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  • Welcome!…

    to “A Step Inside”… our personal family blog, documenting the craziness of our every day life.. Sit back, enjoy, laugh, and share in the road we travel..

    I'm Bridget.. A SAHM (stay at home mom), mother of 3, and a follower of Christ. I'm also a photographer, and passionate about life.. I hope to share that w/ you too! Life isn't always perfect, but it's perfectly created in His plan. I'm beyond thankful for God's grace and His many blessings!

DIY Fireplace Tile & Surround Custom Build

Another project completed!  Our family room walls are 19/20ft high.  We love the openness, however it creates a LOT of wall space.  For that much height, a lot of bare wall space… I started w/ updating the fireplace tile.  After some research, I decided instead of removing the existing ceramic (builder grade) tile, to tile over the top of it.  There were no cracks or damaged tile to worry about, and the surface was nice & flat.


It’s crazy to see rooms from our walk through before closing & move in.  I’d say things have changed a bit! 🙂

The glass tile came in 12in x 12in sheets, but the edges were puzzle piece like, so I had to borrow a wet saw from a friend.  Very first time using one, but it was fun!  I did end up drenched from the water spray, and apparently the tile dust mixed w/ water will make you look like you’re 90 when it dries (white) in your hair… lol

The mixed glass & stone tile came from Lowes, called Venatino Mixed Material Mosaic Wall Tile.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to tackle getting the tile just right around the framed crown boxes at the base of the columns, so my friend mentioned, “Can’t you pull the mantle off the wall?”…  Well, I wasn’t sure, but it didn’t take long to figure out how it was attached.  Off it came!  My husband was traveling to another state during this project, and had he seen this image, I’m sure he would have flown back home!  hehe

I first measured & cut all the tile and laid them out on the floor prior to installing.  This way when I was ready to hang the tile, I could keep moving w/out going back & forth to the wet saw.
I tried a product I had read on another blog about, Simple Mat.  It eliminates the need for grout to adhere tile to the surface.  I still used grout to fill in the spaces once the tile was completed.  It was really easy to cut to fit, and I was a bit nervous about the tile holding.  The sheets were rather heavy, but the adhesive was pretty darn strong.  It had great reviews online as well, so it was worth a shot.

This tile specifically was great because it tied in colors we already have throughout our house.  I loved the combination of glass, stone, and the textures.  (You can see how the edges of the tile sheets looked to lock in to the next, in this picture)

Once the tile was finished up, and spaces grouted, I had a heck of a time fitting the mantel back on.  There was about a 1in gap all the way around, because the new tile added depth to the mantel sitting flush to the wall.  I even had to rebuild the bottom boxes.  Good practice for miter cuts!  I bought a product called backer rod to fill the gaps.  Then I was able to fill in w/ spackle over to make a seamless finish.

Once the tiling & mantel was completed, I built a frame and added crown to mimic the existing design of the mantel.  It was a fairly simple way to add more character to such a boring, blank wall.
The next project?  Which actually sparked the fireplace project initially.. The wall just to the right of this one..  Thank  you to my sweet friend, Julie, for drafting the blueprint for me!

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