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Old 06-06-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Hi all! We have a family room in our house that has a brick area where there used to be a little wood-burning stove/room heater (the previous owners took it with them when they left). We would like to update the look of the brick area and are wondering what would be the best/easiest/safest/etc way to do it. Here's a pic of the area:



We would like to put more of a modern tile/slate over it because we would also like to put a new pellet/wood stove in back in place. As you can see from the pic, there's a duct coming out of the brick (the old heater/stove must have vented there) but there's also a gas line down at the bottom.

I was thinking about these options:

1) Frame around the brick with wood and attach cement board to the frame, then mix up my thin-set and apply the new tile.

or can I....

2) Apply the thin-set directly to the brick surface and just start dropping my new tile in place.

If I'm headed in the right track please let me know. If I'm headed in the completely wrong direction please let me know And of course, any pointers are appreciated. Thanks!!

-seth

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Old 06-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


One idea, that old paneling on the wall sucks also.
I would sheetrock over the paneling, or possibly remove it and repair the rock under it.
I recently did one room where the whole wall was brick and looked so 1970, on the opposite wall was paneling and was able to remove it and just skim coat it smooth with mud and paint.

On the brick wall, we covered it with plaster. It was not contemporary smooth, more organic and a little curvy. Was pretty simple to do and gave a nice modern look.
Was able to pack it with 1 coat to fill it, second coat to get it smoother .... 3 or 4 coats to make it even more flat and smooth if wanted.
But smooth textured drywall /plaster with paint would be timeless and always in style.

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Old 06-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #3
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Another idea for a more modern look ( not sure if its feasible or not) is to install an insert. Then you can get rid of most of the brick on the floor as well.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Quote:
Originally Posted by funfool
One idea, that old paneling on the wall sucks also.
I would sheetrock over the paneling, or possibly remove it and repair the rock under it.
I recently did one room where the whole wall was brick and looked so 1970, on the opposite wall was paneling and was able to remove it and just skim coat it smooth with mud and paint.

On the brick wall, we covered it with plaster. It was not contemporary smooth, more organic and a little curvy. Was pretty simple to do and gave a nice modern look.
Was able to pack it with 1 coat to fill it, second coat to get it smoother .... 3 or 4 coats to make it even more flat and smooth if wanted.
But smooth textured drywall /plaster with paint would be timeless and always in style.
That wood paneling you see is actually painted white at the moment, just wanted to brighten up the room for tomorrow's appraisal. We are planning to pull off the paneling off and do drywall instead.

The brick actually goes around the whole room, but only up to about my thigh height. We will be removing that as well, but that will be another thread

-Seth
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:27 PM   #5
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Quote:
Originally Posted by funfool
One idea, that old paneling on the wall sucks also.....
I don't remember saying any part of house sucks, but thanks!
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Quote:
Originally Posted by creeper
Another idea for a more modern look ( not sure if its feasible or not) is to install an insert. Then you can get rid of most of the brick on the floor as well.
Actually, this is the backside of the real fireplace in the living room (which is on the other side of the wall). So I don't think an insert would work? Unless you're talking about framing it out first? We want to stick with the stove-style heater, but more of a modern model
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Dez... Just had a friend redo two brick fireplaces.

On one he put a good looking limestone tile.... we had a lot of concern as it had been painted..... I thought he was going to have to rock (1/4") over it first, or use a diamond grinder to remove that paint... but a good tile man came in and just belt snded it some, used thinset, and it's good and solid.

The other fireplace he just stucoed, with a real heavy knockdown final coat... looks great.... no screen or ties, just stucoed over the unpainted brick.

In both cases the brick was rough ,like yours, and not that real smooth face type brick.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:28 AM   #8
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


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a good tile man came in and just belt snded it some, used thinset, and it's good and solid.
Cool! So are you saying he put the thinset right onto the brick, and tiled over it?
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Does anybody else have any advice? Thanks for your help!

-Seth
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:45 AM   #10
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Personally the way I like my fireplaces is modern .. with that being said there is a lot of bricks in your family room and if money is tight then I this is my suggestions:

I would incorporate a modern feel with some of the brick. I like your idea of tiling over brick.. I think that should be fine but I would advice using an adhesion promoter after you have skimmed a nice layer of plaster for a smooth base. There are so many ways you could incorporate the brick. You can just get creative but just to through an idea out there. I would say leave brick on top (the top 1/3) make a straight border of smaller tile to separate the brick and tile. Also leave brick on the face of the of every where else. Thus you'd only tiling the top.. This cuts material cost as you would be reusing some of the brick. Good luck, let us know how things are progressing!

Below is a crud rendering of what I was talking about:
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?-bricksfamilyroom.jpg  
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:17 AM   #11
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


How about another idea, and I apologize for my comment about the paneling

I love that brick, has a nice color and patina to it, I picture using it for a nice walkway out in the back yard, I would want to remove and salvage all that I could.
You would not want to touch the back of the fireplace, so that stays.
You could fur out the existing wall the length of the room to make it flush, have a clean flat space to work with.
Could also use the fured out space for some built in shelfs.

Or just fur out the back of the fireplace and drywall and leave the bump in the wall.
Maybe cover it with some of the new fake stone, A friend used it behind his gas free standing fireplace and looks good.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:59 AM   #12
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Brick Fireplace Makeover?


Unless you have mold or problems behind the paneling, I would leave it but paint it a light neutral color, not white. The vertical lines in the paneling lend the impression of height to the basement. You are right to remove the brick curbs around the room. The basic brick hearth and backer I would leave and paint a flat steel gray color. You are putting a wood stove in. You want a neutral back drop for the stove. Modern tile will look preposterous and cost quite a bit of money and will not make your house appraise any higher. I would use the money you were going to use for the tile on engineered hardwood for the floor; that WILL help your appraisal.

P.S. I spy a brass ceiling fan. If the ceiling is high enough they're great to have in conjunction with the stove but you ought to debrassify the fixtures wherever possible.


Last edited by Arlo; 06-12-2013 at 01:03 AM.
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