An outdated fireplace can be a real eyesore, especially if it dominates a high-traffic area like the living room. But you can turn it into an appealing focal point simply by updating your fireplace surround. You don’t even have to tear out the existing fireplace in many cases – you can simply apply new tile over the existing stone or brick. And by doing so you stand to create a stylish and attractive interior and potentially even increase the value of your home (or at least the appeal to buyers). Here are a few tiling tips to help you achieve the perfect fireplace surround.
- Consider the style of your home. You might be keen on modernizing your fireplace surround and hearth, doing away with the outdated brick and updating to tile, but you need to think long and hard about how your intended upgrade is going to fit with the style of your home. If your architecture is traditional in nature, you’ll want to select a tile that exemplifies the classic style of your home, either by choosing an appropriate material, color palette, or even layout. If, on the other hand, your home has a much more modern feel, you can definitely get away with pushing the boundaries when styling your tiled fireplace surround.
- Consider the price of your home. If you live in a million-dollar mansion, you simply can’t get away with cheaping out on ceramic tile for your fireplace surround. High-end materials are the name of the game when you’re dealing with pricy property, at least if you have any intention of selling down the line and you want to interest appropriate buyers. On the other hand, there’s no need to spend beaucoup bucks on marble or granite tile when you live in a low-end condo. Sure it will look fantastic, but you might as well throw the money away – you’ll never see a return on investment when it comes time to sell your property.
- Know your options for materials. There are so many types of tile to choose from that you may have a hard time selecting the right look for your home and your personal aesthetic. Natural stone tiles will likely suit high-end sensibilities, whereas ceramic or glass tiles could appeal to a more creative sort (thanks to a multitude of colors, shapes, and sizes), as well as a more moderate budget. You can also think outside the box with options like rough stone, tintype, mosaic, or painted or pressed tiles. You could even mix and match tiles. Keep in mind that your decision to hire a pro versus doing it yourself could impact your decision of the materials you want to use, depending on ease of application.
- Size up your project. Tiling your fireplace surround could entail little more than installing a border around your fireplace opening or it could extend to cover several square feet of wall space from floor to ceiling, as well as a hearth. Before you start shopping for tile you need to know the area you intend to cover so that you can set your budget, your timeline, and your expectations accordingly.
- Get help. Whether you elect to hire a contractor for your job or you head to your local hardware store for a class that offers fireplace tiling tips, it’s in your best interest to ensure that someone who knows what they’re doing is involved in the project. Sure you can purchase materials from Tiles Direct and go to town with little more than an online tutorial, but if you want the beautiful and professional look you see in magazines, it’s best to get all the help you can before you start tiling your fireplace surround.