Monday, May 7, 2012

Choosing tile for the fireplace

We took a well deserved break from our fireplace remodel and discussed our colour options. At first we considered painting the brick charcoal, but then decided to lighten things up a bit after having had dark tiles for the past few years. Once we decided on the brick colour we had to decide on the tile for the hearth.

Our first direction was to go with a light coloured natural stone or tile to complement the white brick. I got some samples for us to look at: 
  1. Honed limestone
  2. Large porcelain tile 
  3. Polished marble

Once we put them down on the hearth area something looked off. The light colour made the hearth float and the fireplace insert more prominent than we wanted it to be. 

So we went out and got some darker samples. All of them are porcelain tiles:

     4. Veined brown with a soft polished finish
     5. Black ribbed tile
     6. Grey/brown matt tile

Going dark on the hearth made all the difference. Now the fireplace insert looked grounded and the brick worked as a feature. By going dark the hearth also blends into the wood floors.

The black tile was too close in colour to the black of the fireplace, the greyish brown tile looked too boring - our winner was #4. It has a beautiful finish and a rich colour which is a bit hard to see properly on the photos.

We'll be getting this tile in a 18" x 34" format to get as little grout lines as possible.  We'll have to do a bit of cutting to get a perfect edge and symmetry, but I think we'll be happy with our choice. I know it's hard to tell how it will all turn out, but making these decisions was a big step towards a finished project.

Next steps - painting the brick and installing the tile!


  1. I can't wait to see the final result!

  2. #4 is my favorite too :) Can't wait to see it all come together.

  3. #4 will look great.

    I have two fireplaces here that are so kitsch/potterybarn-ish (not in a good way!). That beige tumbled 4x4 tile. Redoing it is ON the list...

    P.S. thanks for including me in your blog roll!

  4. That would have been my choice too. It's gorgeous!


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