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.
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!).
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 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 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).
(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**.