This Old House: fireplace tiles

fireplace Collage


One of the best surprises that has come from the kitchen remodel has been the fireplace. As you can see the fireplace was a rather ugly beige and brown 1960’s (?) number  it kicked out an amazing amount of heat and  was a life saver these last 3 years.  The room was uninhabitable in the winter without it, we could leave milk about and it would be practically frozen in the morning.  Our plan was to remove the old gas fire and open it up to make a feature of it. We didn’t want another fire in there- we’re insulating the room and with a new double radiator it should be nice and warm this winter.  We felt a fire in the kitchen would be a bit out of place and we can spend those pennies elsewhere in the house.


remove Collage


What we didn’t expect was how large the original fireplace was. In hindsight we should have expected it to be large- in the original 1930’s design it would have had a range in there to cook and heat the water with- or so I’m told.  So a pleasant surprise and it makes our original idea all the nicer.  We did toy with the idea of leaving the brick exposed but it’s in such bad shape and needs to be repointed (read as expensive) so we decided to go with our original idea and plaster it.  It looks clean and sharp and I’m very happy with it.

The one thing I am struggling with is what tiles to use for the floor in and around the opening and that’s where I hope you will be able to help. As I said this is a 1930’s semi detached and I’m struggling with what tiles to use.  I don’t want anything overly Victorian and yet the 1930’s designs don’t really float my boat either.


tiles Collage

top: Center/Bottom:


I’ve scoured the internet and found a couple of examples that I like but I’m still unsure.  Keeping in mind that we’re chalkboard painting the entire chimney breast so it’s going to be big and black but will have white shiney cupboards on either side.  I’m leaning towards the herringbone design.

Do you have any idea? I figured I’d put it out there and see if the interwebz would have any other ideas and I’m sort of stuck on what to do.

sign off


  1. November 20, 2013 /

    Take a look at our Black terracotta, handmade or machine made