I have a rock fireplace (large rocks concreted together, flat faces showing), and it is of a darker colour. I have a gas fireplace in the hole at the bottom (I know, nice description ). I want to get a mantle installed, but am having trouble deciding on either a fir beam, or maple. The mantle will be 3 inches thick, 10 inches deep and I believe that it is 10 feet wide. The wood will be stained to show the wood grain. I do not want to cover the grain and hide it, but rather bring it to the surface. The stain will be medium dark in colour, so it will not be bright like pine.
Any thoughts to help me decide on the wood? Which is better? Which will look better 10 years from now?
Any other thoughts on this would be appreciated.