Mounting a Custom Mantel

custom mantelA fireplace mantel is the finishing touch that really creates a cozy look to any living room. Mantels serve as conversation pieces, providing a place to display images, artwork and more. They also create a clean visual line above a fireplace opening. If you are thinking of having a custom mantel made for your fireplace, there are a few things you need to know about proper mounting.

Mounting Height

In order to prevent damage to your custom mantel and minimize possible fire hazards, it is crucial to make sure you know how high to mount your mantel. Most local fire codes indicate that a mantel should be mounted at least twelve inches or one foot above the top of the fireplace opening. This will help dissipate heat so that your mantel is safe. However, the further your mantel protrudes out from the wall, the higher you will want to mount it. This is because heat rises, and a deeper mantel will catch more of the hot air. Add an extra inch or two of height to your mantel if it sticks out more than six inches from the wall.

Mounting Hardware

Another important factor is what type of mounting hardware you are using. If you are replacing an old mantel, there may be some existing hardware or brackets that you can use. If not, you will need to decide on new brackets or hidden hardware that can support the full weight of your custom mantel. Fortunately, if you are using modern faux wood mantels, your mantel will be much lighter than a traditional hardwood mantel. Volterra is home to many custom mantel designs. If you want to update your old fireplace with a new look, visit us online to learn about our custom designs and how to properly install your new mantel at home.]]>

4 Simple Ideas to Decorate Your Fireplace Mantel

mantelsAlthough millions of people invest in stylish fireplaces to warm up their living space, very few people manage to exploit the full potential of fireplaces. Some people try and spruce up the architectural exuberance of the fireplace by wrapping a mantel around the fireplace, but this is still not enough. To make the fireplace a focal point in the living room, you need to go a step further and decorate the mantel. Although it is possible to invest in a decorated mantel, it’s challenging to come across a decorative style that resonates with your style and is consistent with the rest of the living room set up. To help you spruce up your living room’s look, here are four simple ideas on how to decorate the fireplace mantel:

Use of Greenery

Most fireplaces are made from dull colors which can easily weigh down the life of any space. To counter the dark colors of the fireplace, invest in greenery which you can place on top of the fireplace mantel. Green flowers are a fresh breath of air in any space and their color always blends in with most design styles. The choice of the flowers depends on your taste, but you should be careful not to stack too many flower pots on the mantel, as this makes the living space look too crowded.

Use Artwork

Have you been looking for a space to pin your family portraits? Are you an artsy person looking for the perfect space to express yourself? The mantel is the ideal place to place photos and other pieces of art to make your space even better.

Add Mirrors

Mirrors not only lighten a space by adding light, but they also make a space appear bigger than it is. Stick up one or two mirrors on your fireplace mantel and let it light up your living space.

Make the Mantel the Home Tech Center

Yes, you can use your television screen and audio speakers to breathe life into the dull fireplace. Mount your TV right above the mantel and place audio speakers on the mantel and you will have yourself a tech center in your living space. Are you looking for architectural products to spruce up your home? Volterra has plenty of options, including interior and exterior products. Contact us today to get started.]]>

Keys to Successful Farmhouse Design

farmhouse designFarmhouse design has become trendy once again, and more people are trying to bring traditional farmhouse features into their suburban homes. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate farmhouse styling in your home, there are a few key areas where you need to focus your energies.

Natural and Neutral Materials

A major staple of farmhouse design is the use of natural wood finishes throughout the space. The good news is that you can purchase faux wood beams, fireplace mantles, and trim which looks just like real wood without costing an arm and a leg or requiring any special skills to install. Once you’ve selected the natural wood finishes you want to showcase, the next step is to choose a few neutral colors that accent the wood’s tone for decorating the rest of the room.

