Tiling a fireplace
While fireplaces have played a part in homes for centuries, they are now more for decoration than actually serving the purpose they did for our ancestors.
Today’s fireplaces are very much ornamental, to make the wall with the fire on into a real feature, and you get them in so many different styles that you can easily find one to complement your room.
If you want an authentic fireplace from the past, the best place to start looking is reclamation yards. These may well be a bit battered but with a bit of TLC you can return them to their former glory and have a fireplace to be proud of.
One important thing to consider is that section of the wall surrounding the fire; which when the fireplace is fitted is the space between the two. While marble is a popular choice for here, tiling this area is a great little DIY project that anyone can tackle.
This also gives you the chance to find tiles that perfectly fit in with your existing décor, be it modern or traditional, so your fireplace is a real focal point when you walk into the room.
Deciding on your tiles is a lot of fun, as you can have any colour, style or design that you fancy, and while some prefer large tiles other like the idea of lots of smaller tiles, they both look great, but for the first timer, bear in mind the latter will take a lot longer.
When you have measured the space and bought your tiles, adhesive, grout, and tile cutter, you need to start in the centre above the fire. By starting here and working out to both sides you are making sure that your tiles are level and will look professional when finished.
Spread the adhesive evenly over the wall using the tool provided and press the tile onto the wall, pushing it as far down as possible to the bottom edge sits behind the actual fire.
Once you are satisfied with the first tile, place the spacers at the four corners and do the same with the next tile. Make sure that the tiles go high and wide enough that the outward edges will be covered when the fireplace is in place, and this saves a lot of time and hassle in having to cut them all.
There will invariably be some cutting involved at the bottom where the wall meets the hearth, but these should be straight cuts that the tile cutter makes easy work of.
Once the tiles are in place remove the spacers carefully and when the adhesive has dried apply the grout in between the tiles. Once polished off and the fireplace fitted, you will have a feature to be proud of.