Fireplace refacing ideas

Written by katherine kally
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A fireplace is a primary focal point in any room, but yours may be screaming for a facelift. You have a variety of choices when it comes to refacing your fireplace, from natural stone to stone veneer, wood or glass tiles. You can even repaint your existing brick for an inexpensive solution to a much-needed upgrade.

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Glass Tiles

Refacing your brick or drywall fireplace with glass tiles is a labour-intensive and expensive project, but the results are well worth the trouble and the expense. A glass-tile fireplace shimmers with translucent colour and is a striking focal point in your room. You can apply the tile directly over the brick or over drywall, but you shouldn't apply glass over a combination surface. Masonry and drywall retain heat differently. The glass could crack if one section heats up faster than another.

Slate

A slate-tile fireplace is a beautiful choice for refacing your fireplace. The rustic, uneven charm of the slate creates a distinctive pattern on the surface of your fireplace. You can add the slate tile directly over the brick, or you can cover the brick with plywood before adding the tiles for a more even substrate. Apply your slate tiles with thinset mortar. Depending on your design choices, you can elect to have a grout line between each tile or you can lay the slate with no grout for a smoother surface.

Stone Veneer

You can find stone veneers made from a variety of real stones to easily reface your fireplace surround. These products are lightweight and easy to install for a custom finish that appears to be a fireplace made completely from solid rock. The veneers are thin and can be applied directly over concrete, brick or any structurally sound surface.

Wood

Reface your fireplace with a wood surround that will dramatically change your room's appearance. You can create a design with wood strips that run horizontally or vertically to the ceiling, or you can design geometric shapes like square blocks, triangles or rectangles to add interest to your fireplace. If your original surround is brick, you'll want to cover it with a plywood backboard before you install the wood facing. Paint or stain your wood before you attach it to the plywood for easier finishing.

Painting

The least expensive way to reface your brick fireplace is to paint it to coordinate with your room's decor Some paint suppliers recommend preparing the masonry surface with conditioner prior to painting, and then following with latex primer and paint. The most important aspect of painting brick is preparation; thoroughly remove any debris with a wire brush and a vacuum before cleaning it with soap and water. The brick should be completely dry before you apply the primer.

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