When I moved last fall I was thrilled to have found a one bedroom place, downtown, that included a gas fireplace.  However, I was not thrilled with the fact that it might have been the most average/dull looking fireplace in all of Chicago.

Before I explain how we updated our fireplace I think it’s important to note that at the time my boyfriend and I had no more knowledge on home improvement than you do.  I grew up loving to watch my Dad do projects around the house, but everything we needed to know about this tiling job came from Google, YouTube and Home Depot.

  1. We took down the old tiles (which I despised) quickly and effortlessly by chiseling them off.  It took less than 10 minutes.
  2. Peter used “mud” from Home Depot to patch up any really rough spots on the drywall so that the tile would lay flat.  It didn’t have to be perfectly smooth, just relatively smooth.
  3. We rented a wet saw from Home Depot (which looks way more intimidating and expensive than it was!) and cut the tile sheets to fit.  Neither one of us had ever used a wet saw, but with a little instruction from the tool rental center we were more than ready to go.
  4. I spread the glue and then began placing tile.  Most of the tile went up in sheets, but in order to pay attention to detail we did the edges with individual tiles cut from the sheets.  Once the tile is up you have time to slide it around and make sure it’s perfect before you lock it in place with grout.
  5. Tile went up on all sides of the fire place before we grouted.
  6. Peter mixed the grout, I spread it over the tiles using a “floater” from the hardware store, we wiped it down with a wet sponge, let it dry, and that completed the tiling!

After the tiling was completed we added a few finishing touches (painted the wood, vases from West Elm, frames from Pottery Barn, etc.) and Voila:

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10 Responses to Amelia’s (formerly) Ugly Fireplace

  1. deuxchicago says:

    This looks awesome! So impressive, especially since you’ve never done that before – totally professional :) -L

  2. What an awesome transformation! I cannot wait to move into a house and do renovations like that! :)



  3. Toni-Yvonne says:

    LOVE! This looks gorgeous, I love home improvement type shows hehe and would love to do one myself xx

  4. Oh my goodness, that is gorgeous.

  5. WunderWoman says:

    Very impressive!!!

  6. Karley Hall says:

    great job! i think you have inspired me!!!

  7. Laura T. says:

    What a fantastic transformation! I am totally obsessed with fireplaces and I think this has a great balance of modern style and timelessness.

  8. mstinabe says:

    I LOVE what you did with the fireplace. Great choice on the tile! It’s so chic! If you are every looking to update the fireplace shelf or add a fireplace mantel http://www.customfiremantels.com/gallery/ has a great custom fireplace mantel collection.

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