Mosaic tile surround on fireplace

April 04, 2011

We have a fireplace in our bedroom, and yes, it’s fanfreakingtastic. 

It was all hubby’s idea. The day we decided to add it in to our house plans, I was huddled in a corner, biting my nails, shaking, freaking out about the added expense.

But yet again…he was so right. I end up saying that way more often than I’d like.

We LOVED the mantel and surround on the fireplace -- it was nice and beefy:

fireplace peach tile

I just don’t know what I was thinking with that tile. It was peach:

Because my father-in-law was a tile extraordinaire, we asked for his help to redo it and make it more us. Cause peach isn’t us.

He and his assistant did SUCH a fantastic job, I love it so much still. My original plan was to do glass mosaic glass tiles – and then I priced out the glass tiles I wanted, and whoosh, it was going to be crazy expensive (like $600) to do this small space.

Plan B: Lowe’s. :)

I found a perfect alternative for only $10 a square foot:

green gray rust mosaic tile fireplace

It’s a mix of greens, rusts, browns and greys and I’m telling you, it’s SO gorgeous. Oh, I love it so!

Because you can cut the sheet the tiles lay on before installing, we only ended up needing about eight 12 by 12 sheets of tile.

For the hearth, it got even better. I found these gray slate tiles for just over $2 each:

slate tile on fireplace hearth

Oh the colors are luscious, and they match the mosaic tiles perfectly.

So the total cost for this project was just over $100 for tile. SCORE! (And a few bucks more for the grout.)

My father-in-law took the old tile off before reinstalling the new stuff – and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I was nervous about that part, but it came off so easily, they were able to use the old board for the new tile.

One thing to consider when using slate – each tile will vary in thickness, so be careful when installing. If you look close, you can see how the tiles toward the front are thicker than those in the back:

slate tile hearth

You don’t notice it unless you’re looking at it a certain way:

uneven slate tiles

But if you use this on a floor, it’s something you’ll want to watch for both looks and preventing catching your toes.

We also sealed the tile after everything was installed (you need to wait a certain amount of time before doing so, check the instructions) – I absolutely recommend doing this because it really brings out the colors in the tile and makes them even more deep and beautiful!

The last step -- those (BLINDING!) brass bars on the fireplace. They came right off – if you have them check to see if yours pop off. They are held on with magnets on the back:

removing brass bar on fireplace

You’ll just have the black fireplace behind it, so you can just take them off and leave it at that. 

We thought the bars made the fireplace look just a bit more finished, so I just spray painted them with oil-rubbed bronze paint:

brass on fireplace

Even though the bars get hot, the spray paint has held up great! I thought I’d have to use a high heat paint, but the ORB works just fine. It’s held up for years now.

And now we have a fireplace that is just our style, and it’s one of our favorite before and afters:

mosaic tile on corner fireplace

You can see I also changed out the master light. The art above the fireplace is made from canvases and wallpaper.

It’s an oldie but goodie but I love it so much I figured it was worth mentioning again.  :)

Our fireplace before:

And after my thrifty tile shopping and my father-in-law’s mad skills:

And the wide before shot:

tall corner fireplace

And the after, with a plethora of Where’s Waldo changes:

mosaic tile surround fireplace

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  1. Now THAT is a great Before and After! The peach tile really wasn't you, you're right. But the new(er) tile is fabulous. You'd think that a *new* home couldn't be improved upon, but you have done such an amazing job of finding ways (big and small) to update your space even more. You should be so proud of yourself. :)

    Thanks for hosting, Sarah!

  2. Oooo, I LOVE that tile! Gorgeous! I have yet to finish my freakin' kitchen backsplash that I started a year ago. I need a mojo transplant. Are you offering up any of yours?

  3. Wonderful transformation. You have an amazing tile extradinaire in your family! Love everything about this makeover. Well done, you must be dancing the happy dance!

  4. Wow! The tile on the fireplace is gorgeous!! Thanks again for hosting a fabulous party. :-) Have a great evening.

  5. Beautiful tile! I love it!
    (I tried to find a "purty" party button but can't find the code...? I took a regular button instead.)

  6. Talk about a well spent $100!!! Completely changes the look! Great transformation :D

  7. Love the tile transformation, and so jealous that you have a fireplace in your bedroom! Excited to join your party for the first time :) GO DAWGS!!!!!

  8. I'm loving everything, not that your nearly 11,000 followers don't already show that your blog is awesome! Just like reading a favorite magazine! Your before and after party is my favorite!

  9. Beautiful fireplace transformation! I was just doing some tiling's so easy. Love it.
    Thanks for hosting this linky party!

    ~Jenna, SAS Interiors

  10. wow, that looks really great! I love the tiles. thanks for hosting.

  11. LOVE the new tile!!! That looks amazing! I love the way they coordinate together!

  12. I love those little tiles like that. I'm considering a tile backsplash in the bathroom and I'm hoping to use that kind. Saw some really pretty ones on overstock!

    When we were house shopping a few years ago there was a home with a slate floor in the kitchen. It was oh so beautiful but way too bumpy for the feet! Especially in a room as busy as the kitchen. Perfect for your fireplace though since you aren't standing on it!

    Thanks for hosting, Sarah.

  13. Beautiful makeover. Hoe sweet to have a fireplace in the bedroom!

  14. I love the colors in that mosaic tile! What a difference a few changes can make to that corner. Beautiful!

    (and thanks for hosting!)

  15. Great mosaic tile score & selection! I love the mix of the two finishes: tumbled and metallic. The transformation looks fantastic!

