Our New Home: Office Fireplace Renovation – Phase I
Small project, but all are important around here! This one is especially important to share with you as it taught me the importance of thinking ahead + longevity of the decisions made in a home.
The photo above is the state of my office fireplace when we purchased the home. It was a working fireplace that was converted to gas. If we were going to do anything with the hearth, it was now given that the floors are set to be redone soon. My two issues with it were:
The orange toned brick tile
The depth of the hearth and how it cut into walking space between the doorways and my desk
We debated doing this ourselves given Greg’s background in tile through his Dad’s profession. However, knowing the timeframe and everything else going on, we outsourced to a masonry. This was a quick and easy job for a professional, making it the same for us!
Together, we sourced a few brick samples, which was ultimately hard to find a match of the tones of the existing. We landed on a darker tone that matched the overall feel, which would make it easier for us to create a seamless look via a wash treatment in the future.
Our masonry sourced 4 options that got as close as possible to the tones of the current brick. We went with the darkest you see here:
The crew began tearing up the tile to see what we had to work with in terms of room underneath. Again, one of my goals was to shorten this hearth, as short as it could go to code. During the demo, the crew told me that they had to lay the bricks with the thicker side up due to the available depth into the floor and the need to reach an even # out from the wall, to the edge. I was really disappointed because I wanted the same thickness as the bricks on the wall, and, the whole goal was to shorten the hearth. With their suggested approach, it would only be shortened by 2 inches and look inconsistent. I suggested cutting the bricks in half, so that there was room to lay them the same way as the wall, and, be able to get to the dimensions desired. I hope you are able to follow this! They confirmed it would work and I was really proud of myself for pushing to get the desired end result vs. feeling bad and accepting the first thought – regretting it later. Reminder – this is YOUR money and YOUR home, push for what you want. As long as you are kind, it is completely normal. They want you to be happy!
The whole process took a crew of two-four a few hours, so a quick and easy one-day job.
Always check in with your team:
After I had our flooring craftsman come through to prep, he saw this and shared that the gap of where it was shortened needed to filled with concrete to be sure that the new floors and trim are even. The crew came back the next morning and knocked it out, so amazing! If you’re in the Maryland area, please reach out as I am happy to share the masonry used!
It’s a huge relief that this is complete for our flooring crew to come in very soon and do what they need to do in the area. We now have no structural items to work through with this project, which could have ruined our brand new floors had we waited.
You may be thinking that this really doesn’t look finished. Because it isn’t! Once our floors are in, we’ll wash the fireplace to have a cohesive look, as well as redo the mantel to match my taste. We’ll also refresh the gas display to look a little more realistic.
I’m so excited to continue to share the progress with you! If you have any fireplace renovation tips, please share.