Stay Functional

Farmhouses were all about simplicity and productivity. Thus, when it’s time to select trim and furnishings, make sure you stick to something plain and functional. You don’t want lots of detailed carving or layers on your cabinetry, baseboards or other areas. Clean lines and simple design is what you’re looking for, with lots of open space for easy maneuvering through your home. The best farmhouse designs are accomplished when you ditch the fussy details and go for something straightforward. Volterra Architectural Products is here to help you design your new farmhouse style home with matching trim and accents made from high quality HDF materials. Visit us online today to learn more.]]>

Add Comfort with a Faux Wood Mantle this Winter

faux wood fireplace mantel adds a nice touch for family photos, festive holiday cards, warm candles, and gift stockings. Every fireplace, whether gas, wood-burning, or even the electric kind, deserves a mantle. Without one, it’s just not complete. Volterra has a faux wood fireplace mantle to suit any home décor, whether your fireplace facade is brick, stone, wood, or faux wood. Volterra’s faux wood mantles are constructed from a high-density polyurethane foam (HDF) and forged from natural wood. This means they’re actually molded with the exact same details as natural wood. For example, the wood grain and texture of a Volterra’s faux wood is crafted to match real wood. Volterra’s faux wood products are just like the real thing in appearance, but they’re much lighter, making them a breeze to install and much more affordable. Volterra Architectural Products offers a range of faux wood products that can give your living space a fresh new look. Visit our catalog today to see our full collection and get ideas from our portfolio. For more information, contact us at 602-253-7373.]]>

4 Benefits of High Density Foam

High density polyurethane foam products have grown in popularity in the build and design industry and it really doesn’t come as a surprise. They are steadily replacing the love for natural wood and other interior design materials which dominated the industry for a long time.



At Volterra Architectural Products, we utilize quality high density foam to create faux wood beams, trusses, and other architectural details.  In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at what high density foam is and the benefits it offers.


What is High Density Foam?

High density foam is a type of polyurethane foam that is known for its high strength and durability. It is often used in construction and industrial applications where strength and stability are key. High density foam is also popular in the design world due to its ability to be shaped and molded into almost any form. This makes it the perfect material for creating faux wood beams, trusses, and other architectural details, which is why we utilize it here at Volterra. 


High density foam is highly durable and will stand the test of time. Unlike wood, it will not warp, rot, or crack and is not susceptible to insect damage. Products manufactured with this material can last for over 20 years. The solid nature of the material also makes it usable in demanding outdoor environments.


High density foam products are versatile and can be used for a variety of applications. They can be cut, sawed, glued, screwed, and painted to create the desired look. Plus, as mentioned, it can be molded into almost any shape, making it the perfect material for use in architecture and design. Products can also be easily customized with different looks, designs and even colors.


It’s no secret that lumber prices have been on the rise in recent years. Fortunately, high density foam products offer a much more budget-friendly alternative to natural wood. In fact, foam products are typically 30-50% cheaper than their wood counterparts. The money you save on materials can be invested elsewhere in your project.



High density foam products are also much lighter than natural wood, making them much easier to work with. This can be a big advantage when it comes to the installation process. Volterra’s faux wood beams that are manufactured with high density foam, for example, will not come with the same installation hassle of real wood ceiling beams. 

As you can see, there are many benefits to using high density foam products. You can find products that fit just about any application, but for those related to your interior needs, look no further than Volterra Architectural Products. We utilize high density foam to create faux wood beams, trusses, and other architectural details that are not only beautiful but also highly durable and cost-effective. Shop today!

3 Exterior Design Tips for Your Home

1. Accentuate windows and doors with trims Beyond landscaping and the roof of your home, the front door and windows are the first things people notice when they approach any house. The last thing you want is for your front door and windows to lack character and give your guests a bad impression about your home.  It only takes the addition of high quality trim to your front door and windows from Volterra Architectural Products to give your home charm and personality that will make a lasting first impression to your guests.

2. Add much needed curb appeal to your home using corbels and brackets

Add some much needed curb appeal to your property by using our lavish and intricately designed decorative exterior brackets and corbels. The corbels can be used just below the roof or around the corners and edges of the house and will add subtle character to the walls.

3. Vents- simple, effective and eye-catching

As much as vents are a necessity for ventilation, they can also be a  good decorative element for the exterior. Peruse through the range of vents we have here in Volterra and choose the type and design of vents which will help eliminate the monotony of plain walls. Volterra Architectural Products offers a variety of products that can give your home an updated look. Help your home stand out from the crowd by contacting us on our website of by calling 602-258-7373.]]>

Buying a Custom Mantel for Your Fireplace

mantel is that you get a piece that is unique and helps to express your inner self and your personal taste. A custom fireplace mantel not only brings a sense of utility to the otherwise empty space around the fireplace but also accentuates the other pieces around the fireplace giving the room a good ambience. It also adds functional space for displaying family portraits or artwork. Choosing the right mantel means balancing design and cost.


