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I am redoing the face of an old fireplace. After I have it cleaned, inspected, etc., I plan to add

I am helping my husband update a very dated fireplace (white painted brick) with a white mantle.  There seems to be a raised soapstone (1/2") hearthstone in front of it.  After the cleaning, I am taking off the mantle, have purchased the Hadley Leg and Skirt set to frame it the brick, and the mantle and legs will be painted in a creamy ivory.  I have a gorgeous glass, travertine, metallic (soft colors) 12" x 12" tiles to put on the front of the bricks (the outside edges will be covered by the legs).  Now, my questions:

1)  When it comes to wrapping the brick as the tile goes inside (just the width of the brick), what should I use?  Should I use a bullnose travertine the same color that is in the mosiac tiles (Jeffrey Court Smokey Suede Glass 12 in. x 12 in. Wall Tile (sku 681567) or just continue with the same mosaic?  I'm putting a fitted glass screen to finish it off.  Does it matter?

2)  Do I leave the soapstone?  Is it dated?  Very ugly.  Or do I remove it, have my floor guy put in oak to match the floor and then stain it to match?  I'm seeing this more and more as a trend.  It looks clean.  Then I will put the creamy ivory mantle and leg set up to finish it, and the walls will be a very light cafe au lait.


Design I can do, but knowing what I should do with these two problems, I could really use some help.


Thanks,  Nickeltherapy

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Posted 2014-01-18T02:49:07+0000  by nickeltherapy nickeltherapy

Hey nickeltherapy,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!



The good thing about design in general is that while it can be specific to onesubstrate, color, or form it also can be subjective so that it can fit various colors and textures, as is the case in your fireplace....yes I went to art school (SCAD) for this, so I know the elements of design fairly well :smileyhappy:


Let's start with the tile you have; it is shown below. While choosing a travertine bullnose would be something that would harmonize with the tile, be sure to pick one that best suits it. Since its way away from being monochromatic, pick a bullnose (as well as grout color) that would mesh well with it.

If you leave the tiles sans the bullnose, just be sure the glass screen is covering up that not-so-finished edge. As I stated before, this is more subjective, personal yet a creative opinion, that can make the difference here. A bullnose could make the design busy, but if you want the fireplace to be a focal point of the room, having that would certainly help.


Taking out the soapstone would be entirely up to you. Cost of removal aside, if it is ugly as you, you can remove it. Using the Hadley leg and skirt mantle painted in a creamy ivory coupled with a matching grout color can blend in tile and wood, in my opinion.

Hadley Leg and Skirt Kit

It really all comes down to asking yourself these questions:


  • Do I want this fireplace that I just spent time and effort on to be a focal point of the room or just a part of it?


  • Do I want the overall look to be trendy or simply timeless?


  • Are there other forms of color (furniture, other rooms flowing into it) that would make it harmonious or stand out?

Once these questions are answered, you can decide on whether to remove the soapstone hearthstone. I personally like a stone hearth in front of a fireplace IF it is an active one. If it is a faux-for-show one, you can simply do the wood as you stated or even replace it with the tiles.


If it is an active fireplace, wood is....well organic and as you know, burns. With that said, be sure to use the firescreen always and even a fireplace mat would help at this time of year. It would be wise, especially with all the labor that would be used in tearing out the old soapstone and replacing it with the wood.


Basically, there is no wrong or right way to do this. Luckily, you already have 'framed' out the pieces of the puzzle to solve your fireplace dilemna. Little things like grout color and light cafe au lait will come into play with making sure this fireplace will work.


Personally, if you want this to be more contemporary, don't use the bullnose at all and remove the soapstone. You can still cover up the hearth with tile, but again...any combination will be entirely up to you.


Let me know if you have any further questions, and please update us on your fireplace with images of the 'after'.






Posted 2014-01-18T17:46:17+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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