Gas fireplace - what to do with tiling to make feature wall?
September 9, 2012 in Design Dilemma

We just moved into a new home and had a gas fireplace placed in a corner of our family room. I would like to give you an idea of room lay out in case that may impact suggestions for the fireplace design.

The family room is in the basement of a bi-level but does get some decent west facing light. The family room dimensions I believe are 28 ft length x 15 ft wide (rectangular shaped). So, if you are looking down at a 28' x 15' drawing, the fireplace is located in the top right hand corner. French doors leading into the family room are just to the left of the bottom right hand corner of drawing. A decent size window is centred on the left wall.

We are very limited with furniture arrangement options: large oversize couch is under window (left wall), oversized love seat is along bottom wall and large TV is along top wall of drawing. Fireplace is to the right of TV in the right corner.

So, here is my design dilemma. I would like to be as economical and creative as possible and make the fireplace wall a focal point in the room (furniture layout can be my next design dilemma). I have no idea of cost, so $1000 would be my max, $500 would be my preference. From the research I have done I like either tiling the entire wall or adding a mantle above the fireplace and then tile below the mantel. I'm leaning toward glass tile and have uploaded one I like, but I'm not set on using this. Just liked the multi color as room warm with many shades of brown.

Dimensions of fireplace wall: about 9 ft tall and 62" wide. Fireplace is 34"tall x 40" wide. There are 11" of wall on each side of fireplace.

Help, please! I would love to hear your suggestions. Thank you in advance for your help.
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More pics = more input! Let us see the room, as we're all very visually oriented here. Thanks.
1 Like   September 9, 2012 at 9:16AM
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Here are some pictures taken with ipod. Quality is not the greatest. Can only upload 4 at a time.
0 Likes   September 9, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Upload of next 4 pics. I entered room in south east corner and panned room to NE, N, NW, W, SW views back to entrance in SE corner. Fireplace is NE corner.
0 Likes   September 9, 2012 at 10:24AM
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Sorry thought 1st posting included close up of fireplace wall.
0 Likes   September 9, 2012 at 10:28AM
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I love the tiles you chose. For a clean, modern, and major wow.. tiling the entire FP wall would be spectacular. For a more traditional look, a nice thick mantle with the tile below would be beautiful. I personally like a more traditional look and would put a large piece of art on the wall above the mantle.
1 Like   September 9, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Hi GizV,

Thanks for your feedback. I would love to do the entire wall. I think cost might be a factor. Just waiting to get quote now. If you have any suggestions on mantles, would love to hear from you. I agree with a big piece of art on wall above mantle. Thanks again.
0 Likes   September 9, 2012 at 9:17PM
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I have a preference for clean and simple. I found one on Home Depot that is an example of my 'druthers. It has an 8" deep shelf which seems standard. I'd probably go for a deep, dark mohagany stain. Deciding on how wide the sides (legs) should be would be my deciding factor and I would cut up brown shipping paper to test it out until I was happy with the balance. Tile framing the black insert.
Foster Mantels Hadley Leg and Skirt Kit&
Model # 278543 Internet # 100006550 Store SKU # 197272. $174.00 /EA-Each

I could also see going for just a "cap shelf mantel". No legs, just the shelf. In honesty, the first thing I saw in my mind was a 4" or thicker chunk of rough hewn wood in a deep brown rustic finish for the shelf with the width just beyond the black insert width. I like the the idea of the shiny glass, black dull metal, rustic wood, and interesting art above it.

I wish you were receiving other opinions. It's great when a post receives several contradictory opinions. It can really get the creative juices flowing. Please post your decisions and the final pictures. It's inspiring to see what the final project looks like.
0 Likes   September 9, 2012 at 9:53PM
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HI Tracy, the tile in your picture, is it a mini-mosaic? We chose a tile very similar to yours for the top of the vanity in our master bath, and we grouted it with a medium brown grout. I have to tell you, the tile went from stunning to extremely masculine!

