We are showcasing our modern fireplace makeover and turned our outdated 80’s fireplace into this modern fireplace.
We have lived in our house for 11 years and I have struggled with looking at our fireplace for 11 years.From first glance (minus the black soot stains of course) our fireplace is not terrible. The tile is a light beige and so it lends itself to any color scheme you are going for in the living room. There were a number of issues we had with our fireplace.
- There was no real mantel. The drywall box that was there was about 3-4 inches in depth, not leaving us room to place anything on the mantel.
- I tried everything to remove the black soot, but tiles were porous and it was stained.
- The pony wall really served no point other than collecting random items.
- It was ugly. Okay, so this isn’t really an issue other than I really couldn’t look at it any more.
After scouring the internet, coming up with a game plan for the space (and convincing the hubs its not that big of a renovation) 🙂 , it was time to demo.You can check out our full demo steps on our highlights on MadewithHAPPY Instagram. Here is a picture of our pony wall as you came in the front door. It was the first thing to be demo, as it lead to the small step on the hearth. What we found during demo is that there were layers of tile underneath. There were three different tiles in this project. There was the travertine beige tile, a funky turquoise tile, and then a pink tile that I think was from the original house design. It took some serious sweat equity, but we got it all out.
Once we had the space cleared, I was able to layout the design. There are a few things to keep in mind when designing a fireplace makeover like this
- How big is the space? – The wall that our fireplace is on is quite large and has vaulted ceilings, so we were able to go higher up with the tile than if say it was a 10 foot ceiling.
- Are there any other design elements that need to be considered for that space. For our space, we have a window on the left that needs to be considered for the design. Also, we really wanted to move the TV to above the mantel, so making sure it wasn’t too high to watch, was also a consideration.
- By law, the hearth in front of the firebox must be a non-flamable material. Check with your state on dimensions. So considering the tile for that is also part of the design.
After considering all that, it was time to head off to the tile shop. I am going to be honest with you, I really wanted cement tile. It is super popular right now, and I absolutely love the look of cement tile. I ended up going with these beautiful Portuguese ceramic tile for two reasons.
- The cost of cement tile is more expensive, but not necessarily how you think. In a number of cases, the minimum purchase of cement tile is 50-60 square feet. Even with excess tiles, our space would at the most be 20 square feet, and so it did not make sense cost wise for a single project like that.
- Cement tile is porous. It would need to be sealed, and maintained to make sure soot would not stain the tile like what happened to the travertine we had prior. To be honest, this was the bigger of the two reasons for me. Ceramic tile is already sealed and would not need any upkeep to it, making it a better option for us.
Once I found a tile I loved, then it was time to figure out how many tile we would need for this project. We decided we would have three full tiles above the fire box and two wide. The challenge came when measuring cuts and how it would fit around the firebox. I do not have CAD skills, but am pretty handy when it comes to math, so I created a rough design based on the outer edge of the firebox, where the tile was mounted prior.As you can see from this super rough mock-up, I started in the middle of the fire box and then measuring the 8 inch tiles out plus the 1/16th grout lines, there would be lots of different cuts around the fire box. The big “ah-ha” moment is when I had the professional tile guy out and he explained to me that the firebox gives us a little wiggle room in order to make the full tiles all the way around. So before we ended up laying the tile around the face, we used a grinder and sanded down all the old glue from previous tile, and then I spray painted the firebox with this heat resistant paint.
We then were able to start the tile about an inch higher than what I had originally calculated allowing for full tiles around the fireplace and only one cut on the bottom row.
The two remaining pieces of the fireplace makeover were the mantel and mounting the TV.
I have received lots and lots of questions about the mantel. I found this farmhouse mantel for under $200 and absolutely adore it. Seriously you guys, its incredible.
As for the tv mount here are the supplies we used.
And really that is the gist of the fireplace renovation and full fireplace makeover.
There were a number of steps in between that I’m happy to explain further for those that are looking. Like the feeding of the electrical outlet up to behind the tv. Or the hdmi boxes we places behind the tv and then down below. There were also pieces of the renovation we hired out. We hired a texture expert for our drywall texture, the flooring folks to lace in the wood pieces where the pony wall once was. These things can be done yourself, its up to you to whether you feel it needs to be hired out.
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