I know everyone is probably sick and tired of hearing about this fireplace. Believe me, no one is as tired as I am.
As a reminder, we were going to paint the floor. But before that could happen we had to lay a new hearth. Before that could happen we had to get rid of the old wood stove (which stuck out in the room) with a new wood stove (which doesn’t).
We got the new wood stove (Camano by Avalon, a local company) at Kirkland Fireplace. They were able to cut down the legs of the stove to better fit the opening. It was installed by Top Hat Chimney ( ), who did a wonderful/ingenious job figuring out how to fit it into an existing opening with an existing chimney liner and still getting it flush with the opening. If you ever need any work done on your fireplace, I highly recommend them. Plus they are super funny.
After installation, we were left with a hole in the face of the fireplace. The trick was to figure out a way to patch it without it looking patched. Then we could finally tile the hearth.
The main problem was the odd bricks. They have a chiseled tapered border. I researched looking for replacement bricks – I couldn’t even find a name for the style. After some thought, we decided to tile the inset area and create a ledge from angle iron. This way, we only had to deal with one replacement brick.
This is how it turned out:
And this is how we did it.
There were two areas that needed brick/mortar repair: a footing brick that was broken during the installation and the hole left from the pipe. We fixed the footing brick – that was pretty easy. The roughness of the bricks and the fact they are painted hides the fact we did not know what we were doing.
Next we patched the hole. We found old bricks at Second Use Building Materials that were the right size. (Who knew that bricks come in so many sizes.) We buttered/mortared the bricks and filled the hole. (Sorry no pictures of filling the hole – we were too busy with messy mortar!) For the one brick under the ledge, we used a regular brick and scored a rectangle with a cold chisel and then chiseled the edges to match the existing bricks. The brick was extremely hard so the profile isn’t as deep, but it isn’t noticeable unless you are looking for it.
For the ledge we got a 2.5″ piece of angle iron at our local metal shop, Pacific Iron and Metal, for the low price of about $7. They even cut it to length. We used the mortar to attach it.
We then painted the brick and tiled the inset area. We got the tile at RE-Store – it is 4″ black honed limestone.
Finally, time to tile the hearth! Just kidding, first we had to prep the surface so that it would be perfectly flat and at the correct height so that when we laid the tile it would sit flush with the floor. This was a process. We went to our local tile store, Art Tile, to get supplies and very helpful advice.
This was all quite a bit of work, I cannot lie.
But, it was time to tile, for real. Compared to all that came before, tiling was actually the easy part.
Before I show you the very final project, I thought it was worth reminding you what we started with oh so long ago:
And here it is now:
See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.