You definitely don’t want a mantel so big that it will take away from the fireplace. Nor do you need a small mantel that will only make the fireplace look unfinished and clumsy. Choose a decent size mantel that extends beyond the fireplace by a few inches on either side, or that fits the fireplace surround.


Wooden mantels are the best when it comes to accentuating fireplaces. The good thing about opting for wood is the fact that it can be easily stained or painted to match the surrounding décor in your house, and offset any stonework or other tile in the background. Faux wood mantels, which come in a variety of wood grain textures and stains, are a great choice because they are less expensive and very easy to install.  You have the option of metal and marble as well, although at a much steeper price.


Depending on the style, design and material used to make the custom mantel, you can spend anything from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. You therefore need to be mindful of your budget before you consider making a purchase. The actual dimensions of your mantel will determine how much you spend, as well as any design details that are added to the surface. Volterra Architectural Products offers faux wood mantels in several sizes that can be accented with corbels, moulding and other products to create a completely unique finish for your home. Don’t spend another day with a drab fireplace. Turn it into an inviting gathering place.  Call Volterra at 602-258-7373 or visit their showroom in Phoenix, Arizona to see a variety of mantels and other specialty architectural products.]]>

Why Faux Wood Mantels?

faux wood mantels above the hearth, the fireplace starts to take shape, creating a more inviting space, with a focal point that draws people in. Wood mantelpieces have been the traditional choice, but they can be expensive, heavy, and difficult to install. Not only that, but real wood can warp, split, snag, and become a cozy home for unwanted, burrowing insects. Newer technology, like faux wood mantels, are a practical and ingenious solution to this decorating problem. Volterra’s faux wood mantels are made of high-density polyurethane foam and shaped and cast from natural wood. They’re molded with the same detail of real wood’s grain and texture so they look just like the real thing. Smooth, sandblasted, rough sawn or hand hewn, our faux wood mantels and beams can be made to simulate a variety of textures and grains. Volterra’s artificial wood products also come in wood stains that imitate natural timber; like dark and light walnut, deep espresso, mahogany, and oak to match any wood or faux wood flooring, mouldings or beams in the room. Faux wood mantels offer other advantages in addition to their light weight, affordability, and easy installation. Faux fireplace mantel shelves have a hollow interior making them a perfect location to surreptitiously run wiring for speakers or a wall mounted television or to hide recessed lighting.]]>

Decorative Fireplaces Mantels in the Modern Age

Decorative fireplace mantels get the job done by giving fireplaces the frameworks necessary to emphasize them as cornerstones of the living room.

Mantels used to be installed on fireplaces to catch smoke and prevent it from seeping into the rest of the room. Though this has been fixed through other means, the mantel is still the necessary sort of outline that provides the distinction and definition the fireplace needs to stand out from everything else. A fire cannot be a roaring, romantic phenomenon if it appears to just be burning within a hole in the wall. The fireplace is so much more than that. A mantel promotes it to a domain that is host to one of nature’s most remarkable events.

While mantels were traditionally built into the structure with the rest of the fireplace, a fireplace without a mantel does not require an extensive makeover. Many mantels made from faux wood can be easily installed onto the fireplace without a lot of hassle. These faux pieces mimic mantels made from authentic wood, mirroring their every mark and crevice so as to provide the illusion of real lumber. This creates the kind of soothing, enchanting atmosphere that raises the significance of the fire burning within its confines. No longer will it appear as if a hole in the wall caught ablaze—this kind of framework gives the fire character and boldness.

Volterra Architectural Products manufactures fireplace mantels that embody the same traits of real wood, all the way down to the tiniest of details. Customers can select a mantel of various textures and colors that will best suit their vision of a fireplace they can take pride in. The rosy brown of Mahogany is a romantic shade, while the orange and brown of the Oak color is robust. The Doug Fir is smooth and sleek to the touch, and the Hand Hewn is bumpy and hilly, just as if it were created like real lumber that is created with the hand hewn method.

Volterra Architectural Products can help you provide your clients with the exact kind of fireplace mantel they desire.]]>

Fireplace Mantel