Today’s project has been waiting a bit to be shared, as I’ve been enjoying it so much that I almost forgot that I had photos ready and waiting to be shared with you! So I’m finally sharing all the details of my DIY fireplace makeover today, including the products I used, how I did it, and some tips that I learned along the way.
For years I had had different ideas of ways to makeover our outdated fireplace, and it wasn’t until I saw this Fixer Upper episode that I was inspired with what exactly I wanted to do. The entire house was so charming, but I particularly loved how they redid the fireplace. I was so ready to brighten our up!
Earlier I had considered using some sort of vinyl tile over the existing black granite tiles, but once I was inspired with the black and white Moroccan feel, I went on a hunt on Etsy (this isn’t a sponsored post, but contains affiliate links to direct you to the materials I used) to find the right one. I wanted something removable, as we’re currently renting our home, but something durable enough to last.
When I found these Amalfi Tile Wall/Stair/Floor Vinyl Stickers (they’re much thicker than what I’d normally call a sticker) on Etsy, I knew it was exactly the look I was hoping for.
The idea of the tiles is that you can order them in almost any size you need, which should be the size of your current tiles. Then they are placed over your existing tiles, leaving the existing grout still exposed.
The vinyl tiles are printed on a heavy 3M vinyl paper, and have a nice coating which is wipeable. According to the seller, they should last 7+ years, but also can be easily removed. You can see a peek of my wood crate bookshelf which you can learn how to make here, or my second version here.
My tiles were 12×12″ (or so I thought, more on that in a bit…), so I ordered that size, making sure to order a handful of extras for matching, mistakes, etc. And I ended up using almost all of them so I was glad I had extras!
Here’s how my project went, which took about 4 hours total for me to complete (I’m guessing another person could do it in less time, especially if you don’t have some of the issues I describe below).
How to Makeover a Fireplace with Vinyl Tiles
Before I started, I taped the top row of tiles onto my fireplace to check the positions/pattern matching. What I didn’t realize until later was that these tiles are not perfectly symmetrical, even though at first glance they seem to be, which made me do some thinking later on.
When taping the tiles, I realized that (gasp!) my tiles weren’t all actually 12×12″. Some were cut a little smaller, which meant I needed to trim some of the edges. For the top row, I was able to make it work by trimming equal amounts (only about 1/8″ or so) from adjacent tiles with my Cricut tools, so they still match up well, and no one other than me (and now you ;)) would ever notice the difference. Actually, even I never even notice the difference now, hehe.
To apply, I found it was best to start with one corner and slowly position the rest of the tile with light pressure from that corner. I had to readjust the tiles fairly often, and it was easy to do so. I always made sure the tile was perfectly placed before adding more than light pressure.
Once a tile was placed, I used a scraper to really press the tile into place. The vinyl tile backs have tiny bubbles of glue that pop when you place pressure, which is actually quite satisfying. The scraper helped to get any air bubbles out as well (another reason for working from one corner outward is less air bubbles to deal with).
I continued adding tiles down the sides, and once again realized that more tiles were not 12×12″, but and inch or two shorter than that. After debating what to do, I decided that since my original tiles were black, I’d just create faux grout lines with them, and allow the tile to go over the existing grout line. It worked out perfect, and no one will ever know the difference.
When I got to the bottom row, because of the tile placements on the sides, I couldn’t have made the middle bottom patterns match to the sides. So I decided to create more faux grout lines, and added the smaller tiles on the top middle of the bottom row. When I did this, I inadvertently had the tiles rotated, so although it’s hard to notice on the small tiles, the pattern matching is slightly off on the bottom middle row with the sides. I’d almost like to keep that secret to myself, as I still think it’s not super noticeable (and wasn’t enough to re-do the entire bottom section), but figured the heads up might help one of you attempting to do the same project!
I continued the tiles over the floor tiles, which were the easiest to do and went fairly quickly. This area is usually covered up by a rug, so I’m not concerned about the durability on the floor, but I can’t say I’d use it on an entire floor that gets traffic. Not because the tiles haven’t been durable, more because I’m not a fan of anything temporary on floors in general.
I’m so happy with how my DIY fireplace makeover turned out, and would definitely recommend the vinyl tiles to anyone who wants to redo their own fireplace.
The idea that you can change up your fireplace in just an afternoon, and do it more often than usual, makes it easier to commit to a fun pattern, and I couldn’t love this one more!