Let’s have a think about the room you’re styling, and what kind of living space you have in mind. Are you creating an open fire for a family and pets to gather round, with natural resilience and a casual feel? Or are you planning a minimalist dining room, adorned with chunky candles and Scandinavian textures - a fireplace only really used as a design feature? These are important questions to ask. Budget is another key consideration. Some stones can be picked up inexpensively from a reclamation yard, but others will need to be cut to size, sealed and polished. Some surfaces are harder to clean without being specially treated, at an extra cost. As for installation, even just manoeuvring a large heavy stone into place could require an extra pair of hands and equipment that can handle heavy duty materials. Make sure you're working within your budget.

Different looks and price ranges will call for a different choice of fireplace stone. Here are some of the most popular alternatives.

Limestone is a beautiful option for those who like a simple clean cut look. Its elegance is understated and timeless, making it a great look for any home that is minimalist and sleek.

There’s also Travertine, which has a similar feel to limestone. Travertine can be fitted with the look of bricks, tiles, or a curved surface. The effect of this stone is beautifully graceful.

If you’re looking for more of statement look, but with the same kind of wear as limestone and travertine, a marble fireplace will definitely add an air of extravagance and luxury. Once it's sealed, it’s very practical in terms of cleaning and maintenance and will give any room a striking, palatial air.

Quartzite is a colourful alternative that works well in a formal space but is all about making a statement. It comes in white, but there is also a wide range of more striking alternatives that could bring your fireplace to life in the right room design. If you're looking for a subtle presence, you might want to choose a different stone.

Some people prefer the informal feel of stone like slate. It has nothing of the glitz of a marble fireplace, and it needs a bit of a regular clean to keep it looking at its best, but it's extremely durable and would fit in any family home or farmhouse kitchen.

Finally, how about granite? It's one of those surfaces that can be dressed up or down and is just about the most hardwiring stone you could choose for your fireplace. Nowadays the price of granite has reduced, making it a popular alternative.

So those are a few ideas if you’re searching for the right stone for your fireplace. Price up your budget, including the necessary installation, the durability, and the precise look you’re going for, and then get a few quotes.

The perfect stone for your fireplace will make all the difference.