Fireplace Mantel Makeover

I have been dreaming about redoing our fireplace since we purchased our house and my Pinterest page proves it! Originally, I was thinking we were going to have to redo the entire mantel, but after purchasing new dark bamboo floors that we are planning on installing ourselves, I decided the mantel just needed a “pick me up.”

Believe it or not, this entire job cost us around $50.00 to complete. We had all of the tools already, and the stone tile only cost $25.00 at Lowes. All we needed to purchase in addition to that was some cement board and tile adhesive. Without further adieu, here is what we did!

Just so you have a true understanding, here is what this wall and fireplace looked like the day we moved in:

This is what the fireplace wall looked like after we painted the wood paneling white, and added some lovely candle holders from my aunt.

Fireplace Mantel Makeover

Here is where it gets exciting!

1. Removed the old tile. Destruction is always my husbands favorite part. We put down a tarp, and took a pry bar and hammer to the tile to gently remove it. We also removed some glued on wood pieces at the top of the original mantel.

2. Sanded the wood underneath. A clean fresh, start is a must.

3. Cut the cement board to size and attached to the fireplace.

4. Decided on a pattern for the tile. I learned my lesson after renovating the kitchen. Always lay out your tile as a test before actually putting your tile on the wall. This was especially important with this stone. Each individual tile was extremely unique.

5. Applied mastic tile adhesive with a trowel. 

6. Began laying the new tile. This is a two person job, because the tile was so heavy we added temporary finishing nails to the bottom of the tile to support it as it dried.

7. Cleaned up excess adhesive. The adhesive dried quickly, so it was important to make sure it was off of everywhere it was not supposed to be!

8. That is it! Here is the “after” photo! Everyone has their own taste of course, but I think the new tile gives the fireplace a more updated look and matches our kitchen and paint colors more. Because of the variety of colors within the stone, the tile is very versatile. What do you think?