Let’s talk fireplaces. Inserts and installation can be pretty pricey depending on what type of fireplace you are buying. One way to cut costs is by completing all of the finish work yourself, which of course, I am a big fan of! A lot of what determines cost and ease of the project depends on material you are using. We chose to work with tile and wood moldings so it was fairly easy to accomplish.
How I Finished My Fireplace
To begin, I prepped the area by putting OSB down on the hearth and then cement board on the top. OSB is stronger than typical plywood and needed to add strength. Cement board serves as a backing for the tile. After placing the cement board, I put on Schluter – the outside silver edge. This product helps to create a nice finishing edge for tile surfaces.
I used ready mixed thin set for laying my tile.
Apply thin set to the back of the tile and place directly on the sheetrock. Make sure you also use those little spacers in between your tile pieces so that your grout lines will all be spaced evenly.
Let everything dry for a day and then you are ready for grout.
Now for the fireplace mantel! I framed out the mantel with 2×6’s on the sides and two 2×4’s on the top. I wanted the top to be bigger than the sides. It’s really personal preference here.
Then I covered the wood with MDF.
Now it’s time to start adding your decorative elements to your fireplace. We began with this trim that is actually used as a header over doors. But I love the look and I wanted my moldings to be stacked so they look custom.
We added the same header material around the base of the mantel. Then we created rectangles on either side of the fireplace.
Next we added crown to the top of the mantel.
Then we framed out all of the decor pieces to go above the fireplace.
We added the vertical border pieces first and nailed those in. This is the nail gun I use and love. Make sure to use a level for all of those wood slats.
And then the horizontal pieces.
And finally, completed the rest of the framing above the fireplace. I just love it and I hope this gives you an idea for DIY-ing your own fireplace too!
- The fireplace and molding are painted in Chalked by Benjamin Moore
- The charcoal is called Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams
- Walls are Snowbound by Sherwin Williams
- All of my paint is a satin finish…. except the ceiling which is flat also in Chalked.
For more wainscoting ideas, see what I did here in the entryway!