Introduction: Open Fireplace Improvement

About: From cooking to renovating to gardening, I will give anything a go. Love to try new things and am passionate about sustainable living and waste minimisation!

Like many old homes mine has a disused open fire place in its centre. What would have started as a nice open wood burning fire place has at some point in the homes history had its firebrick removed to make way for a gas heater. Ripping the old ugly gas heater out was one of the first jobs I did on the house!
I weighed up various ideas such as putting in a modern gas fire or wood heater but the cost proved too much so after a half hearted attempt to render tho old textured brick it has sat half finished for almost 2 years. The Covid-19 lockdown has provided the perfect opportunity to finally hook in and get it looking nice. I decided to tile the surrounds and inside the old fireplace and here is how to do it!

Step 1: Preparation

If your fire place is anything like mine was it will be pretty beaten up. I had to start by adding a section of timber to the board across the front which required filling holes and sanding.
I also had to make the brick around the opening as even as possible, this meant taking to it with a hammer and chisel!

Step 2: Framing and Sheeting

You will then want to build a frame inside the fire place which can hold cement sheet to provide a base for the tiles. Naturally all fireplaces are different sizes but mine simply required 2 posts and 2 rails at the rear. I just used 35x70mm structural pine as it is cheap and easy to get.
You will then need to cut your cement sheet to create a box inside the fire place. A top piece is optional but I chose to include one as my flue had not previously been blocked which allowed for cold draughts.

Step 3: Levelling

The floor of my fire place was fairly rough so I poured a layer of cement floor leveller. Yours may already be flat and this will not be required

Step 4: Tiling

It is now time to tile over the cement sheet with your choice of tile. I chose a basic white subway tile as it matches other areas in my home but you could really use any tiles you like.

Step 5: Clean and Complete

You are just about done. Tidy up any areas that still look messy such as the floor. I painted mine black to tie in with my grout.
Now stand back and admire your handy work!

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