Right off the bat, I am going to say that I take 51% of the credit for this project. I mean, it was me who said, “No, let’s not just paint this terrible looking fireplace. Let’s build something pretty over it, like on those HGTV shows.” Sure, the husband took that a step further and tore down the entire thing, designed, improved, built, and tiled the masterpiece that we now have in our home… and for that, I generously give him 49% of the credit. You’re welcome, baby!
Now, because the husband did almost all of the work (I helped take some of the demolished stones outside to the wheelbarrow), I am not going to go into great detail about each step. However, if you have any specific questions, please leave them in the comments below or email them, and the husband will be happy to answer them!
Here are the mostly-before photos (the husband started smashing away at the thing and broke a couple of the stones before I made him stop to take a “before” picture):
Gorgeous, right? And don’t you love the coffee table addition? That was there for months to help prevent airflow and also to keep our toddler from crawling inside the gross fireplace to play. So fun.
Step 1: Tear the old fireplace mantle out. This was surprisingly easy, which was also kind of alarming because that means in an earthquake, it would have all just come tumbling down. Also, those benches had NOTHING inside of them, and no reason for those vents besides for spiders to live in (shivers).
Step 2: Cover mantle section of the wall with cement board
Step 3: Build and attach mantle (make sure it is really secure to the wall, you don’t want it to come down during an earthquake or anything!!)
Step 4: Paint and tile. We chose this beautiful herringbone tile, which looks amazing, but was WAY harder to put up than we (the husband) thought it would be. Luckily one of his best friends is a professional tiler, and he came to the rescue.
Steps 5 (optional): Have a professional come and install your new gas fireplace.
I am seriously obsessed with how amazing it all looks. Here are some more “after” photos:
Now, if only I knew how to decorate a mantle… any ideas??