Choosing Fireplace Tile, Part One

I’m a little under the weather today, so I’m going to share my latest home improvement project: tiling our fireplace surround. I have to admit, I enjoy tiling. I’ve done two kitchen back-splashes and a tub, so I have some experience, but nothing could prepare me for my recent visit to the tile superstore. Talk about overwhelming!

This is one of the contenders: a bluish-grey tile with tan and brown accents. It reminds me of a tiger’s-eye stone. The other contenders are brown marble, black marble, taupe and brown reflective glass, and brown glass with stone accents.

The area that we will be tiling is rather small, but since our fireplace is such a focal point, we want to weigh our options carefully. Before going to the tile warehouse, I had my heart set on glass tiles with a subtle shimmer, but after seeing stacks of marble, slate, and stone options, I realized I wasn’t sure of what I wanted at all!

The criteria we decided on were pretty simple:
— pick a color scheme that will allow us to repaint the room in the future without limiting our paint choices
— use tile with webbed backing to make spacing a cinch
— pick a classic color or design that will stand the test of time (nothing too trendy)
— use dark grout
— no tile that is primarily white, tan, or beige
— no ceramic tile

We selected a few options and are trying to decide. We are still looking around at other retailers also. To me, tiling seems a bit like dating — which tile will be the right fit and get to come home and meet the family?

We haven’t selected the winner yet, but I will continue to blog about the process!

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