Tile Inspiration for Fireplaces

I count myself lucky to live in a property that was built around the turn of the century. Original features are always high on the list of what many home owners want and while my own home retains some lovely cornicing and trim work, sadly all of the fireplaces are long gone. One of the things we’d like to do is reinstate the fireplace in our living room at some point and perhaps dress up the non-working one we have in our dining room.

As a focal point in a room, a fireplace creates a charm and a warmth (literally as well as figuratively) that’s virtually unmatched by any other feature. Memories are made in front of fireplaces and it should be shown off in it’s best possible light (no pun intended) so using tiles can really create a beautiful space, add value to your property and because of the options available, you can match virtually any decor style.

I’ve been checking out ideas across the internet to see how people are creatively using tiles to modernise and dress up their own fireplaces and I’ve found a wealth of various options out there. Today, I wanted to share some of my findings with you if perhaps you are considering an update for your own fireplace and are considering tiles to do this.

The benefits of using tiles around fireplaces is that they are more heat resistant than other materials – virtually all tiles available are flame resistant, creating the perfect barrier between the opening of your fireplace and the rest of your home and they are able to withstand the extreme changes in temperature which would be prevalent in a fireplace.

They can also be practical in terms of their ease of maintenance and the ability to clean them rather easily too. (Check out our post on sealing and maintaining tiles here.) And further, as it’s such a small space, you can redesign your fireplace for relatively low cost – even using more expensive tiles won’t necessarily break the bank simply because you don’t need a huge amount to create a fantastic new look.

Obviously, for a hearth (the tiles that sit on the floor directly in front of a fireplace), you’ll want to make sure you are using floor tiles to ensure they can withstand any wear and tear as well as the weight of things like logs piled up or a metal poker falling on to them!

You can create a great feature by using tiles for the entire length of the chimney breast as shown here. Mosaic tiles are a great choice and come in just about any style and colour and work particularly well to draw the eye in a neutral space.

If you are feeling a little bolder, then a striking black and white pattern can be just what your room needs to give it designer style. Combined with an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories, it becomes rather bold but it would work equally well in a Scandinavian style room where a simple palette of blacks and whites predominates.

If you are considering something more traditional or elegant, then pale grey tiles may give the perfect mix of contemporary and understated whilst still providing an interesting focal point.

Donna Dotan Photography Inc.

For a more retro or vintage inspired look, then considered coloured tiles in shades made popular in the style of the times. Here, a mustard yellow harks back to the 60s and 70s and mixes perfectly with the eclectic space.

So as you can see, the options for using tiles around a fireplace are virtually limitless and I’ve really just barely scratched the surfaces of the many variations of styles you can use.

Which is your favourite of the ones I’ve shared here and what kind of tile would you use on your own surround? I’d love to hear from you!

Image Sources: Oh Happy DaySabra Lattos Photography for Domaine / The Handmade Home / Farrow & Ball / Jenna Sue Design via Eclectically VintageDaniel Collopy for DomaineDonna Doton via The Decorista / Apartment Therapy

As a multi-award winning interior design content creator, Kimberly Duran is an Interior Design-obsessed American ex-pat, who chronicles her decorating journey and dispenses interior design advice in her personal blog, Swoon Worthy. When she’s not helplessly drooling over all the latest trends in design, she’s adding things to the imaginary ‘shopping basket’ in her head, she likes to get messy tackling DIY projects with her partner in crime, Wayne, stalking eBay for vintage bargains and filling her home with her favourite neutral – gold.