Fantastic Facelift for Brick Fireplace

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    LESLIE: Lynn in Arkansas is on the line and needs some help with how to remodel brick fireplace. What can we do for you?

    LYNN: Well, I have a 1980s brick fireplace. It is surrounded by library paneling, so the brick-surface area is just the hearth and a row of bricks on either side of the fireplace and perhaps two rows of bricks above the fireplace until it meets the mantel and the library paneling from there up.

    TOM: Right.

    LYNN: I want to give it a façade. And I thought about stucco-ing it or plaster of Paris or perhaps tiling it. I want to attempt to do this myself and I didn’t know if I was overstepping my boundaries.

    TOM: Leslie, I think that tiling is kind of a cool idea, because that would be a very attractive way to remodel brick fireplace. I like that a lot better than stucco-ing it. What do you think?

    LESLIE: Oh, yeah. I even like – outside of tiling, you can remodel brick fireplace by facing it with marble or a granite. And that can really look beautiful and you can do that in a fuller sheet. They almost do it in three pieces and that looks stunning. You can also do it in a faux stone, so it looks like a ledgestone or a river rock. That really gives it some characteristic. It’s gorgeous that way.

    LYNN: Could this go directly on top of the brick or would I need to prep the brick? I imagine I would need to fill the brick grout lines to make it a smooth finish, perhaps, before tiling?

    TOM: No, because the – well, the tile could pretty much go over that.

    LESLIE: Right. And your adhesive.

    TOM: It might be a little tricky. Yeah, you would adhere it right to the brick. It might be a little tricky on the grout but I don’t think you have to put any kind of sheathing over it or anything like that.

    LYNN: OK. Cool.

    LESLIE: I wouldn’t. I think your adhesive is going to be enough. The only instance is if you had a super-uneven surface. I had a very old fireplace that the surface was – it almost was like a coral but it was this old cement stucco that looked like coral, that was all uneven. And I put a cement board over that, just to give me a level playing field. But if you’ve got an even surface, I think that’s the way to go.

    LYNN: Wonderful. OK. I’m going to try this.

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