    Happy Spring and thanks for hosting!

    :D Lynda

  16. Awesome before and after pics! I love the entire transformation.

  17. Ahhh that is so very pretty! I love the difference it makes. Thanks for hosting.

  18. beautiful. Can't wait for the day when I have a home and a FIREPLACE!!!

  19. Thanks for hosting the party! I always find such great links at your B&A parties!

    P.S. I looooove your new fireplace! So warm and cozy :D

  20. Thank you for hosting!
    There are so many great ideas!!!

  21. my aunt used those exact same tiles (the mosaic sheets) in her bathroom, and they are GORGEOUS. love them- she got me hooked. it's so fun to see them pop up in a whole new setting and look just as lovely!

  22. what an amazing transformation. makes me see I went with the same looking 'peach' ones years ago in my kitchen and hubs does not want to redo our whole kitchen floor, so I will need to live with it I I love how yours turned out!!!

  23. Hi Sarah-

    Sorry that Butler didn't win. Maybe next year!!!
    My best- Diane

  24. I love these! Thanks for sharing your ideas and giving me a 'one stop shop' for other great before/afters. I love your site, it's one of my daily reads.

  25. Love the tile looks fabulous! Thank you for hosting a party.


  26. Oh my - I remember my peach decorating years! What were we thinking!!

  27. Love your tiles! Wonderful fireplace makeover!

    Great blog, by the way and I am your new follower!


  28. It wasn't at all bad before, but it certainly is a significant improvement after! Just gorgeous! Your FIL sounds like a great guy to help out.



  29. I'm am green, Sarah and it's your fault! Green with envy over that fireplace...and in the bed room, no less! Total LOVE IT! :) Great redo!

  30. I love what you have done with the fireplace the tiles are gorgeous what a great job

  31. Your fireplace looks spectacular! Great job and thanks for hosting!

  32. Love it! We have that same small tile on the top of our tub surround!

  33. I really do love your mosaic tile. And while I'm taking the time to comment here, I must tell you that often I can't resist stealing a bit of your lingo. Specially some of this hood stuff.

  34. The tiles look great, perfect update that should have a long life span. Thanks for hosting the party, my first time joining! Was so tired when I linked last night, forgot to add your button to the posts, but they are there now!

    Take care, Laura

  35. First I want to say - I check your blog almost everyday, and I enjoy reading so much what you do to make your home beautiful! We used that same tile on our kitchen backsplash and I love it. I would love to use it on our fireplace as well to tie everything in. Gotta convince the husband of that first...

  36. love the backsplash! I'm looking into doing one in my kitchen and this has reaffirmed that I should do it! :)

  37. GREAT before and After!! I am so jealous...our fireplace is sooo UGLY!! Make sure to hop on by to LBR to enter my GIVEAWAY!! Here is a hint...Homes, Food, and all things frugal!!

  38. I'd like to know how you father in law took up the floor tiles and reinstalled new ones without messing up the carpet. I'd love to do this to my fireplace, but I'm afraid I would mess up the carpet's tightness or something and have to get new carpet!

  39. I am STILL living with peach times on my fireplace!!! what was I thinking??? :) would love a more detailed how to on removing the tile?? Needing to update and love your new look~

  40. OOOH! I got SO excited, I ran upstairs to check my hideous brass bars...mine aren't magnets tho :(

    Wish I could spray mine out like you did, yours is a fireplace to die for! LOVE!!

  41. Beautiful fireplace! The entire room is gorgeous.

  42. Where is the info located for the sunburst mirror?

  43. Oh, great job on the fireplace! I love the new tile - and its good to know HD has the stone option now. I've seen they have the glass tiles but stone is much better for the fireplace. Beautiful room!

  44. Thank you so much for hosting, I always love it here!

  45. It looks amazing! You have such a great eye! I love it!

  46. Oh my...that is so BEAUTIFUL! And I have that same bronze fireplace crap and have been wondering how to spray paint it...I am going to run over and see if they are magnetized! Thanks for that tip!


  47. What color did you end up painting the bedroom? I love it!

  48. Hi- I'm #448-what's that all about-the world's biggest before/after bloggy party!! I, too, decided to feature something I made a few months back, when I first started blogging! Everyday I look at it and love it more and more-it's great when things work out like that, don't ya think!!??Thanks for the invite!Claire

  49. Your fireplace surround is so wonderful. I love that you added hearth, it really grounds the structure and your tile selection is perfect. Looks so nice!

  50. What brand of spray paint did you use for the gold plates on your fireplace? We have the same ones and I love to do that to ours! We're currently trying to sell our house and that would really make our family room fireplace look even better! Thanks! Andrea

  51. Very comprehensive post on sofas. I am disappointed to miss me a nap in one of them also are fabulous for the decoration of the house

  52. Beautiful fireplace redo. Love the slate.

  53. Oh Em Gee...I have scoured the Internet for months looking for a fireplace redo like this!!! My family room fireplace is just like your before. I was checking out mosaic tile at Home Depot & Lowes TODAY! I just haven't been sure about what to do with the floor tiles. I had kinda decided on a travertine tile but today I just decided to pick out and do around the fireplace and then figure out the floor later...then I will have to make a descision and I can only do that under pressure! I'm glad I got that off my chest! Love your blog!

  54. Hi. I'm looking to makeover my fireplace and we have similar tile laying on the floor in front of the fireplace. Did you remove this as well or did you lay the tile over the existing tile? Thanks.


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