BEFORE / AFTER Fireplace


Here's what Handy Woman's member Molly accomplished with her fireplace! 




Step 1: Prep and Demolition

Outline and Demolish

  • Begin by outlining the entire fireplace surround for precise measurements. Remove any caulk using a utility knife and detach screws or nails. Carefully pry away the surround to expose the existing tile.

Step 2: Measure and Prepare

Taking the Right Measurements

  • At this point, take measurements of all outlined areas and create a reference sketch. Ensure accuracy as it's essential for your project.

Step 3: Floor Preparation (if required)

Preparing the Ground

  • If there's an area on the floor that needs tiling, conduct demolition, cleaning, and preparation. This step may vary depending on your project's requirements.

Step 4: Dry Run and Tile Setup

Planning for Tile Installation

  • Before the actual tile installation, it's beneficial to do a dry run. Lay out your tiles on the floor in the desired shape and pattern for a visual preview.

Step 5: Setup and Ready the Wet Tile Saw

Getting the Right Tools

  • Ensure your wet tile saw is set up and ready for use. Having it prepared will streamline the tiling process.

Step 6: Thinset Application and Tile Placement

Laying the Foundation

  • Use a notched trowel to apply thinset in small sections to prevent it from drying too quickly. Start applying your tiles, working quickly. Press them firmly against the thinset and move on.

Step 7: Cutting and Finishing

Customizing for Precision

  • Any areas requiring tile cuts can generally wait until you've tiled the larger pieces. Afterward, make the necessary measurements for cutting, and complete these cuts. Place the cut tiles where they belong. You may need to back butter them for better adhesion.

Step 8: Tile Setting and Leveling

Ensuring Precision

  • Now, use a tile float to press the tiles firmly but gently to ensure they are flush with each other and properly adhered to the wall. For flooring areas, use the level to ensure everything is straight, flush, and level.

Step 9: Cleaning and Grout Application

Finishing the Tile Work

  • After allowing the thinset to dry for the recommended time, clean the tiles with a damp cloth to remove any residue. Finish by wiping them with a dry cloth. Scoop out some grout and place it in the grout tray. Begin grouting while following the product instructions.

Step 10: Final Touches

Completing the Project

  • After grouting, clean off the residue with a damp sponge. Allow everything to dry for the recommended time. Then, replace the mantle surround and perform any final touches required for your specific project.

Remember, your handy project's outcome depends on your determination and the big picture of your DIY journey. Don't hesitate to push through, and the results will be worth it!