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Fireplace Mantel : Hearth : Surrounds : Updates & Remodeling

"A fireplace is the center of your home and most often a focal point in your main room. Yet many of us bought homes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s with fireplaces that looks either out of proportion or terribly out-dated."
 

Fireplace Facelift

Website: Home Bedazzle
 

A fireplace is the center of your home and most often a focal point in your main room. Yet many of us bought homes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s with fireplaces that looks either out of proportion or terribly out-dated. There are many different options available for giving your fireplace a face-lift. You can use one of any of the following techniques on your fireplace to drastically change the look:

  • Update the look - Materials such as marble tile (or slabs), Italian tile, granite, and used brick can be installed over existing brick or cinder block.
  • Reduce the mass - Techniques such as sheet-rocking the top part of the fireplace help reduce the visual mass and make it blend more into the room.
  • Increase the mass - Materials such as stone will help increase the mass. There are many options today for stone including some manufactured materials that are fairly easy to install as a facade.
  • Change proportions - A tall narrow fireplace can be widened by using pilasters and a deep skirt on the mantel. A low, wide fireplace can be given more height by installing the mantel higher and using a deep skirt to cover the space.

Who Can Remodel Fireplaces?

You can remodel your fireplace yourself, or you can hire people to help you. If you are remodeling your fireplace yourself, you may want to use a stock mantel. If your fireplace has standard proportions, you can buy a mantel from a number of different manufacturers and they are very straight-forward to install.

If you want to hire some one to install the fireplace surround, consider the materials that you want to install. A tile setter can install tiles or slabs and you may want to use a mason for brick or stone. If you want a custom mantel with panels and built-in bookshelves, consider hiring a trim carpenter.

Important Considerations

There are a couple of thing that you do need to consider when giving your fireplace a facelift, the most important being local codes and proper installation of materials. It is important that flammable materials be kept away from the firebox and your local code will let you know how far those materials need to be from the firebox.
The second item to consider is proper installation of materials. For example, you do not want to install tile over painted brick. If you have a painted brick fireplace, you will want to install backer board before you install the tiles or slabs.

About Homebedazzle
Homebedazzle offers advice for remodeling your fireplace yourself. They have a gallery of fireplace before and after pictures, a book on "do it yourself" fireplace remodeling, as well as tool recommendations.

2006 Reinhardt Quelle
 


Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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