Fireplace makeover 2, Part 1: The mess...

After months of staring at the fireplace in the living room, my fiancĂ© decided it had to be changed. He’s been talking about working on it for awhile now; the old, loose red tile that made up the fireplace hearth just wasn’t doing it for him. After doing quite a bit of research, he started taking me around to different places to show me his ideas about replacing the hearth ~ he wanted a solid surface, one big slab of something, be it granite, slate, marble, etc. The “something” was left up to me, he said ~ he would do the labor.
Even though the fireplace didn’t bug me the way it bugged him ~ I was grateful to just get rid of the awful brass fireplace insert that used to plague it before ~ that was a deal I couldn’t turn down. And so the work began. First, the fireplace insert was removed, then the red tiles came out ~ not that they were exactly secure. The mortar or cement or whatever had pretty much turned to sand.

Plastic was draped to help keep the dust down as the old mortar was taken out, and the furniture in the living room was covered to keep the dust off of it. We also closed the doors to the other rooms to keep the mess confined. It is amazing how much dust this sort of work can create.

This large bucket was filled with bits of the the old mortar. You can see it was in bad shape.

And here’s what it looks like with everything cleaned out. Since this photo was taken, the cement base has been leveled off and the old pipe sticking up that was attached to nothing has been removed and the hole filled in. The plastic has gone back over the fireplace to keep it somewhat sealed off while we wait on our new hearth to arrive. The living room is still a bit disorganized (which drives me nuts, but there’s nothing to be done about it) because we had to move some furniture around, etc. Things should get back to normal in the next couple of weeks, though.

Which leads me to what we decided to replace the hearth with. I had been thinking I wanted marble, but I was a bit hesitant because marble can stain easily ~ I wasn’t sure it would be the wisest choice for a fireplace that can still be used. When I saw this piece below, I knew I had found the best of both worlds. It looks like gray and white marble, but it’s granite. The granite is marked out for someone’s kitchen; the lower right corner, which will be a remnant, is the perfect size for our hearth. Providing nothing goes wrong, that area will be cut to size for us this week.

Of course, deciding to go with a gray and white marble hearth meant we were going to have to cover the red brick of the fireplace after all. We had decided we would leave it if possible since it was the hearth that was really the problem. But the brick simply won’t go now, so we’re thinking we’re going to cover it with gray and white marble subway tiles, like these below.

I think they will look really nice with the hearth and brighten up the fireplace considerably. Best of all, we’re pretty sure our black fireplace insert will work just fine with the changes, so that’s an expense saved.
Fingers crossed we get our new hearth this week so we can move ahead with purchasing the tile. I think it’s all going to look wonderful when it’s done, but I am already tired of the mess. :)

I am linking to:
Home at Rose Chintz Cottage
Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully


  1. Your fireplace hearth and brick cover up will look great! I love marble!

  2. You two were brave to tackle this project. We wanted to have the brick hearth removed, but have found out that the fireplace needs to be repointed which involves a major remodel. Your new granite will look great. Plus how nice is it to get rid of the brass insert?


  3. Sounds like a big and messy job but the end-result will be all worthwhile. You must be excited for that fireplace to finish in time for winter. Nice!

    Enjoy your weekend Eileen.


  4. Eileen, you have a really nice fireplace and it's going to look fabulous when you're finished with it. Thanks for sharing at my HOME. Blessings, Sandi

  5. Your fireplace makeover is going to be stunning. I admit I loved it already but the new look will be fun to view when finished.
    xo, Jeanne

  6. I think the old one was really nice, but from what I can tell the new one will be gorgeous.

  7. You made an excellent choice. I think this is going to look beautiful---can't wait to see it!

    HaPpY pInK sAtUrDaY!
    Mrs. Sarah Coller

  8. I am intrigued! I need to replace tile and can't wait to see how yours turns out! I am delighted that you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,


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