• the Fireplace

    Date: 2011.05.08 | Category: home improvement | Tags: ,,

    Remember how I mentioned that we updated the fireplace at Lily?  I thought I’d give a quick run down of what we did.  It was actually a pretty simple job- we did it over a 3 day weekend and each step only took a few hours.

    When we moved in, the fireplace looked like this-

    The entire thing projected about 8 inches from the wall with a 9 inch or so mantel.  The brick was cheap and ugly to begin with, but years of soot had permanently stained it.  The doors were tarnished brass and didn’t function well.  The deep red hearth was cracked.  There was really nothing about this fireplace that we liked!

    So I did some research online and discovered that one could easily purchase a custom mantel and fireplace surround.  Not only that, but it was easy and affordable to buy custom granite too!  I ended up working with two different companies, one for the granite and one for the wood surround.  I took precise measurements and sent them off for our custom pieces.  Several weeks later everything had arrived and we were ready to go!

    The first step was removing the old tile hearth.  We removed the wood trim, and then a hammer and a chisel made quick work of it!  The old doors popped right out once we loosened a few set screws.

    Next we installed the new granite hearth with a heavy duty granite adhesive.  Our friend Daniel was on hand to help with the measurements- we wanted everything to be perfectly centered!

    Then I adhered the two side pieces.  We wedged some table leaves against the coffee table to keep everything tight while the adhesive set.  Since the header rested on the two side pieces we gave it plenty of setting time.

    Once the two sides were firmly attached we installed the header piece.

    The wooden surround came in 4 or 5 pieces that we assembled before installing.  Once we had it all put together we needed to chisel out a small section of the baseboard so it could sit flush against the wall.

    The entire surround was then set into place and screwed into some wood strips that we had attached to the studs.  My dad came over to help with this step!

    Then trim strips were nailed in to cover the gap between the granite and the wood.  A hilarious process, apparently!

    and finito!  Almost.  Next up, a bead of caulk where the wood meets the wall, a coat of primer, and two coats of paint.

    This angled shot gives you an idea of the depth of the fireplace and mantel.  You can also see the updated ceiling fan in this shot- so much better than the original!  We found the new brushed nickel doors at Orchard Supply just down the street.

    The last step was finding the right trim piece for the edge of the hearth.  We needed something to prevent tripping on that elevated edge- it took a trip to a lumber mill where I wandered the aisles finding just the right piece of trim.

    The finished fireplace!  Didn’t it turn out great?  I love the bright white moulding against the black granite.  Had we stayed longer in the house I would have installed crown moulding to match.  I also love the depth of the mantel- it was easy to decorate since I had a nice wide surface.

    P.S.- we’ve been asked how much this project cost.  I found the receipts and am happy to tell you.  The wood surround cost $325 for paint grade wood.  The granite facing was $806.  Both of those prices include shipping.