REVEAL- How We Modernised Our Old Stone Fireplace on a Budget

You may recall my Living Room Plans post, where I shared my ideas and vision on what we were trying to achieve in our living room.  I also shared part one of the Living Room makeover last week. Today I can finally show you how we modernised the old stone fireplace.  Before I get slated for covering this beautiful stone, please remember this is OUR house and our choices. I loved the stone but it just didn’t work for our living room.

Before I start.. Please remember, if you are modernising  the fireplace yourself, make sure you are aware of the fire regulations! Keep your home safe!

We got someone in to price up the work for the fireplace to be centered, modernised and tiled.  When we got the quote, we realised it was over our budget and decided to save money and do it ourselves. Sadly this meant, the fireplace stayed off centre, but I knew we would make it work somehow.

First, we knocked off the side of the fireplace, I saved the stones and will be using them in our garden.  As the fireplace was quite low, we added 3 courses of bricks to make it slightly taller.  The fireplace was then rendered, making sure it was level (very tricky with the old stone which was all over the place!).

We then put a piece of timber on top, which I stained. Shaun created the base for the hearth using cement mix.

We  decided on the Carrara Marble Matt Wall Tile for the fireplace and Duroteq Grey Polished Porcelain Tile for the hearth.

Once the sides were level(ish), we started the tiling.  It is not as easy as I first thought. We had to make sure each tile was level and straight.. I was tiling while Shaun was cutting the tiles for me.. If I said we didn’t argue over it, it would be an understatement..

Day 1 – progress was long but it was good. We were quite impressed with ourselves, they weren’t perfect but they looked great..

Day 2 –  was not so great.. we kept measuring the tiles wrong and in the end gave up as we were making a mess, the tiles weren’t straight and we were a few millimetres out, which looked awful!! we will try another day I thought as I was angrily ripping the tiles off..

Day 3 – Shaun decided to put the tiles on the hearth one evening by himself and he did a great job.

Day 4 – Filled with energy and ready to finish this ‘beast off’, we measured, looked at the pattern, worked out the spacers, distance etc.. YES! We were smashing it I thought as I tiled along nicely.. row 4…..5……6….. until we realised (2 rows to go) that we messed the pattern up.. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! 2 hours of work for nothing.. I sobbed (well full on ugly cried), shouted, threw things around and after my tantrum was over, I calmed myself down and we worked through it…1 hour later a few cuts (on me) and bloody hand later it was rectified and one side was finally done… We were too tired and stressed to do the other side… Considering the mess, we did alright I thought…

Day 5 – doing the left side. Thankfully, this time we took our time and finally finished the whole thing… what a relief, we both agreed on never tiling again!!!!  We left it to dry for a few days then grouted it.

Day 6 – Adding the finishing touches aka hiding all the botched edges! We got these beautiful stainless steel trims custom-made from Macro Metal Services.  Our friend Mikey helped with the wooden trims around the hearth, which I stained to match the top and our skirting boards.

YES it took us longer (a lot longer) than a professional tiler, YES we argued, YES I cried and injured myself, BUT I am so proud we did it and I think it looks absolutely beautiful, don’t you?? Here it is our fireplace on a budget – perfectly imperfect!

PS. What do you think of the big mirror above the fireplace..? New tutorial coming soon on how I upcycled an old dusty mirror (that was given to me by a friend).

Products used (affiliate links):-

(1) Carrara Marble Matt Wall Tile,  (2) Duroteq Grey Polished Porcelain Tile, (3)  Mapegrip D2 Ready Mix Adhesive,   (4) Ultracolor Manhattan (Light Grey) 110 Flexible Grout  (5) Torus skirting around hearth (6) Timber (7) Tiling Kit (8)  Electric Tile Cutter (9) Woodstain – Oak (10)

*Disclaimer: I received the items free of charge from the Tile Mountain all products clearly marked with * have been provided to me free of charge.  This post also contains affiliate links and will be clearly marked as such**.

21 thoughts on “REVEAL- How We Modernised Our Old Stone Fireplace on a Budget

  1. I’ve heard that relocating a fireplace is astronomical, so you wonder why the original builders located it such. I sure hated to see the beautiful stone go, but I can see it didn’t go with the rest of your decor very well. It looks beautiful now! The arguing…that’s just what people do! It would have frustrated the heck out of me!
    The mirror looks great to me!

    1. Thank you Florence. I think the original fireplace was meant to be a feature with the little shelf..We did love the stone and were aprehensive at first to cover it, but as much as we loved it, it just didn’t work in our room. I could imagine it in a nice little cottage! We will be re-using the leftover stone and the stone hearth for the garden as we don’t like to waste things!!

  2. Looks fantastic! Definitely worth the time and effort, especially saving so much money 🙂 The room is so much lighter and brighter, it makes me wonder if what we could do to the old one in our bedroom!

  3. It’s absolutely gorgeous! you did a great job. And you’re right about the tiling. It’s so so stressful but a great feeling of accomplishment 🙂

  4. Wow what a transformation, it looks brilliant! You have guts to do it too, I admire that! We painted our fireplace and it looks a million times better, much better than the £3k it would cost to get a woodburner installed! xx #HomeEtc

  5. I really love what you did here Evija and I am simply amazed at your patience! When you say perfectly “imperfect” – I cannot see any faults with it, look so bloody good! Put your feet up and enjoy! Loved the tiles by the way!

  6. Evija this is AMAZING!!! I remember a house I lived in in Norfolk as a child in the 80s had a very similar fireplace to your original look, even down to the split heights. I TOTALLY understand why you wanted to change the look, it’s quite dated. The new version is just stunning and I’m in awe that you managed to do it yourselves! X #HomeEtc

  7. Congratulations, you both did a great job! The process may have been painful but it was certainly worth it in the end.

  8. Brilliant transformation. It looks way better. I had no idea it is so expensive to relocate a fireplace. I’d love to do a fireplace makeover in my own living room this year. Nothing as adventurous as you’ve done though. Great job!

  9. You guys are amazing, it looks professional, its really is “pretty”!!
    I hope your wounds heal quickly!

    Will fun to reveal on #omhgww this week!
    Cant wait to see what you are working on next.

    Have a great week!

  10. Wow what a brilliant transformation! You are so brave doing the tiling yourselves, I think our marriage would’ve ended in divorce if we had attempted this together 😉 So glad it all worked out in the end and I love the colour of your mirror! #HomeEtc

  11. Your fireplace looks absolutely stunning. And I like how you placed the plant on the side to make it less obvious that it is not in the centre. You can be very proud of yourself

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