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Home Improvement - Fireplace

Here are a few pictures of My Fireplace Project. Thanks to my Dad for spending many Fridays driving up to my house to help keep me motivated and get this done.


When I moved in the fireplace was kind of boring. It was a blue marble tile glued on the floor and wall. It matched the entry of the house until I replaced the entry tile (and most of the house) with ceramic. I wanted to replace the carpet that was left and if I was going to upgrade the fireplace I needed to do it before I replaced the carpet.

Now the fun can begin. The first thing I wanted was a hearth. I built up the base using 12" x 12" pavers and Quickset. The top layer has a 2" overhang to give it depth.

I was originally going to build a brick surround but my Dad talked me into using a real slate tile. It has really grown on me. I spent a day cutting the 12" square tiles down to 5 1/2" x 11 1/2" to get a brick like look. There is a large difference in colors, patterns and thickness in each tile.

Installing the slate wasn't simple task. Using Quickset Mortar on the flat surfaces and a whip crème like flooring epoxy on the vertical tiles was a chore. We used 1/4" spacers and did our best to make the slate tiles as level as possible.

Once the tile was set I decided to use a dark chocolate grout to keep the contrast down. Before installing the tile I did use a tile waterproofing agent to keep as much of the grout from soaking into the tile as possible. I did spend some time with a dental tool cleaning out the crevices of the slate to remove the grout.

This is where we are currently at. The Mantle is made of Red Oak with a lot of detail. Since everything is not perfectly square there is some filling and sanding to do. The scrap on top is the color ( Golden Oak ) I intend to stain the mantle when ready. The wall will be painted a dark red. The carpet might be Hunter green. We will see after the walls are painted.

 I finally took a picture of the finished fireplace that the color of the wall looks acceptable. It it still slightly darker than the picture shows but this is pretty close. I still need to finish the 3 1/2" base molding and eventually get new carpet.