Updating a Red, Brick Fireplace
LESLIE: Keith in Delaware is on the line with a fireplace-decorating question. Tell us what’s going on.
KEITH: I have a 2×2-foot chimney system, concrete block with a terracotta flue in it. And it’s in the garage. And on the living room side of the wall is a red-brick fireplace that’s 4 feet wide and floor to ceiling. And the hearth in front of it is also 4 feet wide and sticks into the room about 6 feet. And the end of it is a radius to the (inaudible at 0:05:59), kind of like a popsicle stick.
And we don’t really – it originally had a wood stove on it, so there’s an 8-inch flue about 2 feet up off the floor. We’d like to change it over to some sort of decorative stone but since some of it’s probably attached to drywall, some of it’s attached to concrete block, do we take it down? Can we attach to it? Will it stay up? And then what do we do with the hearth? Should we try to chip some of the brick off and then put a stone on?
TOM: So you’re never really going to use this hearth for a fireplace?
KEITH: Well, it was originally for a wood stove. There was never a fireplace. We’d like to put a wood stove back eventually.
TOM: Well, if you’re going to put something back, then you don’t want to destroy what’s there.
KEITH: Is there some sort of product that’s thin enough that it doesn’t make it too big and bulky in appearance once we cover it over with some sort of a stone?
TOM: Keith, you know, there’s a product on the market that’s pretty new. It’s called AirStone and their website is AirStone.com. And it’s an easy-to-apply stone veneer. You might want to take a look at that, because you could actually attach that to the top of the brick and come up with a totally new look to it.
TOM: In fact, they’ve got some photographs of some folks that have done sort of fireplace makeovers, on their website, in their blog section at AirStone.com/Blog.
KEITH: We had thought about painting it but we didn’t really care for the painted approach. I guess we’d have to use muriatic acid and all that to be able to cover it properly. We are committed to changing it, whether it be paint or stone. We’re just trying to refresh the room and give the fireplace an updated appearance and the brick is just an older, dingy, reddish color.
TOM: Right. Now, I don’t want you to ignore the fact that painting this room with an appropriate color shade could change the look of it, as well. Right now, it sounds like the focus is on the fireplace.
But Leslie, if he was to choose some complementary colors to kind of bring this all together, I think it could make an impact, as well, don’t you think?
LESLIE: I mean it can but with the brick playing such a predominant role, you’ve got to feel comfortable with it and the colors that will work.
Now, with a red, your complementary colors to it are going to be sort of in the green/brown tones that will sort of work well in the color wheel. It really depends on what your aesthetics are and what the look of the space is.
And have you thought about using a slate or a bluestone, some sort of different approach to sort of sheathing it?
KEITH: We had thought about that. In fact, on the hearth, that would probably be a good choice because it would be easier to sit a wood stove on.
LESLIE: Right. Just on the hearth and then leaving the rest brick. And then that way – I’m not sure how close to the wood stove you might be but you could do some interesting floor cushions to give yourself a little seating area around it or some cute benches.
There’s even, I’ve seen – I’m not sure who makes them but I’ve seen some bronze-legged, little benches that would surround a fireplace hearth, that are upholstered on top and they’re sort of built into the hearth itself to create a surround?
KEITH: Oh, that’s a neat idea.
LESLIE: Since it does take up so much space and you could then utilize it.
KEITH: Alright. Those are some great ideas.