How to Update an Ugly Fireplace
March 1, 2019
So you finally found your dream home! But wait, what the heck were they thinking with that fireplace? Don’t worry, there are so many ways to fix all that mess without completely blowing your budget! My company is located in Jacksonville Florida and many homes here do not even have fireplaces, but somehow this past year I found myself involved in four different fireplace remodels. Each one was a unique experience so I will share some of the methods we used to get rid of that fugly fireplace!
Easy Fireplace Refreshing….
If you are fortunate enough to have a decent mantle of some sort and/or a surround that is not too offensive a little paint can be your best friend. Painting an existing mantle is the simplest way to change it up. If your fireplace surround is tile, that too, is a fairly simple fix. A handy tile installer can easily break out the old and bring in the new! You can really afford to use something special here as it is generally not that much material so this is a great place to splurge on something you love!
Paint also comes in handy if the firebox itself needs a lift. On the image below we taped off the glass and sprayed the firebox with a Rust-Oleum flat black paint and she looks brand new! Add some new hardware to the doors, if needed, a few great accessories and enjoy your new fireplace!
The brick or stone fireplace can be more of a challenge. I usually recommend cleaning the brick or stone first to see if you still hate it. Sometimes, especially on stone, a stoner sealer can bring the color back to life. A word of caution on painting brick, it will cost a lot more to get that paint off than it cost to put it on AND it may never come completely off. That said, I would be really certain that is what you want to do.
Fireplace Demolition and Rebuild..
There are times when the entire fireplace set up is just too much for the space. This is when we consider an entire demo and redesign. It's not always the cheapest option, but sometimes its the only way to get the look you want. If you can reuse the existing firebox itself, it's a much less expensive option. If you are looking to raise or lower the height of the firebox, you are most likely going to be replacing it.
Several of my clients have replaced their gas or wood-burning fireplaces with electric fireplaces. Also available are the ethanol burning fireplaces, I like Ecosmart, their styling is great. These are odorless and VENTLESS, so you can really put one almost anyplace!
If you are planning to demo and rebuild your fireplace, I definitely recommend you use a licensed contractor for this. Nothing leaks like a chimney and you want to be absolutely certain it meets code and the proper permits have been pulled.