A good-looking fireplace can add instant charm to any room. Whether you’re remodeling or just looking to refresh your space, here are ways to update your fireplace and get it looking like new before winter’s chill arrives.
1. Add Glass Fireplace Doors
A cozy fire on a cold night is a delight. But a wood fire left untended isn't safe. Unlike a gas fireplace, which can be switched off, the only way to leave a wood fire is closed off with glass doors.
Retrofitting this safety feature to an existing fireplace isn't difficult. The doors come in standard sizes that fit in any flat firebox opening.
For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Install Glass Fireplace Doors.
2. Get Your Firebrick in Shape
After years of searing-hot blazes, fireplace mortar can crack, crumble, and fall out. Gaping mortar joints are not only unattractive, they leave the bricks more vulnerable to damage. So before wood-burning season starts, examine the condition of the mortar in the firebox and take an hour or two to replace any that has deteriorated.
See How to Get Your Firebrick in Shape for all the tools and steps you need to learn how to update your fireplace.
3. Install a Mantel
Don’t let your mantel bore you. Sharp, detailed models come in kits that lock together with a few twists of the Phillips-head. You can have a whole new look in less than a day.
For full step-by-step instructions on how to update your fireplace, see How to Install A Mantel.
4. Opt for a Salvaged Mantel
The hearth has endured, in part, because of the wooden mantel that frames it. A mantel serves not only as an architectural anchor in a room but as a functional shelf on which to display prized possessions. That's why so many of them still grace the parlors, dining rooms, and bedrooms of old houses even when the fireboxes have been walled over to eliminate drafts.
For every surviving example, of course, there are dozens that were torn from walls during reckless remodels. Luckily, many discarded mantels have ended up at architectural salvage yards.
See How to Shop a Salvage Yard to learn how to find one of your own.
5. Add a Gas Fireplace
There’s only one thing better than a roaring fire on a wintry night: a roaring fire that needs no tending, requires minimal cleanup, and doesn’t leave the rest of the house freezing cold. That’s what you get with today’s gas fireplaces.
Long gone are the anemic blue flames and unconvincing “logs.” Modern versions burn much more realistically, with glowing red embers and tall orange-yellow flames that dance and flicker around ceramic-fiber logs molded from the real thing.
See All About Gas Fireplaces to find the right model for your home. Then, watch our How to Install a Gas Fireplace video for installation advice from the pros.
6. Put in a Fireplace Insert
Fireplaces rank among the top three features desired by new homebuyers. Unfortunately, fireplaces are also major air gaps—they can send up to 8 percent of valuable furnace-heated air flying out the chimney, making them really fun to look at but inefficient as heating sources.
Here’s the good news: You can transform your firebox into an efficient room heater by adding an insert. See How to Install a Gas Fireplace Insert for step-by-step instructions along with a video from the pros.
7. Tile a Hearth
Mantels come and go. It's the hearth that's always been there, an ornate buffer between the fire and the shag rug.
Consider jazzing things up with some colorful new tiles. You can change the whole look of a fireplace—and the room—in one or two weekends.
For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Tile a Hearth.
8. Choose the Right Tiles
Designer tile is a great material for a hearth, but it isn't always the appropriate one. Fortunately, there are many other masonry products that work well for fireplace decoration, from formal white marble to earthy terra-cotta, and they are all installed using the same methods in the How to Tile a Hearth project.
The only limitation is that they must be able to stand the heat (and a dropped log every now and then). For a few stylish alternatives, see Tiles for the Hearth.
9. Tile the Surround
Before you go for the painted brick look and some white semigloss, consider the more elegant cover-up of art tiles.
Tiling a fireplace surround isn't a quickie makeover. But it's well worth the effort. For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Tile a Fireplace Surround.
10. Choose the Right Tile for Your Surround
As a focal point, a fireplace can set the tone for the whole style of a room. Rough brick can pull a rustic space together, while smooth glass can be used to set a modern tone.
11. Consider Using Art Tile
The beauty of artisanal tile lies in its imperfections. Because each piece is designed, molded, and glazed by hand, no two look exactly alike. Use them as an accent with plain subway tile, or mix a handful in with monochromatic squares to make your fireplace surrounds spring to life.
Inspired by early-20th-century styles, these low-relief polychrome tiles are made using the Spanish cuenca process, in which individual glazes are poured by hand into the depressions formed by raised lines in the clay.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to create your own consider designing your own art tile.
12. Build a Stone-Veneer Fireplace Surround
Think using real stone is the only way to conjure cozy nights by a blazing hearth? Think again. Today's cast-stone veneer looks a lot like the real thing, with styles ranging from stacked stone to river rock.
And if its budget friendly price tag makes it an option that's hard to pass up, the DIY-friendly installation will seal the deal. For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Build a Stone-Veneer Fireplace Surround.
