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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are Balmer mantels non-combustible?
A. Balmer Thin Cast and Gypsum cement mantels are both non-combustible.

Q. Are Balmer mantels made to fit my firebox opening?
A.  Balmer mantels come in standard sizes but some may be cut while others utilize filler panels to fit most any firebox openings?

Q. Can I use a Balmer mantel on any type of fireplace?

A. Balmer Thin Cast and Gypsum Cement mantels may be utilized on any type fireplace.

Q. How do I clean a Balmer mantel?
A. Utilize a cloth dipped in warm soap and water. Squeeze excess water from the rag to wipe down the mantel. For stubborn stains Balmer has created a special sealer for our Thin Cast models that allows you to brush over the stain restoring the mantel back to it's original color. Gypsum Cement mantels can be restored using original paint color.

Q. Can a homeowner install a Balmer mantel?

A. Yes. Installing a Balmer mantel requires no special skills and install instructions are included in the packaging.  

Q. Can I purchase direct from the manufacturer?
A.  Balmer mantels are sold exclusively by our valued dealers. Dealers are listed on the Balmer web site for your convenience.

Q. Are there any special tools required to install a Balmer mantel?
A.  Measuring tape, power drill, level and fine tooth hand saw are the only tools needed.

Q.  Can a Balmer mantel be used outside?
A.  Balmer mantels are for interior use.

Q. Does a Balmer mantel have to meet any code restrictions for combustible materials during installation?
A. No. Balmer Thin Cast and Gypsum Cement mantels have been tested and met requirements set by ASTM 136 for a non-combustible material.

Q. Why do I need filler panels?
A. Filler panels fill the space between the firebox and the surround when the mantel opening is larger than the firebox opening.

Q. How do you cut this material?
A. Balmer's Thin Cast material and Gypsum cement may be easily cut using a fine tooth hand saw.

Q. Is the material smooth or rough?
A. A Balmer Thin Cast mantel has a texture that replicates stone while the Gypsum cement products are finished by hand creating a smooth finish.

Q. Does a Balmer mantel require finishing?

A. The Balmer Thin Cast mantel is sealed from the factory and requires no further finishing. The Gypsum cement mantels have to be primed and painted or stained.

Q. How does the weight compare with traditional stone?
A. Balmer's Thin Cast stone provides you with the look of stone while weighing only a fraction of  a comparable size stone mantel. The Castle series which is our largest, weighs around 150 pounds which includes the breastplate and legs. A stone mantel this size could easily weigh several thousand pounds. The lighter weight facilitates installation significantly reducing installation cost and eliminating concerns over structural support.

Q.  Does the color of the Thin Cast mantels extend beyond the surface?
A. Yes. This is not a surface treatment but part of the mixing process that extends throughout the part.

Q. If a Balmer mantel is chipped or cracked do you have a repair kit?
A. Yes. Balmer has a patch kit for their Thin Cast mantels and the Gypsum cement mantels may be easily repaired using standard drywall joint compound.
Q. Can you paint a Balmer Thin Cast mantel?

A. The Balmer Thin Cast mantels will accept paint but as with Gypsum cement mantels ensure that the paint being used is heat resistant.
Q. Can I use a Balmer mantel on any type of fireplace?
A. Balmer Thin Cast mantels are a finished product and may be used on any type fireplace. Gypsum cement mantels must be primed/painted and fireplaces which burn at very high temperatures may cause paints to crack or discolor.
Q. What is Thin Cast stone?
A. Balmer's Thin Cast stone is a special formulation created by Balmer through extensive testing. It has a strength of 12000 PSI compared to Gypsum cement at 5000 PSI yet weighs around 25% less. It requires no further finishing and is sealed from the factory.

Q. Does Balmer have a raised hearth for mantels?
A. Not at this time. What customers have done is they build a frame to the desired size for the raised hearth. Then they cover the  sides of the frame by cutting Balmer riser panels to fit, adhering with a construction adhesive suitable for masonry products.. The Balmer hearth is then placed on top.
Q. How can I extend the interior opening height of a Balmer mantel?
A. Matching plinth blocks may be purchased for any mantel we carry allowing the mantel to be raised to the desired height for special applications. The seam may be covered using our patch repair for Thin Cast stone or wallboard compound for Gypsum cement mantels.

Q. How long does it take to get a Balmer mantel?
A. Balmer mantels will ship to the dealer within 10 business days or less.

Q. How do you ship the mantels?
A. Balmer mantel are boxed, foamed in place, put on a skid with steel strapping and shipped via freight lines to the dealer.


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