Fireplace Part 1

I’ve been kind of holding out on you guys this past week. Yes, there was a lot more painting going on but there was another project that I didn’t talk about. Mostly because I really wasn’t sure how it would go.

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This was our fireplace and living room when we moved in. I told Munsell I would love to do some built-ins and he came back to me with this:

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Great! Beautiful! Except one problem, the current fireplace surround wouldn’t allow us to butt the bookshelves right up to the fireplace. We put our thinking caps on, and one night Munsell threw out “Why don’t we just re-tile it?” Me: “Sounds great!” And just like that we decided to re-tile.

Joke’s on us. “Just re-tile” doesn’t exist. Even we had no idea the prep work we were about to do before that tile met thinset.

And so, eager and naive, we started demo.


Around this point, Munsell’s dad commented that we managed to decrease the value of our home within the first 12 hours of ownership.



Laughing, we continued, which ultimately ended in this:

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And us, exhausted and laying on the floor (picture not included)

Of course we still had to remove the excess thinset/grout and tear everything down to the studs. Which took a full day.

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Over the next two days, we placed in new plywood and cement board, building out the fireplace surround and hearth for the new tile.

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Now we were ready for tile! We went with this lovely carrara marble from The Tile Shop. And yes, the fact that our first tiling job was with marble had us extremely excited and nervous.

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We actually tiled this over the weekend. But this post is already long enough and dropbox (how we store our pictures) is giving us some trouble so I’ll share the picture of how we did it later this week!





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