Cover Up, Part Deux

Before getting to decorating, I want to say how deeply saddened and sorry I am for the families in Connecticut.  Such a senseless tragedy.  Our thoughts and love go out to the families, friends, and community of Sandy Hook.  Here’s a link offering various ways to help.

Well, the cover up is working; the fireplace has never looked better.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you exhibit A:


On the left, 70’s moss rock, complete with poorly placed vents.  The right side shows step one of the great cover up consisting of studs and cement board.  And now, exhibit B:

Fireplace Cover Up with Slate Overall

A clean slate, pun intended.  Ben laid the slate tile, saying it was the easiest tile he’s ever worked with.  And we’re both head over heels for the pretty, slightly varied, textural tile.

Fireplace Cover Up with Slate Bottom

Because the insert has angled sides, we decided to tile the insides of the walls, too.

Fireplace Cover Up with Slate Inset

Everything outside the combustible free area (the tiled surround) has gotten a layer of plywood.  This should come in handy if/when we want to hang something above the mantel.

Fireplace Cover Up with Slate from Side

Speaking of the mantel, we considered a solid piece of reclaimed wood.  Then we thought it might stick out (not in a good way) with the rest of our plans.  Instead, Ben built a simple plywood box to place over a few 2 by 4 boards.  Basically a mantel slip cover over supporting studs.

Fireplace Cover Up with Slate Mantel Detail

Clearly, we’ve still got some work to do before we can call this a wrap.

Fireplace Cover Up with Slate to Hall

For starters, we’ll add 1/4 inch thick by 2 inch wide trim around all the edges, including the mantel.  Because the rock extended into the hall, we covered it up just like the rest of the fireplace.  As it currently is, it seems like an odd little bump out.  To make it fit with the rest of the fireplace and differentiate between the normal walls, we’ll add  more 1/4 inch trim to make a grid.  Then, to brighten up the space and balance out the dark slate, a few coats of white paint.  Something kind of like my Photoshopped version:


In addition to painting windows, baking cookies, squeezing the boys a little tighter, and usual errands, that pretty much sums up our weekend happenings.  What did you do this weekend?

26 thoughts on “Cover Up, Part Deux

  1. I love the way your fireplace redo is coming together. I’m always impressed at how quickly you are able to tackle things. And I agree, the slate is beautiful – great choice!

    1. Hey Nikkoferrous!

      Thanks so much! We’re planning to add wood storage as well as some shelving in the nook to the left. Of course we’ll share when we get started on that.


  2. Looks good but how are you going to get it to fit to code (and for functional purposes)? Don’t you need 12 inches of non-combustible material in front of the stove? If you are going to be front loading the wood, you’ll need something below the stove to catch any embers that fall out. It will be messy! Do you have extra slate tiles and you could make a slate pad to put on top of the hardwood in front of the stove?

    1. Hi Nicole,

      Good question! Unfortunately, we can’t build it out any more. 😦 We’re thinking of adding felt pads or small feet to a piece or two of the slate to keep below when we have a fire burning. Then we can pull it away (we’re worried about it being a tripping hazard) when not in use. 🙂

      Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi JK!

      We seriously considered taking the slate to the ceiling, but we decided against it for a few reasons. The main reason is hanging art. We chose 1/16 grout lines, and we don’t want to drill through the tile to hang a picture. Also, the old stone wrapped around the sides, and we had to build out over it. We thought slate floor to ceiling on the front, but not sides seemed odd and out of place. We think the white on the top and sides will make it all feel more cohesive. Just a little info on our thought process. Does that make more sense now? Thanks so much for your opinions!


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