Fireplace surrounds are used in many homes for both the look it creates and the protection of the surrounding surfaces. The fireplace surround is like a frame that draws the attention away from the wall and focuses in on the fireplace itself. Without fireplace surrounds, there would simply be a hole in the wall. They also serve to protect the wall from heat and soot. Materials like marble, stone, tiles, and cast iron are used in fireplace surrounds as they are heat resistant and easy to clean.
With the proper planning, there are few problems that a homeowner will encounter with a fireplace surround. However, there are times when the surround may not be side enough or the homeowner simply wants to extend the look of the surround onto more of the wall. If that is the case, here are some steps to take to widen the fireplace surround.
Step 1 - Plan For Extension
The first step to widening your fireplace surround is to plan for the extension you want to add. Sit down with some paper and a pencil and work out different scale drawings with different widths. This will help you to visualize how the extra tiles or slates will look in the finished product. You may also want to think about replacing the entire surround if you want to add a different type of look with new tile, slate, marble, or even brick.
Step 2 - Remove Bullnose Tile
On most fireplace surrounds created with tile, there is going to be a bullnose to finish if off. They might also be used in slate and brick type surrounds. Oftentimes, there is a piece of oak trim, or some other type of finish material. Whichever the case may be, remove this section. Use a pry bar carefully so that the material can be reused either for this project or another.
Step 3 - Scrape Away Mortar
Remove the mortar that was underneath any of the bullnose tile. A chisel can make easy work of this. You may need to wet the mortar with some water. Make sure you remove all of the mortar so that it does not interfere with the new application.
Step 4 - Set in New Tile
Mix the mortar that you are going to be using for the wider surround. Using a trowel, spread some of the mortar onto the back of the tile or slate piece. Spread mortar onto the surface of the fireplace wall. Set the tile into position and twist is slightly for the mortar to bond together.
Step 5 - Finish Off Project
Finish off your fireplace surround by repeating the process until all of the tiles are installed. Let the mortar set up for 24 hours and then spread grout into the seams with a wooden float. Let the grout set up until it is firm and wipe it off with a wet sponge. Once all has dried, then install the bullnose trim using mortar. Spread the mortar along the edge of the surround and set the trim into it. Hold into position for a new minutes until it stays. Complete the trim to finish off the wider fireplace surround.