Mantel Overhaul Part I: Out with the old tile

One project we’ve been eager to get started on is making over our fireplace by replacing the tile and building a new mantel. The original fireplace-surround tile was a gray/white ceramic that didn’t complement our new color scheme. We kicked off the makeover process tonight by removing this old tile.

Original tile around the fireplace

Closer view of gray ceramic tile

Blake put on his safety glasses and gloves, and *gasp* a non-green shirt, and bam! He transformed into a tile demo-ing ninja. Here’s the photodocumented mayhem that ensued:

Tile demolition ninja

Instruments of demolition: crowbar, sledge hammer, and the brute force of those two hands

Removing the first few tiles from the floor to find wire mesh....and lots of nails!

What a messy job!

The tile on the wall didn't have a mesh backing - it was cemented directly onto the drywall

Some of the tile was cemented a little too well to the drywall, taking some of the wall with it when we removed it

Old tile all gone, ready for new tile!

We’re going to install hardibacker, which is basically a foundation for the tile to adhere to. Then we’ll install the new tile, which we’ve already picked out. After that we’ll build a full-surround white mantel out of wood and MDF, sand down the brass on the fireplace screen and paint it black with high heat spray paint.

Hardibacker example for people like me who had no idea what this was

This is a post of few words….there’s really not much to say about the demolition of the old tile. Actually, I just could have posted all these pictures with some sound effects of man-grunting and hammering and you’d be sufficiently enlightened on how it all went down.