Phase I of Fireplace Project Complete

So the first phase of the fireplace project is officially complete. Last week, I ran out of cement backer board and ended up buying a second sheet this week. I also removed the floor tiles on the sides and left it bare (eventually, before flooring, I’ll make sure it is level enough.

I left the slate in the hearth area as you can see below.

Fireplace Phase I


What I’m planning on doing is now instead of using Joint Compound to give that part of the wall a smooth finish, I’m going to be using a cement product. I got the idea from this site (there were some more cement type ideas too) and had contemplated doing the same thing but thought the JC would do the same job.

I ended up changing my mind because of the heat factor from the fireplace. It won’t get uber hot to melt the joint compound, at least I don’t think it would but still, since I opted for cement backer board, I thought using this Ardex stuff was the way to go. So yeah, I just placed an order for some Ardex SD-M on Friday. I’m getting the white cement and figured I could add a little bit of my Benjamin Moore Flora paint to it.

Here is another link that inspired me to use Ardex. This is from YouTube.

If you’re wondering about the slate that forms the hearth, my plan is to use that cement micro topping over it so it creates one uniform piece. If it works, it will be awesome because then I won’t have to worry about buying and laying tile. 🙂

The stuff should come in before next weekend so I’ll update more then.

The final piece will be the zinc. If all goes well, I should have a new fireplace before the end of July.


FIreplace Project Has Begun!

The before pic.

The before pic.

Big wood screws, I guess that support piece wasn't going anywhere.

Big wood screws, I guess that support piece wasn’t going anywhere.


Stupid big bolts.

Stupid big bolts.


Oops, I busted some of the cement board. :(

Oops, I busted some of the cement board. 😦


IMG_1194So I started the fireplace refresh this afternoon. Before starting though, I took a pic to show the before.

The first thing I did was remove the mantle. The wood screws in my hand were HUGE but there were also some bolts attached to the piece of wood that held the mantle. I was happy that I didn’t need to cut through them in order to remove.

Next, I took my wood chisel (I need an actual pry bar) and carefully pried the tile off. (It’s black slate that I’ll be taking to the Habitat Re-Store sometime in the next week or two) I managed to only break 3 tiles but chipped a few. :-/

Oh, as I pried off the tiles, I kept spraying with bug spray. There were some creepy crawlies so I made sure I took care of them.

I don’t know if you could see, I tore off some of the cement backer board or its equivalent. So it was off to Lowes I for a sheet.

I had to stop midway through attaching the backerboard. I was getting tired and hungry. I’ll use the rest of the board to attach so that I can minimize the joint compound I’ll be using to smooth out the wall.

Fireplace Planning

Fireplace Plans

First pic shows the fireplace but I have gotten rid of the brassy doors so it is just the mesh. 

I drew out measurements yesterday (rough sketches and measurements) knowing I had pretty much decided on my flooring (YAY!)

Then my flooring guy helped me on deciding on the tile. Crossville Bluestone series – Pennsylvania Bluestone – it’s ceramic and uses a minimum of 20% recycled content. 

So last night I was thinking up ideas to update the fireplace. I didn’t want to just remove tile and slap on new tile over it. The opportunity is there to totally revamp that space. A part of me has been hesitant in doing a total makeover mainly because I have this really weird, pattern/texture on my wall (my magenta wall shows the detail better because of the glaze over it). I am not a fan, which is why I’m really sticking to the matte finish that weird texture isn’t as visible from a distance. 

Then it occurred to me that I could to a totally different texture on the wall and even though it would be the same wall color, it would accent the space. 

Before I sketched out the plans, I looked at ideas and I *think* I could, if I research more, is to have the texture of poured concrete to give a subtle, industrial feel. I think it is possible with some sort of plaster application but I’ll research more. 

So the final 2 pics are my plans. Both are similar in that the area will have that concrete texture and the tile will only be on the façade and not the sides. 

The first idea would be VERY ambitious. I’d be adding narrow “walls” to each side so that the fireplace would no longer have that “cut-out” look. I’d have to stud, drywall, tape – possible even mud before I get started. If I’m REALLY ambitious with this project, I could see myself wanting to recess the baseboards so it is nearly invisible and the drywall “floats” above the floor. I’ve seen a few pics of this and it looks pretty cool. But like I said, this is the most ambitious of the 2 plans.

The second one also removes the tiles from the sides and the tile would actually give the fireplace more of a surround feel. In this particular plan, I was using 6×6 tiles so it wouldn’t require cutting. I’d also shorten the hearth if that is a possibility (but not a deal breaker). 

For the mantle, in plan 1, I could either use a floating system or have it framed because the space is there.

In the 2nd one, it would float on the wall. (not sure how to attach it securely though. 

Finalized on Flooring

Flooring decided!

I’m going with a hickory engineered wood. In the first pic, Floyd was gracious to model the sample.

The second view was last night under the ceiling fan light.

The price isn’t bad either – very competitive with the discount flooring places. Thank you Castle Flooring!

At the earliest, I’ll place the order in July.

My goal is to get the living room complete by Christmas. 🙂

It is a cool color with some grey and red tones. I love the grain patterns and yes, this one is handscraped but it isn’t overly done like some of the stuff I saw.

I have also decided on the fireplace tile. Crossville tile’s Pennsylvania blue stone tile. It’s the third pic, top right. I just need to figure out the layout design. 🙂

I feel so productive today.

Floor Tile

Floor tile

Right now, Emser Strands Olive is the top choice for floor tiles. I’m looking at 12’x24’ ones for that modern, cleaner look. 

I need to check the local Daltile showroom though just to eliminate their choices. Some of their stuff is made in Oklahoma so it would be nice to stay local. 

For the spare bath wall tile, I’ve got some ideas when I was at the Emser showroom yesterday but they’re natural stone and unless I can get them reclaimed, I really don’t want newly quarried stuff (trying to be as earth friendly as I can). I’ll check the re-Store to see what they have as well.

Ideally, I’d like to get rectangular tiles (like subway ones) but a more modern palette or texture just in keeping with the modern, yet retro look I like.