Friday, November 22, 2013

Den Fireplace Part 3 || Cover old Brick with Tile

And I'm back today with the next phase of your Den Fireplace Project!   Progress is being made and things are shaping up to be near completion by Thanksgiving....which is good since I typically host every year!   So here is where I left off...
Den Fireplace Inspiration
Den Fireplace Project Phase 1  ||  Adding Drywall
Den Fireplace Project Phase 2  ||  Tape, Corner Bead and Make Seamless

and for today...

Den Fireplace Project Phase 3  ||  Cover old Brick with Tile

This part of the project was way more fun and interesting then Phase 1 and 2 when I learned that Dry Walling is just not my thang.   I actually really enjoy tiling and have done a few other tile projects in the house...Herringbone Tile Floor ||  Kitchen BackSplash || Laundry Room Subway Tile.

My original inspiration was a grey modern slightly contemporary look.  I REALLY REALLY wanted to use a marble carrera in a subway or mosaic pattern.  But after researching and speaking to some tile professionals I was shy'd away from this because we have a real wood burning fireplace.   One thing I didn't notice when gathering inspiration was that I was inspired by non-wood burning fireplaces!   And why does that matter you may ask...well apparently the tile that you use is significantly different from a non-functioning vs, gas burning vs. wood burning.  Marble and similar products can actually change color on a wood fireplace due to heat and soot.  I was told to focus more on a porcelain tile...and sadly I found it very difficult to find tiles that I LOVED in this category.  But finally I came across my tile of choice; it was in my budget, a green product and had a very beautiful color and pattern.  
I also decided to forgo my original plan of a subway or mosaic pattern and went with a larger tile.   After spending days scrubbing soot off of the old brick I decided less grout to clean and manage would be a life saver for me.   And in the end I found that large tiles reduced the brain teasing math needed to tile all the angles/corners and also reduced the physical labor...which my pregnant self was thankful for! 

Den Fireplace Project Phase 3  ||  Cover old Brick with Tile

Update an old Brick Fireplace with Tile :  How To
Clean, Clean and Clean the bricks - I used a dawn soap, white vinegar and warm water solution.  To scrub the brick I used a wire brush and wiped away suds and soot with a warm rag.

Add a even Layer of Thin-Set Mortar to Bricks - once clean and dry, I added a layer of thin-set mortar over the bricks.   This will help create a level surface and assist in the tile bonding to the bricks.  Prepare according to package (I prefer to use the powder vs the pre-mixed)   my consistency was mayo/creamy peanut butter.  Make sure it is not too watery or the mortar will not adhear in a smooth consistancy and can drip.

Start Tiling - one trick I learned is that you should use wood to create a level ledge that will keep the top bricks in place. This top area is best completed first.   Then work around...I don't have a thorough "How To" on Tiling but you do it once and you will never forget's so simple.   YouTube has endless tutorials...
Grout your Tile - once the tiles are set and mortar is dry (wait over 24 hours at least) then you can grout.  Again, check out YouTube for good "How To's"...

Seal your Grout - ok finally I have a decent sealing grout tutorial to offer you!

Update an old Brick Fireplace with Tile :  Materials Used
  • Tile of choice - make sure to buy extra
  • Thin Set-Mortar - this bag is large...but it has gotten me through multiple tile projects....just don't set it on unsealed concrete and it will last forever. 
  • Spacers and trowels
  • Tile Saw 
  • Grout of Choice - (remember 1/16 spacers and smaller you can use non-sanded grout...anything larger go with a sanded grout)
  • grout float
  • Buckets for mixing mortar and grout
  • Grout Sealant - tutorial here
Update an old Brick Fireplace with Tile :  Project Time Frame

  • Tiling took a total of 8 hours (2 - 4 hour days)
  • Grouting took a total of 3 hours. 

So there you have it...progress is being made.  Next week I think I will have to unleash this project into the world and do my favorite Before and After's.   There really is one more phase to the project and that is all the word working and mantel building...but I fear this post would ruin the before and after I'm gunna do things a little backwards here.

So lets do some time traveling to 2 years ago when we moved into the house...
And then you have about 6 months ago...only thing changed is we painted the shelves Dove White and walls Moonshine Grey both from Benjamin Moore.
and progress on the project..

So I'll be back soon with a fireplace Reveal...and let me tell you things are lookin' good!   I'm so excited to share with you all!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Den Fireplace Project || Making things Seamless I'm back to share a little progress on the Den Fireplace Overhaul aka what the heck was I thinking project!
Every time I think GRRR ENOUGH WITH THIS DANG PROJECT I have pull up my inspiration to keep me motivated...the clean look and additional storage is exactly what we need!

To remind you all here is where I left off...I had just added furring strips and drywall to cover up the brick.
Den Fireplace Project Phase 2  ||  Tape, Corner Bead and Make Seamless
For phase 2, I didn't take "how to" / "process" pictures.  This step was way harder then I thought it would be and even if I did have pictures to share they would only show what NOT to do!  Remember...I'm no professional and this was my first shot at drywalling.  I had to re-do the seam tape and corner bead a few times to get it right.  So to start I will share with you a few really great videos of professionals that I watched on YouTube and then I will share materials I used and lessons learned. 
How to Tape Drywall Seams:
How to Tape/Add Corner Bead:
So if you feel like crying, pulling your hair out and pushing yourself to the DIY limits help your self to a dry wall project!  Hands down hardest part about this project was not being able to throw back some tall boys as I fumbled my way through this process!
Materials I Used for Adding Drywall Seam and Corner Bead:

What I learned:
1)  First lesson learned is DON'T use powdered joint compound. That stuff is so hard to work with and it dried out faster then I could get it on the wall!   I went back and got the pre-mixed stuff and was very pleased. 
2) If at first you don't succeed....try again.  One great things about dry walling is that it takes multiple attempts to achieve a smooth finish.  It was very easy to get discourage when things weren't going my way, but in time (like 6 or 7 attempts) I got this baby smooth and lookin' good!
3)  If I ever need a really impeccably smooth surface....I'm calling a professional!  The majority of my fireplace enclosure doohickey is going to be dressed with molding so a lot of the imperfections will be unseen!   Lucky for me because there is a lot of imperfections!

So I hope I didn't scare anyone away from trying this project!   It has been difficult at times and certainly stretched my DIY creativity. But every time I think YOWZA that was a DOOZIEI remind myself how much money I'm saving DIY'ing.  It may not be perfect, but I am proud that I'm building this thing on my own...yay for girls who use power tolls!

So next week I'll get to adding molding and building out my new mantel!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Biggest project of 2014!

Well...I guess I should just say it for you all...Shame On Me for dropping off the face of the bloggie planet with no explanation at all!   But I'm back...kinda sorta...and wanted to say sincerely that I'm sorry to leave you readers and my bloggie friends hanging and in the dark.   But in all fairness I did have good reason...and well let's just get it all out there with my first official SELFIE!

Yep you read it correctly...there is tiny little babe in there!  And hubs and I are so over the moon that I just had to be selfish and keep everything about this second baby a secret!   Plus lets face it...I don't do pregnancy well and between hugging the toilet my overwhelming need for sleep...I just haven't had time for much DIY or bloging!
But to all of you who stuck with me...thank you so much for reading and again sorry for being absent!   But have no fear...I promise that progress on the Fireplace is being made and Andy is actually starting to take over the Garage Dreamin' Project!
I hope to post later this week on Phase 2 of the Den Fireplace Project...for a refresher here is where I left off!