As I approached the third part of the hearth I was a little apprehensive. I was still mulling over the floor tiles that I wanted to trim the fireplace with. They were a little large and, not only did that mean they took up a lot of space, but I thought they overpowered the area.
I came to the conclusion that the pattern of the tiles would cope with being cut in half and still look good. However that left me with the task of cutting them.
In spite of now regularly using a circular saw I was hesitant to use the electric tile cutter my father had lent me. I did find a manual one in the garage though and thought I’d try this first as there was less likelihood of cutting off a digit with this method.
I scored the tile and asked my husband to help me try the first one, but it snapped horizontally and not along the line I wanted it to. It was going to have to be the dreaded electric one.
Once they were cut I laid them in a pattern around the stones again to make sure that they looked good. I tried to make sure any jagged edge would face out into the wood surround that I planned to use.
The latter was from a salvaged piece of wood from the staircase; it had a lovely patina on it and I didn’t want to waste such a good piece of wood. I spent an entire morning cutting into it with the circular saw. It’s hard work, so I was disappointed when I realised that the parts that had been cut away to accommodate the steps of the staircase couldn’t be disguised. I work with so many salvaged pieces of wood and I’ve been successful, but the fact is that it always takes more effort and sometimes that effort doesn’t pay off. C’est la vie!
I had to start the tiling process then I could make the decision of how to finish the edge of the hearth place when I had a clearer idea of what it would look like,
I’d bought three more bags of the cement made for fireplaces. After laying out the tiles with the uncut sides facing outward, and using this metre spirit rule to straighten the edge, I started the process on the tile which was to be next to the stone that protruded the most. This tile would be the furthest out and all the others would have to align with it after all.
Above you can see the first two tiles that I fixed to the fireplace and below you can see how I applied the cement against the walls of the original stones.
Having removed the tile I wanted to place, I sprayed the area with water and then spread some of the concrete mixture to cover the area needed (having the other tiles remaining in place helped me to not go too far) and then I added more mixture creating a slope that covered the front line of the stone. Having sprayed the back of the tile with water I laid the tile in place.
After I placed the second tile I pushed some concrete between the two, sprayed with water and used my finger to smooth out the area between the two tiles. Then I took a rag and wiped away any excess concrete and liquid.
I finished all along the first row, then did the sides. As much as possible I smoothed out the cement between the exterior tile and the floor.
At the moment the cement is black, but it dries to a dark grey…
I’ve decided to leave the hearth as it is in terms of the doing for the moment though. When I lay the wood flooring I can add a wood detail like this between the laminate and tile….
The next thing to do is fix an iron fireback, a fire basket and the fire guard.
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