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Request Help Deciding on Fireplace Surround
December 2, 2012
Hello, I'd like to replace the existing green marble 12 X12 tiles that were around the fireplace when we bought the house two years ago. Both the living room and master bedroom fireplace have these tiles. I want to avoid major carpentry (therefore a slab due to thickness). The top space is 12 inches deep and the legs are 8 inches wide. the seat or hearth is nearly 2 1/2 feet so must be a coordinating or matching stone, tile or marble.
I love calacatta herringbone but my husband is not sure, prefers slab look and sourcing the clacatta in anything other than kitchens or bathrooms is not typical. I do not want it to look like a bathroom!. The home is 1940's but renovated in 2001 so I want it to be timeless and period- nothing too trendy like glass tiles. We live in a neighborhood within minutes of downtown Seattle.
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Reviving Design – Angela Martel
I would use a Crema Marfil Marble in a hexagon or herringbone pattern - perhaps a slab for the hearth.
See pic:

1 Like    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:43AM
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A. Peltier Interiors
Love the herringbone, so classic. I think the calcutta would be amazing. You cannot go wrong with that and it's a fireplace, I don't think anyone will look at it and think bathroom or kitchen. But if you did the herringbone in any type of natural stone, I don't think you could go wrong. You have great taste!
    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Your home looks a little like a Sears and Roebuck catalogue house (which is good), and I think ALL the wood trim and the marble should go. This picture shows a mantel running straight across the fireplace and under the windows. Yours now looks as if someone was trying for a Colonial/traditional look. Firelace/surround is too big. You are going to have a great room!

3 Likes    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 3:21PM
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This is attractive: photos 10-21 . These looks like what you are looking for: Georgetown Townhouse, Roncesvalles House, Mary Best Designs.

I like the idea of the herringbone, even if it is not marble.
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 3:31PM
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A. Peltier Interiors
Those are some really great examples houssaon.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I would go for a slab and matching tile for the surround. Though I love herringbone elsewhere, I don't like it on the fireplace.
    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 6:57PM
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All 4 Show, LLC
Herringbone would definitely look fabulous, and would help break up the horizontal lines on that wall...good luck!!
    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Spaces Into Places Inc.
I agree that the general top crown trim should run straight across, which will help lessen the large feeling of the fireplace. The marble is nice, but it doesn't add a vintage look. You see marble everywhere now, and I think it's being overdone. A rich handmade tile will help the fireplace feel more solid and grounded.
    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:36PM
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Travis Robert Renovations
This Fireplace was completed with a White Danby marble surround. Herringbone is a nice option as well.
6 Likes    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Thanks to everyone who commented. I appreciate the advice. Since carpentry and millwork are not options, I'm headed to another tile place to see if they have a simple, clean and neutral solution. If I chicken out on the herringbone pattern, I may end up doing an offset brick pattern with a calacatta tile, perhaps that will be more universal when we go to sell the house. Thanks to Houssaon as I've searched this website and never found examples as exact as yours! Take care!
    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:33PM
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No tile or stone guy, no contractor worth his reputation, is going to do this without SOME construction, pulling of trims. Do it right, or leave it alone. Sorry, not what you wanted to hear I realize!
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 4:33AM
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Thanks Jan, I do understand that the trim needs to be removed. It is difficult to see in the picture but it is actually mdf and a small thin strip is glued to cover existing tile edge. I have already demo'ed the bottom row of tile which you can see if you look closely. It came out like a slicing a cake! My woodwork comment was meant for those who want me to remove the bookcases and the mantel moldings to make afor a flatter, more stream-lined look. Just not in the budget and architecturally challenging due to the space available etc.. Thanks again!
1 Like    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 7:35AM
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Prettiest surround I ever saw was a vein-cut unfilled travertine in large horizontal tiles. Very neutral but decidedly beautiful.
    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 9:28AM
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The perfect thing for your fireplace would be 3 pieces of soapstone. The dark grey is a bit rustic but looks great with your style. I have seen this before and loved it, keep it simple.
    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:12AM
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