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fireplace surround

Rose Pink

TUG Member
Jun 6, 2005
Reaction score
We are coming along on the front room remodel but I don't know what to do with the fireplace wall. It is not a large space. The wall is 128 inches wide and the standard 8 ft tall. No cathedral ceilings in our old tract house. We had a gas fireplace installed in the center of the space. It sits on the floor. It is a Mendota and measures 37 inches wide and 30 inches tall. Above that is the flue pipe (which will be behind the wall when it is finished) and that rises another 20 inches. The fireplace was installed so that the front of it sits about 15 inches in front of the existing (exterior) wall. We plan to have cabinetry installed on either side so that the front of the whole thing--bookcases and fireplace will be flush.

I am not sure what to do with the space around and above the fireplace. One idea is to just sheetrock it and then hang a picture or mirror. Another idea is to use the same Harris Stone that we have on the front porch walls. I like that look but I'm not sure about how it will look in the future. What is sometimes called patina can just look like the grime it really is. It can't really be cleaned effectively. A third idea is to clad it in wood and stain it to match the cabinetry on either side. We could also tile that part of the wall in the same tile as the front entry floor although I'm not so sure I like that idea as well.

Because it is a small space, I do not want to break it up any further with a separate fireplace surround/mantle/space above that. I am concerned it would look too choppy with so many elements. It would be different if I had a soaring ceiling but I don't.

I've been trying to find picture ideas on the internet but most of them don't show the whole wall. They just show the fireplace and surround so I can't get a good visualization on the complete wall. One site that did look promising wanted me to pay for a three-month admittance to the site and, as a bonus, I'd get a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. I don't want or need another magazine.

Any ideas?
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