A fireplace is a wonderful feature in your home, but if you’ve moved into a place with a fireplace that’s been used, the current state of your hearth may or may not fit your style. Indeed, tastes and materials change over time, and your fireplace starts to show wear over the years with soot, stains and even broken stone or bricks. Since the weather is warmer and you’re fireplace isn’t in use, now is the perfect time to give your fireplace a makeover to make it the perfect place to gather around and enjoy.
There are some basic steps for refacing:
- Remove the mantel if it’s not built in
- Use a crowbar to pry it off
- Clean the brick or stones with a mild cleanser and a stiff brush (a clean surface will help the new material adhere better)
- Mix some thin set mortar and add a latex additive to protect the new surface layer from heat
- When mortar is the consistency of peanut butter, it’s ready to apply to the brick
You will need to let it dry for 24 hours before applying a wet coat and then proceed to adhere the new refacing material. You’ll also want to use heat-resistant grout.
1. Use Stone
If you’re refacing a brick fireplace, resurfacing with stone is usually pretty straightforward and you can attach stone panels right over the existing brick. These panels also weigh less than stone. Refacing with stone adds warmth and a natural beauty to a room, and you can choose colors and tones that coordinate with the rest of your décor.
2. Tile Over It
Using tiles over an old brick fireplace gives you lots of options to complement your décor. And, tiles come in a variety of sizes; you can use smaller tiles in the same color family for a variegated look, or larger tiles of the same color for a sleek, modern look.
3. Take It for Granite
Granite tiles are fire-resistant and give you a way to update the look of your fireplace with a variety of colors to coordinate with your décor.
4. Add Paneling
Give your fireplace a built in look by adding paneling around it. You could even gild the lily with built-in bookcases on either side if you’re doing a larger renovation.
5. Go Floor to Ceiling
You can make a real statement by considering extending the face of your fireplace floor to ceiling – and you have a choice of stones and textures that will match any décor. Choose thinner stones stacked for more texture, or larger fieldstones for character and a larger scale in a larger room to add country charm and ambience.
6. Integrate Your TV
Sometimes it’s a challenge to merge what are two traditional focal points of a living or family room, but it’s possible to add a flat screen TV above the fireplace while you’re refacing. You can extend to the ceiling with stone or paint that matches the fireplace; or, use a paint color above the fireplace that ties in the color of the fireplace along with the darker frame of the television.
7. Wood Cover or Accents
You can take pieces of scrap wood and layer pieces of wood over a brick fireplace, or use reclaimed wood planks. Consider adding wood accents of columns on either side of the firebox along with the mantel.
8. Add a Mantel
If you’ve got a fireplace with a small or no mantel, it seems incomplete. Add a mantel as the finishing touch to add proportion to the fireplace as an architectural feature in the room. You can even add a mantel that echoes the crown moulding features in the rest of the room, and complement wood floors with a mantel in a complementary wood tone.
9. Add Seating
Consider adding seating at the hearth, and even storage drawers underneath. It adds a sleek, modern look, in addition to the extra seating for your guests at large gatherings.
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