This is a solid wood mantel, rather than a hollow box. The natural face of the mantel produces a rustic character which follows the shape and width of the log that it came from, so each one will be different. The width could vary between 7″ & 12″, and may change along the length of a mantel. There may be some knots and splits, which add to the rustic look and are common in this species. Any splits in the mantel will not weaken the overall strength of the piece for installation. Choose the best wood type for your home! Basswood is a light colored wood without a lot of grain but may include some mineral streaks and color contrasts. Butternut has a medium brown color similar to oak and often has interesting grain patterns. Walnut is a dark brown color with some areas of lighter colored sapwood that shows near the outside edge of the log. Cedar shows a combination of red and white colors along with lots of small knots.