Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Basement fireplace progress!

Hello all! Thankfully I am on the mend and feeling so much better -- thank you for the well wishes! We've had a little bit of progress on the basement fireplace and I'm excited to show you how it looks. My plan all along was to have a more modern look to the fireplace down here. We were thrilled to get that started a couple weeks ago when we had that area drywalled for the electric fireplace: 
electric fireplace built in

You can see more about that change and the flooring (that I LOVE) here. Having that wall done already made a big difference!

I started thinking though...which is dangerous...and was wondering if I wanted such a modern look down here. We had always planned to add a wood mantel but I started thinking it would be nice to add a hearth too. The shape of that bay window is a perfect spot for it. 

The fireplace has sat open on that bench for years so when we put it back in front of the wall it kind of felt right -- like there should be a break right there. I searched online and found stone fireplaces with and without hearths and we decided we definitely wanted the more traditional look of a hearth. 

We had the mantel and hearth added and now my fun begins! I wanted the mantel to look like one large piece of wood so it is mitered together:  
chunky wood mantel

I've started filling holes but that's it at this point. I'm considering distressing it just a bit -- just to make it not so perfect. What do you think? Distressing usually stresses me out.

This filler is supposed to be the bomb: 
stainable hole filler

I haven't found a stainable filler I love so I'll let you know how this turns out. 

I showed you the stone I found before but here's some better pics: 
stacked stone for fireplace

We LOVE it! (I'll be installing trim around the fireplace before I tile so it won't go right up to the box.) I love the varying colors and that it has so much texture to it. All of the other (affordable) stacked stone I've found comes in rectangular pieces so it doesn't feel as natural to me when installed. 

I like that these interlock: 
stacked stone tile for fireplace

It just feels very organic and think it will work great! And NO grouting -- whoohoo! 

I've only purchased a couple boxes so far -- this tile is cheaper than many I've found but will still be an investment! I'll order a larger quantity when the budget allows. 

Here's the name of this stuff at Lowe's if you are interested in checking it out: 
desert quartz tile Lowe's

I plan to start at least the hearth this week! I got ready-made mortar which is the BOMB. I have mixed that before and will gladly pay more for ready-made stuff.

First I need to finish filling the holes and then stain the mantel and hearth top:
building a basement fireplace

Oh my, I am SO EXCITED to see this come together! The changes on this small wall have completely changed the feel of the whole basement. We are giddy. 

I need to get this done before the holidays so we can set up the tree next to it. I can't wait to decorate that mantel with some rustic Christmas touches too: 
basement fireplace with hearth and mantel

My one last thing to figure out -- I know eventually I want to add crown molding to the basement -- I'm trying to decide if I should just go ahead and install that first and butt the crown up against it or install it over the top. The tile is so thick I think I'd rather install it over the top but I'll have to do some experimenting. 

I like to share the progress of big projects because as many of you know, around here they don't happen overnight. Or over a month. ;) I share in between updates on Instagram so if you are on IG be sure to check that out! 

If any of you have used this tile or something similar and have any tips I'd love to hear them! 


  1. This is going to be so awesome! You've made so many amazing updates to your home! I love that flooring too, I've used it in my son's basement bathroom and would definitely put it throughout the basement if it were up t0 me (side eye).

  2. Love it! We used the same stacked stone for our fireplace and love it. We used a different stone for the hearth. Wish I was able to post a picture to show you on this!

  3. My husband sells Centurion Stone (a brand made in Nashville) which is made using concrete molds. As you can imagine, it's all over our house--inside and out! He installed stone just like that as our kitchen backsplash at our previous home, but it was in the rectangular pieces (which look realistic if you do it right, but it takes a loooot of time). However, the quickest way to install that stuff was to use liquid nail! My parents also used that stone around the bottom of their bar in the kitchen and as their backsplash and it has held up for years as well using liquid nail. It's a lot less messy and sooo quick. Can't wait to see the finished product!

  4. Beautiful already! Consider putting an electrical outlet above the mantel for Christmas lights!

  5. I used this stone on my fireplace. Very easy to work with, but buy extra because you will get a lot of chipped pieces. I'd also recommend taking it all out and mixing it up. I found there were some orangey toned pieces that I didn't like that I just returned.

  6. Oh my goodness, this is going to look LOVELY! Distress all the way... just get all over it with some pliers, hammers, etc and once you stain it you'll love it. Great decision to add a hearth! It really makes that alcove look huge and puts that whole wall to use.

    I have to say, Sarah, I love reading about your projects because not only are they beautiful, but you don't turn things around so quickly that I start to feel bad about myself. Sometimes all the diy/decor blogs can make me feel as if I'm not doing enough with every spare minute of every. single. day. I've been working on my entryway/mudroom since April, my staircase since July, and just had new windows put in that I have to trim out and paint. Thanks for keeping it real!

  7. is staring to look beautiful and chic and ohhh, the possibilities of decorating around it! you did mention your basement does not have windows or a door? so, what is your escape route in case of fire?

  8. Sarah, we used that exact tile on our fireplace and put crown molding over it. I can send you a photo if you would like and then you can decide your preference. Just let me know and I can email it to you.

  9. I think you made the right decision with the hearth, and the more traditional look will go better with the rest of your house than modern would have. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

  10. Really like the stone you chose, it's going to be so nice to snuggle up this winter!

  11. Love that stone too. Wish I had someplace to use it.

  12. We used that same type of stone tile in our bathroom remodel, and we love it! Just an FYI - we found ours (same stone, different color) at Builder Surplus - it's like a TJ Maxx/Homestore for building supplies. It was a TON cheaper there! If you have one local to you, you need to check it out!!

  13. This caught my eye as I JUST bought that wood filler with hope. But, it didn't stain well. I put multiple layers on just the filler hoping it would cover, but you can still see the spots (who puts 5 pull holes on each drawer!?). Bummer...

  14. I like the mantel not distressed! I think with the stone, the sleek wood look is not too modern and will look great.

  15. Wow.. A very nice upgrade to the home. The way you have upgrades the home is really very good and i am completely impressed with the selection.

  16. Will you please share details/a tutorial on how you built the mantel? We are in the process of doing ours and I LOVE how yours looks. I know it should be basic . . . but It looks like you have done something different then what I have seen online.


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