Here’s the promised post about how we took our fireplace from this:


To this:


Although we had lived with the old fireplace for a year and it had been doing just fine, we decided that since we had the flooring out and everything, we might as well reface the fireplace while we were at it.

First, Chris removed those awful builder-grade brass sconces and patched the drywall. We then painted the walls a lovely happy spring green and painted the fireplace mantel a bright white (instead of that yucky off-white color).


This already made a huge improvement in the space but after all the work we had given the rest of the room, the imitation slate tile on the fireplace was starting to look really dated and ugly. We decided to tile the fireplace surround.

So we made a quick run to Home Depot and picked up $100 worth of new tile. At first I was considering a penny or mosaic tile but Chris thought they looked too bathroom-y.¬†We decided to go with a pretty light quartz ledgestone for the fireplace face (Desert Quartz Ledgestone, I can’t find the exact product again online but this one from Home Depot is almost an exact match) and a porcelain tile for the hearth that looks almost exactly like rough flagstone. Seriously, Chris’ Dad could hardly believe it was tile and not real stone.


Chris removed the old tile, which came off pretty easily. It had been mounted directly on the plywood and the fireplace face…which doesn’t seem very secure…that might explain why it came off so easily. Chris laid out the pattern on the floor so we were happy with the color distribution.



Chris and his dad mounted cement board onto the fireplace face and then screwed a piece of 1×4 to the cement board to act as an anchor for the top half of the tile (we didn’t want the tile sliding off before the Thinset dried!). After the top half of the fireplace was done we had to let it dry for 3 days while the Thinset cured, so Chris and his dad tiled the hearth, which was relatively simple (we’d had a bit of experience tiling the laundry room so we knew what to expect). The hearth was even easier because we didn’t have to cut any pieces to fit.


Here I am applying grout and buffing excess grout off the surface of the tile (that was kind of a chore because of the rough surface of the tile).


And then Chris finished tiling the face of the fireplace!


I love it. I think it looks so much more updated and cozy than before. Of course it will look nicer once it is styled and the surrounding carpet is in. We also need to cut some molding to cover those unsightly gaps on the bottoms of the wood pieces.

The surprising thing is that this project really didn’t take very long AT ALL. Especially compared to some of the other tedious long-term projects we’ve had going on around here. It took us two evenings, and a few days of drying time. AND it was cheap with a price point around $100. Just a little work and not a lot of money, but it makes a HUGE difference!

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7 comments on “Fireplace Revamp”

  1. Hi Camilla! I just put this exact tile on my fireplace. So glad to see someone else loved it as much as me. Had been looking for a while and this tile just hit me as perfect for a fireplace. Now I am trying to figure out how to decorate above the mantle. Would love to hear what you did.

  2. You guys did a great job on the fireplace. I’m planing on doing the same to mine, which is a very similar setup and size. Two questions:
    1) How much stone tile did it take?
    2) After you did the top section (supported by the 2×4) did you do the sides from the floor up and start from the top down?
    I appreciate the input. Howard

    • Hi Howard,
      I don’t remember what the sq footage was or how many boxes but I’m sure you can calculate it pretty easily. Just be sure to buy more tile than you need in case some pieces don’t have the coloring you like (and remember you’ll have to cut some tile off the sides). Home Depot allows you to return individual tiles if you buy more than you need.
      After we did the top section we started from the ground up so that subsequent tiles would have something to rest on. Measure beforehand so you can shave some off the bottom tile to make it fit if needed (since it would look strange to have a small sliver of tile right in the middle where the two sections meet).

  3. It’s beautiful! You guys did a great job. I did some searching after I saw your fireplace re-do and found the Desert Quartz Ledgestone at Lowe’s for $3.98 per 6×12 piece. We’re having our fireplace re-faced and now that I’ve seen your pics, this is the tile we’re going with.

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