How To Update A 1970s Stone Fireplace?

A stone fireplace is a timeless feature that has been an integral part of home design for centuries. It’s not merely a source of warmth but also serves as a focal point in a room, creating ambiance and adding to the aesthetic appeal of a space. As the years go on, so do the trends and how people decorate in their homes. In this article, we will learn about stone fireplaces, how to update a 1970s stone fireplace, and what else you can do with this fireplace.

What is a Stone Fireplace?

Traditionally, a stone fireplace is constructed using natural stone which can range from river rock, limestone, or sandstone, to more luxurious options like marble or granite. The stones are typically pieced together with mortar to create a sturdy structure capable of withstanding intense heat.

How Popular Were Stone Fireplaces in the 1970s?

In the 1970s, stone fireplaces peaked in popularity, often becoming the central design element in living rooms and dens. Their rustic and sturdy appearance contributed to the decade’s overall earthy and nature-inspired decor trends. Today, while interior design aesthetics have evolved, stone fireplaces continue to be popular due to their classic look and durability. Many people appreciate the natural elements they bring to modern homes and their ability to fit into various design styles, from traditional to contemporary.

A 1970s stone fireplace is easy to update and modernize by adding a new hearth or mantel.

How to Update a 1970’s Stone Fireplace?

Updating a 1970s stone fireplace can breathe new life into a room. Here are some suggestions to make this area of your home look more modern.

  • Painting: A coat of paint can transform the look of your stone fireplace. Choose a color that complements the room’s palette.
  • Mantel Replacement or Addition: Installing a new mantel or updating the existing one can change the entire character of the fireplace.
  • Cleaning and Sealing: Sometimes all a stone fireplace needs is a thorough cleaning and sealing to restore its original luster.
  • Install a New Hearth: Replacing the hearth or introducing a new material can make a significant visual impact.

Other Things You Can Do With a 1970s Stone Fireplace

Aside from updating the look, there are other practical alterations you can consider to update a 1970s stone fireplace. These are:

  • Convert to Gas or Electric: If maintaining a wood-burning fireplace is not ideal, consider converting it to gas or electric for convenience.
  • Enhance with Decor: Use decorative elements such as candles, frames, or art pieces to highlight the fireplace area.
  • Energy Efficiency: Upgrade with inserts or glass doors to improve energy efficiency without compromising the fireplace’s charm.
A colorful stone fireplace from the 1970s can be updated by painting or replacing the mantel.

Maintaining Your Fireplace

Now that you are aware of all the options you have for modernizing your 1970s strong fireplace you can read up on how to clean your stone fireplace. Also, cleaning the stone after you have updated it will keep the stonework looking sharp.

Next, if you happen to have a brick fireplace, you might want to know how to clean the fireplace brick. Also, keeping your fireplace clean and looking nice no matter what type of stone has been used is important for keeping your home’s aesthetics looking nice.

Lastly, now that you have finished updating your fireplace stone, you should get your chimney cleaned. Additionally, never rely on the previous homeowner for cleaning or maintaining the fireplace chimney. There could be a clog and you will want to get it removed.

When to Call a Professional

While some updates can be DIY projects, it’s important to know when to call a professional, especially when dealing with structural changes, gas lines, or anything involving fire safety. A licensed contractor or a fireplace specialist can ensure that any modifications comply with local building codes and safety standards.

Take a look at this video below on transforming your fireplace with a custom hearth.


A 1970s stone fireplace has the potential to blend tradition with modernity, providing both warmth and style to a home. With thoughtful updates and enhancements, it can remain a cherished feature for years. Whether opting for a simple cleaning or a full conversion, always consider the value of professional advice to preserve the integrity and safety of your fireplace. CallĀ House Inspection Associates to conduct a full home inspection in the Virginia, D.C., and Maryland areas.

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