Updating a {Dated} Brick Fireplace | Live Pretty on a Penny

Updating a {Dated} Brick Fireplace

When I first moved into my house, this is what my family room fireplace looked like...

Yikes...I know...why didn't I run out screaming? Well, it was a foreclosure, priced pretty good, and I saw the potential. I knew with a little elbow grease, I could make it feel like home. So my first project was to update this burnt brick fireplace that made me sick to look at. Believe me, if I can do you, then you can too! Some of you that followed along with my old blog may remember my post about this. But, since people have come over to my home and ask how we did it, here is the tutorial again, new and improved!

For this project you will need:
Any tile of your choice (ours was a mosaic polished marble tile on a mesh sheet from Home Depot)

MS International Crema...

MS International Crema Ivy Bamboo Stone Pattern Mosaic Polished Marble Floor & Wall Tile

*Wet Saw (to cut tile)

*Versabond Thinset Morter
*Notched Trowel to apply thinset
*Large bucket to mix thinset
*Drop cloth for mess (there will be plenty of it)
*Any grout color of your choice (We used grout in Canvas)
*Grout Float
*Small bucket to mix grout
*Small bucket for warm water
*Painter's Tape
*XL Grout Sponge
*Tile Sealer

To begin, we covered our floors in front of the fireplace with a drop cloth to protect against any thinset accidents. With this being tour our first DIY project, we knew there would be some mess.

We then took our large bucket, mixed the thinset with water according to its instructions and ended up with this...

A peanut butter consistency mixture.

Starting in the center of the fireplace, we grabbed our notched trowel and applied thinset to the fireplace, and for harder to reach spaces, we applied thinset to the back of the tile. You can make the decision as to what works for you. We did a mix of both techniques, just make sure you do not apply TOO much thinset! It is better to start off thinner, and build if needed.

 The reason I suggest starting in the center is because when you need to cut the tile to fit into smaller spaces, it looks better if the cuts are along the edges, as opposed to closer to the middle, if that makes sense:)
Next, we laid tile onto the brick fireplace where we placed the thinset. We made sure that once the thinset was placed, we went back over it with the notched portion of the trowel (the part of the trowel that looks like little teeth). This will allow the thinset to spread evenly and breathe. I didn't take a picture of us doing this step, but it pretty much looked like this...

spreading mortar
Let's use our imaginations and pretend that this is my hand and our fireplace:)

Ok, moving on. We then tore a piece of painters tape and placed it across the tile to hold it in place while it dried. We repeated this step until all the tile has been placed.  We used our wet saw (read instructions provided with wet saw before use) to cut tile as needed.

Once all of the tile was placed,we let it sit for a few days to allow the thinset to cure. After that, it was time to grout! We mixed the grout to a similar consistency of the thinset and began to fill in spaces. Once the grout was placed, we I went back over it with the XL sponge, dipped in warm water to remove the excess grout and haze.

We allowed the grout to dry for a couple days, then came back and sealed the tile, according to the instructions on the sealer. Basically, just used a spray bottle to spray the sealer, then wiped over it with a clean, dry towel. They also make pour bottle sealers that you can pour into a bucket and spread on with a sponge. The choice is yours!

When we finished, along with new paint, a few accessories and some furnishings, my family room now looks like this...

We still need to mount our t.v., and change out the light fixture, but overall, its a big change that we are happy with, so far! 

Did you do any fun projects, or make any big, immediate changes when you first purchased your home? I would love to hear about it:)

1 comment

  1. Your fireplace make over is stunning!! You make it look so easy :)


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