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Taking a Traditional Fireplace and Making It Modern

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By : John Whitaker    99 or more times read
Any room with a fireplace in it has a built in focal point, and while typically the living room has a fireplace, virtually any room in the house is fair game for a fireplace. In the traditional style a fireplace is fairly understated, and it is constructed from a classic material like brick or stone. Even though it is part of the living room's style, it is possible to reface a fireplace that is traditional into one that is modern. So when restyling a room from a traditional style to a more contemporary one, do not let a brick faced fireplace hold back the room's facelift.

With many ways to work a fireplace into a more modern version of itself, the available remodeling budget and the homeowner's construction skills should be taken into consideration carefully. Here are some ideas that suit different skill levels when making over a traditional fireplace.

For Junior Skills

For a homeowner that has virtually no experience laying tile, a really good option for refacing a brick fireplace surround is to purchase a prefabricated fireplace façade. These false fronts generally cost less than a thousand dollars, and they are easy enough for just about anyone to install. They usually come with complete installation instructions, and almost any homeowner can put one in.

With several different styles from which to choose it is easy to find one to fit any room's décor. They are available in many different finishes from tile to marble, and they are also available in many different colors. Adding a faux front to the fireplace is a very cost effective for a beginner to completely change the look of their fireplace surround and change a traditional fireplace into a more modern one.

Average Skills

For a homeowner who has some experience with tile projects, there are some basic changes that they can make to upgrade their fireplace and give it a more modern appearance. First measure the fireplace's height, width and depth, and then calculate the necessary materials for full coverage. Always purchase a little extra to allow for breakage and odd cuts. Marble is a very trendy and popular material used for fireplace surrounds today, and marble can be placed directly over an existing brick façade.

When gathering building materials, get the proper fixative for the type of material being installed. For example, if installing marble tile, make sure to use an adhesive that is formulated to work with marble. After the mortar is applied the tile is placed firmly in the mortar ensuring that it is level with the surrounding tiles. After all tiles are in place, let the fixative dry before filling the spaces between the tiles with grout.

Senior Skills

For the homeowner who is very experienced with building materials, they may opt to demo the existing surface and install a completely new one. After removing the old structure, a new one can be installed making sure that the flaws in any surface have been repaired. When constructing a more modern fireplace surround, starting with a clean slate often makes the whole process easier since you do not need to retrofit the new elements with the old.
Contributing editor for, John Whitaker designer in his own right offers tips on displaying modern metal wall sculptures and wood wall decor.

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