Tuesday, May 17, 2011

At long last

Finally our fireplace remodel is done! Okay well only Phase 1 is 90% done, but it's done enough for a proper reveal.

Remember what it looked like when we acquired the home? It may be better if you don't remember, but here's a peek just so you can appreciate the changes.

Painted brick with a nasty cracked yellow tile hearth.

First there was the installation of the new flue and the building of the new firebox a few months back when Ben's dad came to visit.

There was a brief mini trial with some Quality Stone Veneer and while it is quality, we decided it wasn't right for our house. So, we moved on to the original plan of boxing out the brick.

And finally the tiling began!
We used used a subway style slate on the face and a mixture of larger slate slabs and the subways on the hearth. The grout (the same London Fog from our mudroom tile job) varied between 1/4" (for the large pieces) and the 1/8" for the subways. The layout got tricky & had to be changed midway but after staring at it for weeks, we finally came up with a solution. A Keystone. It's perfect for the period of our house and it's perfect for us!

It meant a lot more cuts to get it right, but after literally months of entertaining various ideas and a long execution period here's what we ended up with.

Okay. I lied. Just a little white lie. Here's what it really looks like.

The mantle isn't quite finished yet. We hated the old pieced together white painted one, so we plan to stain the new version to match our floors, a lovely Minwax Provincial. Since finding an old beam appears to not only difficult to track down and also rather expensive, we plan to simply envelope the old mantle in an oak veneer. And that will be the official end to Phase 1 of our fireplace makeover. Phase 2 includes flanking it with built-ins.

And now a bit more eye candy.

It may only be 90% done, but we feel like it's 100% better. Do you agree?

Want to know my favorite part? Now only half of our living room floor is covered in cardboard. Baby steps folks, baby steps!


Natalie said...

Gorgeous!  Well worth the wait and effort.  You should seriously consider sending them in to "Better After". 

stephanie said...

I absolutely love it! That's exactly what I want to do (or have someone more skilled do) to my fireplace. While I love the stone exterior of my house, having a matching mammoth of a fireplace in the living room is just a tad too rustic for my taste. Did you use furring strips to attach the wood? You wouldn't happen to have written any "how to" info down, would you? So glad I stumbled upon your blog today. Great work.

Krista said...

Hi Stephanie.  Sorry about not replying sooner - I'm swamped!  Thanks for your sweet comments about our fireplace. Unfortunately my husband did most of the work on the fireplace and I didn't take the time to make a "how-to".  The Lettered Cottage did a great one a while back though.  Go check them out!