After the overwhelming popularity of the just the first step of our Fireplace Makeover: Making a Fireplace Look Permanently Clean, I thought it was high time I share with you the second part of our Amazing Fireplace Makeover.
Now what you may or may not know about us, is we rent out house, which can make makeovers a bit limiting, even though we have amazing landlords. So I needed to find a product that was both cost effective and renter friendly, here is where Smart Tiles enters.
Seriously if you’ve never heard of Smart Tiles, you need to do yourself a favor and check them out! They are completely damage free, removable, insanely easy to install, and have almost zero clean up. Basically to sum it all up they are a giant sticker that looks and feels like real tile, without all the work.
As you can see from the before picture my fireplace was already tiled with this sort of peachy-pink-tan tile straight out of 1987 when the house was built. While it isn’t the worst 1980’s tile I’ve seen it still was a bit dated. But with the Smart Tiles, I was able to give it a simple, beautiful upgrade in just a few hours.
- Smart Tiles – Metro Blanco
- Smart Tiles – Cortina Grigio
- Folding Utility Knife (Or a Box Cutter, I prefer the Utility Knife because it is sturdier)
- Rotary Cutting Mat (Optional, but it helped a lot)
- Rotary Cutting Guide (Optional, but it helped a lot)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Paper Towels
- Tape measure
To start my No Demo Fireplace Surround Makeover I needed to prep the surface. To do this I simply used a paper towel and a little bit of regular old Rubbing Alcohol. The Rubbing Alcohol removes any grime, dust, or residue that might be attached to the original tile, creating a smooth clean surface for my Smart Tiles to adhere to.
Next I sat down and really looked at my mantle and determined the best place for me to start was the front left corner. This way all of my tiles along the front edge would be whole and any partial tiles would be at the back closest to the fireplace insert, just like real tiles.
Once I was ready I simply peeled the paper off the back and applied it directly over the top of the existing tile.
Smart Tiles even comes with these handy little guides that show you exactly where and how to overlap the tiles for a smooth transition.
I continued this process all along the front edge of my fireplace mantle.
When I reached the end of my first row it was finally time to trim the tiles. To do this I used a rotary cutting mat and guide to ensure my measurements were accurate but also that my cuts were straight.
Once the top was complete I continued to add sheets of tile along the edges of the mantle to complete the tiled look.
The only trouble I had in laying out and placement of my tiles was at the edges where the two tiles joined at a 90° angle. This is because when original tile mantle was installed they used a really really wide grout gap and the stickiness of the Smart Tiles had a hard time securing to such a porous and gritty surface.
To fix this I used a little bit of hot glue in between the tiles. Being careful not to touch the tiles with hot metal tip just in case it caused any melting. The glue pulled the two sections together and secured them and hot glue is one of the most removable of glues so it won’t harm the underlying tile in any way.
With my hearth done it was time to move onto the firebox surround. For this I used Smart Tiles Cortina Grigio. I have to say as far as time goes the adding the Smart Tiles to the upper surround box was a lot faster than the hearth. Although this is probably because there was less cutting and fewer angles to figure out.
I once again used my rotary cutting mat and guide and quickly trimmed my tiles down to size and applied them. Once all of my tiles were in place I went back and used my excess tiles to fill in the missing gaps.
With all my little spaces patched, I was finished! And WOW what a difference these Smart Tiles made! In just a few hours with no demo we had a whole new fireplace!
Thank you all for stopping by to see Step Two of our Fireplace Makeover: No Demo Fireplace Surround Makeover. Don’t forget to stop by and check out our First Step: Making Our Fireplace Look Clean, Permanently!