Monday, August 5, 2013

Project House Update: Prepping the Fireplace

In case you were wondering, it's been over four months (FOUR MONTHS?!?!?) since we decided to redo our formal living room/future play room/front room/whatever fireplace. I really didn't realize that it had been that long until I searched through the blog to find the last post. That's just sad. Granted, a lot has gotten done on other little things in that time, but a third of a year without progress. We're never going to finish our list at this rate...

...which is why I'm writing this update, to hopefully relight the fire under Dan's butt so we can finish this thing.

Anyway, here's where we left things.

The first step we needed to make was to remove the old tile. It's hard to see in this picture, but the base of the fireplace is covered with Mexican terra cotta tiles. Those tiles, plus the decorative ones around the opening and the rim of the base needed to go so that we would have a smooth, level surface to place our new ones. {Sidenote: the tiles on the mantle will stay because they will be covered up with wood.}

So what did we do? We moved all the furniture out that we had just moved back in. Yay. Then, you let a guy go wild with an air power chisel and sander. You end up with this:

Dan was concerned that the painted texture would not be a secure base for tiling up the fireplace. After attacking it with a sander and discovering how well it was stuck, he decided it should be a satisfactory base and wouldn't waste his time.

What wasn't a good base, however, was the areas where the tiles had been removed. The cement and mortar just isn't level enough to tile upon. To solve the problem on the vertical face, Dan got some quick setting thin set and smoothed out the area.

It may not be perfect, but it will be a solid base for our tiny tiles.

The bigger problem seems to be the base. For a level base, we need to use self-leveling cement. However, to do that, we need to construct a dam around the edge so it doesn't spill out onto the floor. Building a temporary dam around a curve base is turning out to be a pain. We've never worked with level set so we really don't know how secure and tight this dam needs to be.

Right now, I've got a half-cemented fireplace, a thick level of dust over most of the room plus the entry way and the dining room, and a husband who is starting to doubt our agreed upon design with the marble subway tiles. No wonder we're making virtually no progress.

No comments:

Post a Comment