Building Our Fireplace: Installing the Slate Split-Face Tile – Our DIY House
This has GOT to be one of my most favourite features of our new, DIY home: this gorgeous, custom fireplace that we designed and built. It was a ton of work, but I think it totally sets the stage for our living room and I’m so very proud of it.
In case you missed it, here is the post explaining how we designed and built our custom mantel. The finishing touch to our “rustic glam” fireplace, was the installation of these beautiful slate split-face tiles made by TruStone that we found from our friends at Lowes.
Thank you, TruStone and Lowes for making our beautiful fireplace possible! It was a joy to work with you and with this product… truly.
We chose to use the TruStone split-face quartzite slate look tile in Forest Brown. We loved the rustic look of this colourway, and it ties right into our beautiful flooring in similar tones! This tile comes in pieces that are about 6 x 24″ with staggered ends. It can be easily cut with a tile saw and it’s not too tricky to install because of its rough look and changes in thickness – it makes it relatively fool proof!
First, my husband covered the cement board on our fireplace surround with a troweled layer of thin-set. After this dried, he screwed wire mesh onto the entire surround. He then trowled another layer of thin-set over the mesh.
Hubby cut the pieces of tile to size with a regular tile saw.
Starting at the bottom of our fireplace surround, he applied another layer of thin-set, then pushed a tile into place.
We installed the tile on the sides of our surround first, and then the front (starting from the bottom). We debated for a while over how we’d approach the corner finishing on the fireplace tile, and ultimately we decided to do blunt cuts (instead of attempting 45 degree angles or chipping at the edges). I’m happy with this look!
The tile installation took a couple of days (in bits and spurts), and then after about a month I finally scrubbed the tiles free of excess thin-set. I do have a slate sealing spray that I can apply to the tile, but I decided that I’m too tired and pregnant to do that anytime soon, so I’m leaving that for another day!
The stone on our fireplace has given me exactly the “rustic glam” look I was going for. The crisp, white mantel contrasts so beautifully with the dark ruggedness of the split-face tile.
I’d recommend this tile to anyone looking for a pretty way to update their fireplace. I bet if you had a flat tile already on your fireplace surround, this tile could easily be installed with a similar method we used.
As for decorating our lovely new fireplace, I’ve used some things I had on hand (and found for great prices!) so far. Our pretty & unique centerpiece – this quatrefoil mirror – was also found at Lowes!
Now that our fireplace is finally done, I’m determined to finish the rest of the room and finally have a relatively complete room in our new house to “reveal” here on my blog. I can’t wait to share the rest of our living room with you!
This post is part of my “Our DIY House” series where I’ll share with you my most exciting DIY ever – building a country house from the foundation up with my talented hubby!