How to Remodel the Fireplace Hearth

Is it time that you remodel your fireplace hearth? Fireplace hearths have been around seemingly forever. As soon as man started building fires inside their homes they quickly perceived that they needed a hearth for convenience, safety, and to keep from burning areas around the fire. A hearth is usually made of the same bricks as the fireplace, and sometimes tiled in a decorative pattern.

You will often see a raised hearth for sitting built into some of the larger fireplaces. Some make the hearths from cement. Any fire resistant hearth will do the work, rather it be stone, brick, or cement. The purpose of a hearth is to keep the fire safe in the burning area, and the house safe from rolling logs, embers, and hot ashes. The hearth is also a great place to keep your fireplace tools, pans, maybe a tea kettle and anything else you might need.

What Are Some of the Ways to Remodel Your Fireplace Hearth?

There are many options when it comes to remodeling your fireplace hearth. Take stock of what you have now. What is it about your hearth that makes you want to change it and update it? Are there parts of your old heart that can be incorporated into the new design, such as bricks or stone? Way back in the days some of the old timers would put rocks, or big stone slabs in from of their fire places.

There are wonderful stones such as a big slab of granite that would look great in front of your fire as the hearth. This isn’t the only way to do it and it would be very expensive, plus it is extremely hard work to import granite or other huge slabs of stone such as marble for your fireplace hearth. Ceramic tiles, and even slate tiles makes a beautiful fireplace hearth that can compliment most any fireplace, floor, and house decor. How do you go about setting a tile hearth?

Choose the Design Style

Lets look at installing a ceramic tile hearth as the choice for the new designing of the hearth. Slate tiles would also do. All tiles follow pretty much the same installation process. Decide which tiles you are going to use and how you want them laid out. You can actually carry the tiling on up to the sides of the fireplace if you want and around.

Prepare the Surface

If you are tiling over brick or cement very little surface preparation is needed. The tiles will adhere good to brick, stone, and cement, plus the installation surface will be very strong and durable.

Install the Tiles

Mix thinset adhesive following the directions on the package. Next you spread this over the hearth with your tiles nearby so you can easily reach them. Begin laying the tile from the center of the hearth working outwards towards the front and back. Spacers are important to use between tiles so you can keep grout lines even.

If you need to you can use a tile saw and nippers to trim edges of tile as needed. Work tiles back and forth as you set them to make sure they are setting nicely in the thinset adhesive. You can tap down any high spots with a level until they are even with the other tiles. Let the tiles dry in the thinset for 24 hours.

 Finishing Off the Remodel of Your Fireplace Hearth

 You now have a lovely new tile fireplace hearth. You have let the tiles “cure” for 24 hours and are feeling very satisfied with the results. There is a final step you need to do to be completely finished. The grout needs to be added between the tiles. Prepare your grout according to the instructions on the packaging. It works best when it is the consistency of toothpaste, or creamy peanut butter.

Next, remove the spacers you used to keep the tiles even. Start working the grout into the crevices between each tile with a grout float. When you have grouted all of the tiles, clean off the tops evenly with a slightly damp sponge. You know how you want them to look. After about a week the tile grout will season and then you are ready to add grout sealer, and presto! You have a newly remodeled and beautiful hearth that you will be proud of for years to come in the remodel of your fireplace hearth.

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