Stone, Brick, or Tile: Re-Facing a Fireplace


A well maintained fireplace can be a stunning centerpiece of any room our outdoor patio area. Unfortunately after years of use, older fireplaces can become cracked, discolored, and stained with soot. Other fireplaces may just simply not fit the feel of the home. A rustic stone fireplace may feel as out of place in a sleek modern home as a clean tile fireplace can in a cozy wood cabin. Refacing the fireplace in your home can completely change the tone of the room and spruce up a tired design.

Stone Facing
Stone is a classic and dramatic option for fireplace facing. It can evoke feelings of simple rustic comforts or the grand sweeping luxury of resort lodges and Victorian homes, depending on the size and style used. For homes that don’t have the structural support for the weight of a large stone fireplace, faux stone facing may be used to create a similarly dramatic effect. Your stone work fireplace can be anything from a subtle square shape surrounding the fireplace with a small mantle to a sweeping pieces that extends from floor to ceiling and out into the room with a dramatic stone hearth. You get to decide how much the eye is drawn to the fireplace in your home and choose whether it should be a lovely accent or the dramatic focal point of the room.

With such a natural and, by nature, irregular facing, your stone fireplace facing may stand the test of time better than other options. Discoloration from soot on natural stone is more likely to look like normal coloring and small chips may be taken to be the natural look of the stone rather than damage to your fireplace. This effect is most prevalent with irregular stacked stones. Smooth polished stone fireplaces will show damage and uniformly light colored stones will show staining and discoloration.

Brick Facing
Brick is another versatile option for your fireplace. With the right wood accents, a brick fireplace can be sweepingly elegant. Aged brick can evoke a charmingly rustic or Tuscan feel. White painted brick often creates a colonial or Victorian look. With the right modern accompaniments, brick fireplace facing can also create the funky modern feel of a factory retrofitted into stylish modern luxury apartments. When contained with a subtle but stylish mantle, this facing can provide a beautiful accent piece to the room rather than drawing all the focus to itself.

Brick fireplaces will require some maintenance, as the soot can discolor the mortar inside the fireplace. However, if you are going for a rustic or Tuscan style, that sooty coloration inside will add a depth of character to the effect.

Tile Facing
Tile facing also has a great deal of versatility, from clean modern lines to intricate artwork. Try large, warm colored tiles, such as bronze and copper, to develop a modern feel without going sterile. For clean lines that go with a sharp modern sense, use large black, white, or cream colored tiles.

For those who want to turn their fireplace into a stunning work of art, consider getting a detailed mosaic. This can be anything from a subtle abstract work to detailed images highlighted by the firebox in the center. With the right design, the play of the fire light can make the right mosaic truly come alive.

Refacing your fireplace can be anything from a subtle shift to a complete room makeover. Your choice of facing material, size, color, and style will have a huge impact on the tone of the room. Let your style shine through to make your home truly your own.