One of the rooms that was on the “we don’t need to touch” list when we moved in was our lower level living room. Besides the lack of light, there wasn’t really anything that I thought needed to be changed right away. But since there is no such thing as downtime in my household, we have started a full living room remodel. The first thing we changed was the fireplace. It is wood burning and we decided to keep the actual fireplace insert and just change the tiling and mantle. So here is the “before”:
We took off all the tile and the mantle surround. Since we kept the fireplace insert, we spray painted the brass black. We put a piece of Durock on the hearth to tile over. Jack was saying that this is an important step! Durock Expands and contracts with temperature changes at a similar rate as tile. The previous tile was on plywood and all five pieces were completely loose because they were adhered to the plywood and not a Durock or similar cement board.
The tiles we used were 4″ x 12″ and a combination of different finishes of marble that we found from Home Depot. We didn’t want big grout lines and didn’t have tile spacers that were thin enough so we used ripped up pieces of cardboard. It allowed us to get pretty consistent spacing and make adjustments as needed. The most difficult part of the project was that the fireplace wasn’t level. We made small adjustments in the tiles spacing throughout the entire project to make the fireplace look more level overall.
Then we built 3-sided boxes to frame either side of the fireplace and the top. To attach them to the wall, Jack used two scrap pieces to nail into.
After we had the fireplace surrounded, we added the mantle. We used leftover crown moulding from our kitchen.
I wanted it to go all the way to the ceiling so we put a piece of mdf on top of the mantle up to the ceiling and added more of those 3-sided boxes on both sides.
I thought it needed something more so we trimmed out all of the “boxes” and the hearth with a pine 1″ x 4″ (actually 3/4″ x 1 1/2″).
The 3/4″ depth was too thick and would stand out too far, so we ripped them in half in the table saw so we had two pieces approximately 3 1/2″ x 3/8″.
Then we primed everything and I did two coats of ProClassic Origami White from Sherwin Williams.
All that’s left is to caulk the top along the ceiling.
Once we had it all painted white and considering we are also doing white baseboard trim and wainscoting, I want to paint the room a little bit of a darker shade of gray than it is now. Just another thing to add to the To-Do list!
And that is our updated fireplace remodel. Now comes the hard part for me, styling the mantle. I’ll be looking around for some ideas all week I’m sure!
Thanks for stopping by and checking out what we’ve been up to 🙂