Having learned from that, I would suggest you find someone with Photoshop or a similar software program and play with different tiles and grout colors before you tile the entire wall. Our result was not what I expected at all.
0 Likes   September 10, 2012 at 3:29AM
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Tracy, room so small for size of furniture....I would paint the fireplace wall a dark color (a dark color would help to group TV/fireplace and make them "cousins") and mount the TV on a low mantle over the FP. That would take something off the floor and give you more room for the consider painting the rest of the walls and ceiling the same color as the carpeting to simplify and expand the space....If you live near an IKEA store...go find a big and inexpensive framed poster in neutral colors you like to put on the large wall at eye level....then over the window to add to the sound muting I would put up long neutral colored fabric curtains over the window wall........even if it was just a pair of double bed flat sheets in a pale tan........In all...neutralize to expand space and group to clean up the oversized items.......The mantle, wall to wall and the same color as that wall, and would help to direct heat away from you room for equipment and DVDs....please just think about doing the mantle as a shelf (as deep as needed for TV and equipment) in the same color as the wall....then get rid of the bookcase and TV stand......everything I have just suggested is less than your low budget requested amount.....
p.s., the tiles are lovely...but sound would bounce off the shiny surface and the addition of the tile would close in the room....
0 Likes   September 10, 2012 at 4:05AM
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Thank you everyone for your responses. I still have not made a decision...still waiting on a quote. Unfortunately the more I look the more I'm unsure what to do. I am leaning toward a shelf mantle with either tiling on entire wall below mantle or tiling just to frame the fireplace. Stay tuned. Thanks again for everyone's feedback. Very helpful.
1 Like   September 20, 2012 at 7:08PM
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Roots and Rafters
I'm a little worried that that tile on a whole wall would be a little bit busy. Your instinct to add a nice mantel and then tile either the wall below or just the fireplace surround is a very good one! It's also the more economical choice, which seems like something you're hoping for.

Good luck! I'd love to see the "after" pics. :)
2 Likes   September 20, 2012 at 7:14PM
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Custom Home Planning Center
given the soffits kicks I'd play off them with something like this: [houzz=
] It is just foam wrapped foam board, spider lath nylon mesh and acrylic stucco. Use your tile to cover a hearth.
1 Like   September 20, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Hi! I'd do the entire wall of the fireplace---a mix of stone and glass tile-installed vertically or horizontally... Good Luck!
0 Likes   September 20, 2012 at 9:24PM
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Hiya Tracylee! Looks like you have a great space for a family room! I do like the tones of the tiles you displayed but think they might me a little to small in scale for your area and furnishings. I would suggest that you think bigger in scale (as previous posters have mentioned)as that a small pattern would be too busy. Please check out these examples of copper toned (not the suntan lotion) alternatives with a hint of grey (not 50 shades) for contrast to your furnishings. Best of luck!

Samplings, Frisco CO
STonehedge Exteriors
1 Like   September 20, 2012 at 9:48PM
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Amanda Wilson
I think the idea of tiling the wall surrounding the fireplace is a great idea, and adding a mantel will help to give that extra dimension you are trying to add to the wall. I love the colors of the tile that you posted especially if you are looking to really brighten up the room you have the fireplace in. I think it will really open up your options for furniture and decorations as well by using that style of tile.
0 Likes   October 1, 2012 at 4:12AM
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Susan Jablon Mosaics
I think tiling the entire fireplace would be stunning! I attached an image of a tiled fireplace we have done. This one was done with a uniform mosaic, but if you prefer blends (like the image you attached) I attached some blends that are a little less busy (if that's a concern) but still in a warm color scheme. You can also visit our website and try out our mosaic designer, where you can customize your blend to your tastes and budget. If you do a search for "super sale" on our site you will also find tile that is deeply discounted, which may help with your budget as well if you find something you love!
1 Like   October 1, 2012 at 5:28AM
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Yes, definitely make the fireplace your focal point for the room. I like the idea of the tv over it, as that will free up some much needed space. Definitely (again), - as someone else posted - ditch the bookcase, as it is in the way of the fireplace. If you need storage space, you could get some end tables that are cupboard-like, and put things in that.. Or, if you mount the tv, where the stand is now, you could place a suitable unit. Also, and I apologize for saying this (you said your next dilemma is furniture), the furniture you have is way to big and bulky for such a room. One suggestion now, as someone else said, get rid of the end table/lamp by the door. Instead, use a nice floor lamp, something that complements what you do w/ the fireplace. Another possibility for the fireplace (and I don't know what's involved, or if it's feasible w/ the gas insert/equip, etc) is to create a niche over the fireplace where you could have a nice piece of art or object d'art placed. That would draw the eye upward, to add feeling of "height/space" in this room. Thanks for reading/considering....
1 Like   October 8, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Directing this question to Custom Home Planning Center
regarding the foam around the fireplace, I am from Ontario, Canada. Is there someplace here we can purchase this?
0 Likes   October 11, 2012 at 10:30AM
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