, and adding a new fireplace surround, wall tiling or hearth. These renovations can cost anywhere from several hundred, to several thousand depending on the scope of labour and materials. If you are considering re-facing your fireplace you can reference the Solus Measure Up Guide online to determined which mantle and tiles would fit best in your space.

Measure Up Guide

When determining costs for your fireplace, there are also other factors to consider such as ongoing fuel expenses. Across North America natural gas is generally the least expensive as measured in therms (a measure of heating value), followed by heating oil, propane and electricity. A guide to compare how much heat each fuel source costs to run can be found here:

Fuel Cost Comparison Calculator

Another fuel source which is ideally the most cost effective, is having a wood-burning fireplace if you have a cheap source of wood readily available to you. When including a wood burning fireplace in your home make sure you pay particular attention to the non-combustible clearance requirements, as codes are unique to each municipality and vary from 16” to 20.5.” Overall wood and natural gas are by far the most popular fireplace fuels, and combine for 83% of the market, (according to the National Association of Homebuilders Research Centre).

Finally – what options should you consider to finish off your fireplace?

After investing into the fireplace insert and labour there are a few ways to finish your fireplace off. Think of your fireplace like a piece of art. Unframed or unadorned it doesn’t look like much, however when properly framed it takes on substance, style and brings the piece of art to life!

We recommend non-combustible mantels, surrounds, tiles and hearths made from Solus Decor’s ultra high performance concrete. Our concrete is available in ten inspired colours and we have a variety of styles to accommodate any design. Whether your space in contemporary, traditional, or somewhere in between, view our gallery online or give us a call and one of our associates would be happy to work with you on finding the best fit for your home.

Fireplace Surrounds Gallery

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How to create additional seating around your fireplace

How would you like some extra seating in your living room that is space efficient and doesn’t require more chairs or couches? This is exactly what we did with this custom fireplace installation.

Linen concrete tiles
Custom fireplace with linen concrete tiles & block fireplace surround

We used 24″ x 36″ concrete tiles with a block fireplace surround in linen colour. Using some extra tiles, we were able to create more seating around the wall which is more cost effective then bringing in chairs or a couch. It can also double for storage of books or décor.

Linen concrete tile fireplace
Custom fireplace with linen concrete tiles & block fireplace surround

So when contemplating updating or adding in a fireplace, don’t be afraid to get creative. We have a great team that will work with you to build the right look and functionality for your home.

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How to update your fireplace

It’s that time of year again, the time where we start thinking about Christmas which is right around the corner. If you are planning on having people over to your home, is your fireplace ready to be the centre of this festive occasion?

If you’ve been in your home for any significant amount of time, you have undoubtedly repainted walls, changed couches, updated decor, subtracted carpets and the like. However, chances are, you haven’t done anything with your fireplace. It’s possible that despite the updating efforts you’ve made on the rest of your living room, your fireplace dates it. Do you think it’s time to update your fireplace?

In our 17 years of installing over 5,000 fireplace features and dealing with thousands of people, we have learned a thing or two about approaching fireplace updates and refreshing fireplace surrounds.

To start, let’s sit back and reflect on your fireplace. For one, do you actually use your fireplace? If not, why not? Does your fireplace insert seem dated? Maybe you just need a fireplace insert refresh. Or, does the thought of actually having to chop wood and deal with the mess aftermath prevent you from using it? If this is the case, maybe you want to consider upgrading to a gas fireplace.

Solus Decor fireplace Judd mantel
Fireplace mantel with Judd shelf

If you are considering a fireplace upgrade, it is important to first note whether you want the fireplace to be the focal point of your room, or blend into the background. Secondly, do you need a mantel (the shelf above the fireplace)? Thirdly, do you want to place a flat screen TV above the fireplace? If so, you will need to consider the height your TV will be placed in relation to the heat the fireplace will give off.

Moving on, what is your personal style? Are you looking for a traditional fireplace surround (see Arch), a transitional fireplace mantel (see Cornice) or a modern fireplace (see Span)?

Solus Decor fireplace
Traditional Arch fireplace
Solus Decor fireplace
Cornice transitional fireplace
Solus Decor modern fireplace
Span Modern fireplace

Once you have done all this, take some measurements with our measure up guide and start getting inspired by design. We suggest doing a Google image search for the fireplace surrounds that match your style. You can also try searching on Houzz, Pinterest or Flickr.

If you have more questions, feel free to contact us and talk with one of our design specialists.

Happy fireplace updating!



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Fabulous Built-Ins for your Fireplace Wall

Fabulous ideas for fireplaces!

Sometimes the installation of a new fireplace may leave you with extra space on either side of the fire feature.

We have seen some terrific ideas come to life before our eyes from designers and home owners over the years, especially with the use of built-in displays or functional storage systems.

Take a look at some of these Solus installations and then read this terrific article that came via Houzz this week by Pangaea Interior Design from Portland, Oregon.


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Decorating your Fireplace for the festive season is great fun.

Having a few cozy fireplaces to light up and decorate at Solus Decor makes it easy to get into a happy mood around here!  Here’s a look at a couple of our festive make over’s at the Solus Showroom. We’ve kept the gooey stuff like tape and glue from hitting the smooth concrete surfaces, to avoid staining and marks. For more ideas here is a fun article that came our way that we’d like to share with you.

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Prove to us that your nomination is truly ugly, we will be the judge of what is UGLY!

How to Enter:
1. Click Attending to show us you are interested in entering the contest.
2. Then,upload your photo(s) of it to our Facebook Fan Page, one must join OUR page first to submit your entry to:
3. Send your photo, name and address to

Basic Rules and Disclaimers:

Photo must be dated between January 1, 2011 and August 31, 2011.
All entries submitted become the property of Solus Decor Inc and may be used in future promotions, contests or marketing products.
Contest closes at 11:59PM PDT ON August 31st, 2011. Final judging will take place at Solus Decor Inc by Solus staff and/or dealers, with influence from Solus Facebook Fans. Winner will be announced on Facebook and will also be contacted by e-mail and/or telephone.
Contest is open to all locations in Canada and the continental USA. This Contest is void where prohibited by Law. No Purchase is necessary.
*Solus Product refers to Solus Decor’s standard fireplace products and includes fireplace surrounds, mantels, tiles, trim kits, hearth tiles, crating, shipping and customs. Solus Firepits, custom products, accessories, fireplace burners/inserts are not included.