13. Add a Granite-Slab Surround and Swap Out the Mantel
Chipped bricks, a stained hearth, and years of accumulated soot can turn what should be the focal point of a living room into an eyesore. Replacing a hearth and surround—either with seamless tone slabs or with ceramic or stone tiles—makes a big difference in the way a fireplace looks.
You can replace an old quarry-tile hearth and cover a brick surround with four sleek granite slabs, each 1¼ inches think. For full step-by-step instructions read How to Reface a Fireplace Surround and Hearth.
14. Fireplace Design Ideas
On a cold night, an industrial drum filled with coals could be considered a beautiful fireplace. The trick is to create a fireplace that is art without a flame. See Fireplace Design Ideas for our top 7 most beautiful hearths.
15. Add a Tin-Tile Fireplace Surround
While looking for a way to add personality to their new custom fireplace, Steve and Sandy Miller had this flash of genius: Why not use the same unique tin tiles that adorned their kitchen backsplash for the surround? In total, the project took only a few days—but the result will look cozy all winter.
Get the full how-to and other fireplace upgrades in 88 Quick and Easy Decorative Upgrades.
16. MDF Fireplace Face-Lift
The nonworking brick fireplace in John and Casey Spencer's 1920s bungalow was more of an eyesore than an eye-catcher. It lacked a mantel, and hiring a carpenter to custom-build one was beyond the couple's budget. Their solution? Make one using off-the-shelf supplies, like MDF, astragal molding and baseboard.
Get all the details on how they did this by reading Inspiring Home Spruce-Ups on a Shoestring Budget.
17. Cover a Mantel Shelf with Pine Boards
A fireplace should steal the show in a living room, not drag it down. At Kevin and Layla Palmer's 1950s home, in Prattville, Alabama, the gathering space's dreary gray fireplace was more homely than homey. And once the room's knotty-pine walls got a much-needed coat of cream-colored paint and the wall-to-wall carpet was pulled up to reveal warm oak floors, the fireplace became even more of an eyesore.
Learn how the homeowners doctored up the existing mantel and gave their fireplace a facelift for just $87.
Remodeling your fireplace costs about $1,200, on average, and can be just the transformation your space needs for a fresh look. Depending on the work you want to do on your fireplace, this project can range between $400 and $2,000.
- No Heat Required. ...
- Fill It With Fire-Ready Logs Anyway. ...
- Embrace a More Organic Design. ...
- Fake Stacked Logs With a DIY Summer Front. ...
- Place Tiered Candles Inside. ...
- Cover It With an Ornate Fire Screen. ...
- Use It as a Shadow Box to Display a Favorite Object. ...
- Handsome Firebox.
There are a few ways to make your fireplace feel new again. You can paint the brick, change up the mantel design, extend the mantel to the ceiling, add some fresh home decor elements, or all of the above.
Trend #1: Linear Interior
2021 will see continue to see the strong growth in the number of large, linear, and contemporary gas fireplaces being installed in people's homes. This year will see these large, linear contemporary gas fireplaces placed in less modern styled living rooms and in a wider range of homes.
“Fireplaces are a sought-after feature among home buyers, and removing them will negatively affect the value of your home,” says Dogan, who adds that they are inviting and evoke feelings of warmth and charm—especially in the Northeast.
A typical gas fireplace insert costs $2,300 to $10,000 depending on the style and installation costs. The majority of real estate agents believe indoor or outdoor fireplaces add $1,000 to $5,000 to the resale value of your home.
It's possible to remove the fireplace by itself and leave the stack or chimney flue, but you'll need major reinforcements. It'll also require support beams to maintain the structural integrity of your home.
To the dismay of some, even the nostalgia, warmth, and warm glow of a fireplace arent enough to reverse the overall decline in popularity of a fireplace in the home (photo: Hayden Scott on Unsplash).
Conclusion. Stacked Stone Fireplaces are definitely in style, and they look great. If you want to add a modern touch to your home, this is the best way to do it.
A wood-burning hearth is the standard fireplace used worldwide, as it has been for centuries. It's what comes to mind when most people envision a beautiful fire in a living room. Types of wood-burning fireplace systems are: Site-Built Masonry.
Keep It Neutral
Tan, beige, cream and light gray blend in for a natural look. Soft shades of black and gray work well with contemporary style rooms. Whitewashing, painting a solid light neutral color, or using a product such as Brick-Anew to create a “real brick” look will blend in with any decor.
Linear fireplaces have become darlings of many designers and architects. While homeowners love the convenience and other benefits of gas fireplaces, the fact that linear fireplaces are gorgeous, sleek, and incredibly versatile has won over residential and commercial designers.
Transitional style is a marriage of traditional and contemporary styles equating to a classic, timeless design. Our cast stone fireplace lines are simple, yet sophisticated, featuring either straight lines or simple and clean profiles, not too formal or fussy.
