Plinth blocks are
used as bases for columns, pilasters, and for door, window, and
fireplace framing. They were developed as bases for columns or
monuments by architects a few thousand years ago. They have been
used ever since: plinth blocks are the engraved or inscribed blocks
that are found at the base of many support structures for public
buildings and now, in private homes.
Today’s plinth blocks retain their decorative function,
engraved with classic patterns or carved into traditional scrolls,
Ionic or Corinthian patterns taken from Greek architecture, or
more recent floral and leaf patterns. They can be used as trim
for doors, for fireplace mantel structures or for window casings. They
are typically is installed at the base of a door frame or window
frame, acting as support for the moulding above.
The most common residential choice is the wooden block, which can
be incorporated into the home’s interior woodwork in a variety
of ways. They are available in oak, mahogany, cherry and maple
as well as a number of softwoods such as pine.
Plinth blocks are available as finished or unfinished products,
painted or with the wood untreated. The options for hand carved
blocks give the home remodeler a wide assortment of options when
deciding how best to add decorative trim to their fireplace mantel.
Simple and functional plinth blocks are often used at the base
of fireplaces not to bedazzle but to introduce the structure as
a whole and the additional decorative touches such as rosettes
that are above, on the mantle. Inserting a carved, decorative wooden
piece into a mantel structure is a unique and subtle choice of
architectural trim that will make your home interior stand out.