Monday, October 12, 2009

It’s Getting Hot in Here… Fireplace Tile

Another update for my loyal readers. :) I have wanted to tile around the fireplace since moving in last year. I spent last fall requesting tile samples and trying to find the most cost effective and beautiful ones. I also knew that I wanted to eventually remodel the kitchen and include the same tile as a back splash. However, I never really found a tile that grabbed me so the project got put on the back burner. I did find the time to complete minor updates to the wall of the fireplace. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we:

The before in all it’s non-glory:

Before even moving in, my mom, Craig and I primed the entire wall and painted it a rich brown.

I painted the mantle a fresh glossy white and the dirty carpet was ripped out and replaced with latte laminate flooring. Yummy – I couldn’t resist posting another picture of that beauty:

Since the fireplace was actually off center on the wall I used curtains to hide the unevenness (is that really a word?). I hung a copper mirror, bought on clearance from Pier 1, above the mantle. Just doing these little things made me satisfied with the look of the fireplace… for the time being. ;)

Right before my housewarming party, I decided to remove the gold glass doors and frame to spray paint it black. I used a special fire resistant paint and covered the glass with painters tape and newspaper, easy peasy. The hard part was reattaching it from the back with a tiny screw drive being the only thing that would fit the space. So in the interest of time – it was two days before my party – I just propped it up and hoped that no one would leaned on it. This method actually worked for the next 6 months until our new ball of energy, Abbey, ran into it one evening and knocked it over. This was the spark (sorry, last fireplace related pun) I needed to start the tile project!

I really wish I had taken pictures while working on the fireplace, it would make it much easier to visualize these next steps. After removing the ugly gold frame doors, I was left with a big hole and much of the fireplace supports showing. Therefore, I could not simply tile over just the wood surround. I removed the wood pieces and measured how big my new backing would need to be. I then used an utility blade to cut cement board down to size and screwed it in to the remaining surrounds with cement screws. This process was actually a lot easier than I had anticipated. Next was applying a layer of thin-set mortar and placing the glass tiles on top. I ended up finding the glass tiles at Home Depot for the price of $4.99 a sq ft. Not bad at all for glass tiles this pretty! I actually lucked out and the tiles fit perfectly without having to cut any in half. The tiles come in 12 x 12” sections with mesh backing, so it really didn’t take that long to tile the whole surround. After waiting 24 hours for the thin-set mortar to fix, I then grouted with white, pre-mixed grout. I wiped off any excess grout from the glass tiles and left for drying. Unfortunately, I didn’t remove enough of the grout residue from the tiles so when it completely dried a film of grout remained. I need to really go in and scrub the tiles to make them really shine, but in interest in time and showing the after pictures, here they are:

It is hard to get a great shot without the glare from the television and one that really shows the detail of the glass tiles. So that’s the best view you’re going to get, unless you visit of course! :) We ended up mounting the TV above the fireplace, as much as my undeclared interior designer self cringed, it really is the best place for centering the room and making use of the wide space. I also took down the mantle because one: it was much to high to begin with and two: I like the visual clean appearance of the wall without it. Still debating if I will put some sort of mantle back up, I do love decorating it for the holidays.

Here is a close up of the glass tile:

Can you see the beautiful but subtle copper steaks through it? I love how the copper plays off the copper mirror, which was move to the right wall above the couch. Try to not notice the grout residue, oops, cleaning is a must.

Night time shot! Notice how the opening is much smaller now because of the cement board.

And last but not least, a picture of Abbey & Lexi enjoying the new couch: Love them! I love how my living room turned out, it is so cozy and comfortable. The new couch is from Rooms to Go and something Craig and I both picked out, I like the form and Craig the function (a perfect match of function & form). :) With the new couch, we can now seat up to 7 people comfortable so who is in for movie night?!

1 comment:

julie said...

& its even prettier in person, believe me.