Fireplace Progress: Tile Dilemma

I have run into a little design dilemma.


For the past two months I’ve been slowly working on redesigning the fireplace in my living room. When I purchased the house, it was a simple black & brass gas insert and 8 inch tile surround.


In the first year, I painted the walls a medium grey (which I still think looks purple) and dreamed about the day in which my fireplace would have a mantle.


So in an effort to make some progress, I painted the fireplace screen to remove all traces of brass.


Then I started chipping away at the tile in November.

Fireplace Remodel - X

That quickly morphed into a complete demolition and rebuild…with a Mantle!

Fireplace Remodel

I was even able to decorate for Christmas.

Fireplace Remodel

However, here’s where I’ve stalled. Back when I moved in, I found the perfect tile for the fireplace. The plan was to use the trim I found at Lowes (on clearance) and some larger, standard tiles. However, after installing the surround and Mantle, the dimensions did allow for my original plan. I suddenly found myself at a loss for what to do. Did I want larger 4 inch tiles? 1 x 1 mosaic glass? 1 x 1 mosaic stone? Specialty size cuts?

I spent a few hours wandering the tile aisles at my local hardware stores and didn’t find myself with a clear idea of what I wanted to do. The employees even stopped asking me if I needed help. They’d ask if I needed some help and I’d say “I don’t know which tile to buy”. When they realized I meant I didn’t know what design to pick, they gave up on me. So last weekend, I broke down and bought a single sheet of about 8 different types of tiles.

Option 1: Mosaic Mixed stones. These are slightly larger than 1 x 1 and a nice mix of neutral glass and stone. They are thinner than traditional mosaics and on sale (which is a big reason these might be the ones).

Firepalce Tile Options

Option 2: Tiny Tiny mosaics. These are about 1/2 x 1/2 and really pretty. Colors are light blue, light browns and light green. Up close it’s probably my favorite mosaic tile ever. However, I think it will be a little too busy between the small stone and the lines of the mantle.

Fireplace Tile Options

Option 3: Oh how I love these! The glass is a mix of gloss and frosted and not nearly as brown as they appear in the picture. This is the closest the ones I fell in love with at first, that were later discontinued before I could snatch them up. This is in a tie with Option 1, but the price for option 1 give it an advantage. I’m also slightly worried that it will be too much action, simpler might be better.

Fireplace Tile Options

Option 4: 4 x 4 tumbled marble tiles. These would be both the easiest and hardest to install. Easiest because they’d be a cinch to keep level during installation (which will be a challenge with the mosaics), but the hardest because I don’t have the ability to cut them to size unless I rent a wet saw. Between the cost of the wet saw and the tiles, this would be quite expensive.

Fireplace Tile Options

So that’s where I sit. I’m suppose to install the tiles this weekend with my dad, yet I still have to make up my mind about which ones to use. Hmmm, decisions decisions.

What do you guys think? Which is your favorite?


4 responses

  1. My favorite is option three. This may be a dumb question to the interior design guru, but those empty space to the left of the long tiles, do you cut the tiles to have them fit in the empty spaces?

    • Not a dumb question at all. I would have to either cut off the side of the sheet to make it even, or cut down spare tiles to fit in those spaces. However, as opposed to option 4, I could cut down those with handheld nippers and not have to rent a wet saw.

  2. Pingback: The Big Reveal: Living Room Fireplace | Changing My Destiny

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