An electric fireplace accent wall is a popular and affordable room refresh for 2022. Modern farmhouse style continues to trend, with a colorful twist. Many interior designers and DIY home stylists are transitioning traditional white shiplap to warmer hues.
Modern homes do not have enough draft in order to keep a wood fireplace lit. They will go out. This is because space heaters replaced fireplaces for energy efficiency, so new forms of insulation have replaced asbestos and fiberglass such as foam.
Fire Heat and Smoke Can Harm a TV
It is generally not safe to mount a TV over a wood-burning fireplace. That's due to both the high heat and smoke that wood fires create. Any heat and smoke not vented up the chimney will cascade over the front of the mantel and around your TV, damaging the electronics.
The Average Home With a Fireplace Goes for 13% More Than the National Median. Specific monetary value aside, fireplaces still seem to be tied to high-priced homes, even today. In 2021, Redfin revealed that the average home with a fireplace was listed for 13% more than the national median sale price.
Wood vs Gas Fireplace Resale Value
54% of real estate agents surveyed by Angie's List said a gas burning fireplace increase home values most. Conversely, 58% of homeowners and homebuyers surveyed prefer a wood burning fireplace. Perhaps you're wondering, “Does an electric fireplace add value to a home?” Of course!
- Zero-Threshold Showers.
- Cool Roofing.
- Kitchen Countertops.
- Updated Garage Doors.
- Radiant-Heat Flooring.
- Automatic Bathroom Vent Fans.
- Tankless Water Heater.
- Decks and Patios.
Written by HomeAdvisor. A stone fireplace veneer costs anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 or more. Most range from $3,000 to $7,500 but a custom, real stone design built by a mason is pricier. Outdoor fireplaces cost $3,000 on average (though again, custom work will raise the price).
But losing a fireplace can affect a home's appeal and possibly even its resale value, real estate pros say. A fireplace can particularly be viewed as a valuable amenity in colder climates, and removing one could even reduce the number of buyers drawn to a property, some agents say.
They offer a traditional and cosy feel that's attractive to many homebuyers. Therefore, if you remove your chimney, you're likely to remove what many consider an asset. This will result in your home's value decreasing. You'll also make it more difficult to sell.
Most people with experience could usually tell whether the fireplace is load-bearing or not. But, if you're a newbie when it comes to renovation, you could check the wall of the fireplace above and below. If there is a wall on top of it and that wall supports another level of your house, that's a load-bearing wall.
Nowadays, it is quite possible to tile over the old tile and avoid the time and money of cleanup and backerboard installation. The average do-it-yourself homeowner can cover their old tile fireplace surround with new tile in one to two days, depending on the size and scope of the project.
you can cover a brick fireplace with stone veneer. or you can use concrete for a modern look.
Use diluted paint in multiple coats and different colours to add depth and interest. Lastly, to give a traditional fireplace a new bold, modern look, go for full coverage and an unexpected paint colour. Apply multiple coats of dark paint on the brick, hearth, and fireplace mantel to create a high-contrast focal point.
Installing granite tile over the bricks provides you with a way to update the fireplace to fit the new decor while still using a fire resistant material.
I found that Smart Tiles are easy to install peel and stick tiles that are heat and humidity resistant. They can be used around a fireplace and are perfect for a kitchen or bathroom backsplash.
Ceramic. Ceramic has been used on fireplace surrounds and hearths for hundreds of years. Decorative tiles were especially popular in the late 19th century. Ceramic withstands heat well and is durable enough to withstand the demands of the fireplace.
For a typical tile installation, tile fireplaces typically cost between $600 and $1,200. This cost includes setting materials, grout, and labor. The cost per square foot to tile a fireplace might range anywhere from $10 to $125 per square foot.
A coat of paint can work wonders when it comes to revamping your brick fireplace. This is particularly true if you're starting from unfinished red brick, though you can also go over a previous paint job. To paint a fireplace, you'll want to use a latex, heat-resistant paint.
Yes! With stone veneer panels from Be. On Stone installing faux stone over brick is simple. It can be done by a professional contractor or as a DIY project at home.
Varying tones of warm grays work well with most fireplace stone; however this colour still needs to be repeated in the space for it to work.
How To Gray-Wash Your Fireplace Stone. I used a 50/50 mixture of tap water and the paint to create more of the “washed” effect so that it didn't all look like a flat, painted surface. I honestly would have done even more water, but it was already really messy and wet to apply.
To give the brick a stone-like appearance, you need to add layers of color, using a technique similar to color washing or glazing a wall. A sponging technique works best to apply the various paint colors. Use a natural sea sponge to dab the color in random patterns on each individual brick.
Can you tile over a brick fireplace? Yes! Tiling over brick (even painted bricked!) is an easy DIY project as long as your brick is in good condition.
For maximum security, consider using a noncombustible material in your fireplace surround before adding shiplap. Many people will use tile, marble, stone, brick, or steel as surround materials directly around the fireplace opening for their gas or wood-burning fireplaces.