Corner Fireplace Revamp: Board and Batten with Herringbone Marble tile
One of the things I didn’t really love about our house when we first looked at it was the fireplace. It was on an angled wall and had a cheap little mantle.
Corner fireplaces are always a bit of a pain to decorate around anyway. Do you arrange the furniture to face it and make it a focal wall? In our case the furniture just didn’t fit well facing the fireplace and we didn’t want the tv above it anyway. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with it, I just knew I wanted to do something…someday. Then the day came that we were getting hardwood floors and the day before the installers came I made a last minute decision to rip off the mantel and granite surround so they could remove the granite hearth and take the wood right up to the fireplace. It is just a gas insert and the floor doesn’t get hot in front of it so really no need for the hearth except to take up space. I thought I had a pic of this stage but I can’t find one so you will have to just picture it. A plain tan wall with ragged drywall edges around the firebox. It stayed like this for over 2 years! Then I finally decided to do something about it…a few days before having people over for my daughter’s 3rd birthday.
I bought some preprimed mdf and ran over to a coworker’s home for some table saw assistance. Her husband kindly cut some 45 degree angles on my boards so I could fit them into the corners of the wall so they would be flush. I wanted them flush so it would be easier to add crown molding down the road, plus I think it just looks nicer that way. First I painted the wall white. Next, I measured and measured some more and then started nailing boards to the wall. I did the top and outside boards first and then the cross ones to make sure they were secured in studs.
Take your time, measure often and repeatedly and use a level. This is doable without someone to hold the boards as long as you have a nail gun. I would have needed assistance if I had to hand nail them for sure. Once I had the cross boards in I cut some vertical boards and wedged them in to decide which pattern I really wanted. I had drawn them out on paper but seeing the design in person made it much easier to decide. I then measured again and nailed the rest of the boards in. I caulked all the seams and used the same white paint I had on the wall to paint the boards. So the tiling was not finished by her birthday or even Christmas, for that matter, but the wall at least looked more interesting than it had.
We chose honed marble herringbone tile for the surround with gray grout.
I’m not really a put stuff on the mantel person and with it being in the corner it just ate up space anyway so we decided to forgo a mantel completely for a more clean look.
One thing I did learn is to make sure you anyone you hire knows exactly what your vision is. I actually planned to have the tile run horizontally across the fireplace instead of vertically. At first I was really upset about this but it grew on me and now I love it.
I’m really happy with how it turned out especially since it is one of the first things you notice about the room when you first enter our home. I feel like our living room is slowly evolving into the room I want it to be.