New Fireplace At The Ranch

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Finally making some progress over here at the ranch. Andy and I decided to take a break from updating the house over the holidays and it has taken me this long to get around to starting up again.

Now, I am normally all about a DIY and trust me, I have had my fair share at the ranch, but my birthday is next week and I was like, no, I am hiring it done!

I am so glad I did.

Here is the ugly before.

Dated, dirty, and stupid.

I have always liked how the hearth goes all the way to the wall but the scale is wrong, it seems off balance to me. The goal is to make a small seating area, the neighbor boys call it the "VIP section," around the fireplace next to the dining table so people can converse and hang out while I slave away making dinner in the kitchen.

Quick story about that chandelier in the pic; I bought the frame super cheap because it had no crystals on it so I have been slowly collecting the prisms, I am only...400 prisms from completion. Why can't I buy something that isn't a project? I will never know. Eventually I will center it over the dining table but for now it is just hanging there mocking me and telling me what a loser I am at finding replacement prisms. 

This is a close up of the tile I picked. I wanted something modern but also something that was respectful of the time period this ranch was built (1969.) It is a 6"x24" natural slate plank that has groves cut into it.

Oh yeah, another reason to tile this thing was that the hearth had like, a major crack in it and the inspector said when we were buying the house, that we needed to get it fixed before we lit a fire otherwise fire might drop down in that crack all the way into our crawlspace and start a fire under the house. I thought that was a little dramatic but, don't compete with people on your own team!


Step 1:
Skim coat that mother. 

The dude we hired did a skim coat of thinset (tile cement) over the fireplace so he would have a flat surface to work with. 

 Yup, you guessed it, I am taking the tile all the way up to the ceiling and all the way over to the corner. Time to make a statement baby! You have been in the corner too long, and no one, puts the get it.

The tile dude took the crown down for me too so that the tile would go all the way up to the ceiling, the brown strip you see next to the ceiling is the color of the original wood paneling that was under the crown molding before I painted the walls white.

Meanwhile I was wrestling the laundry pile that made me cry, yes, it gave me a temporary mental breakdown. The kid was like "We would win the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest laundry pile ever."  Thanks kid, I sort of feel better now.

Step 2: Tile
I went with the flat side on the hearth because I felt like it would be weird having all those groves on a horizontal surface and not easy to clean. 

Making it level.

Step 3: Vogue

 Pose for me baby! Vogue! I went with a linear stacked look, no grout on the face but grout on the hearth (I still have not grouted the hearth.) Those wood supports in the picture are there until the stuff fully drys. I know I should have taken them down for the pics but I was just so excited!

 The fireplace has balance now, the tile totally transformed the look of the space and anchors that side of the room.

Thanks to my dad for hooki'n me up with an awesome tile guy and for the leftover tile from one of his jobs. Thanks to my mom for helping me with the laundry pile that almost got me committed. 
I love you guys.

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