What can you do to turn a drab fireplace into a grand masterpiece? One of my favorite ways to revamp a fireplace is with tile! These 42 Fireplace Tile Ideas will take your lackluster fireplace from blah to beautiful!
Believe me, no style-conscious person wants to step into a home only to feast their eyes on a fireplace with soot-stained builder-grade stone, bland wood paneling, or brassy gold doors dating back to the ’80s.
I am sure you have visited the home of a friend or family member who had one of these horrid fireplaces as the focus of their living room. Who knows, maybe you have one in your own house – gasp! If that is you, no fear, I’ve got you.
Because the fireplace is usually front and center of the main room, it is essential that it grabs attention – the right kind of attention! When deciding how to makeover or remodel your fireplace (Read also: Fireplace Remodel Ideas), your fireplace tile design can be anything from simple and understated to a dynamic piece of art.
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite fireplace tile ideas and designs.
Monochromatic Fireplace Tiles Don’t Have To Be Bland
The white and light gray tile surround gives a monochromatic feel to this room. In some cases, too much of one color can be a disaster, but this is a perfect presentation resulting in an understated glam look.
The larger tiles give a feel of a consistent surface, drawing your eyes up to the sharp edge accent leading to the chimney beam, making the ceiling appear to soar even higher than it does.
Herring To The Bone
Herringbone tiling has become all the rage, and there are a few different layouts to get you the look you want. For example, the long and skinny subway tiles in this design are laid out diagonally, giving a luxe look. Alternatively, shorter, thicker subway tiles can be installed at a 90-degree angle giving a more modern feel.
See the FAQs below for some of my pro-tips on creating a herringbone design.
Revamp A Classic Style
Remember how I knocked old school wood paneling? There are ways to do it right. The dark cyan subway tile on this fireplace gives the classic wood paneling a bright touch with the shine. Most people imagine the stark white when they think of subway tiles, but using different colors can change the effect you are going for.
Fireplace Tile Ideas With Texture Adds Visual Appeal
Using a tile with texture gives a two-dimensional look to your fireplace to make it a statement piece. The dark olive color with the gloss accents the wood in the room perfectly. With all of the windows surrounding the fireplace, the gloss of the tile is highlighted, making a strong impression.
The dark bronze tile in this design has a slight texture giving just the right amount of pizazz.
Zig Zags Are A Show Stopper
Chevron is a zig-zag pattern that is similar to the herringbone design. The difference is the end cuts – chevron has a 45 degree cut at each end to make a right angle.
In this design, the mixture of dark and light grays with white contrast each other so that the zig-zag pattern stands out. Matching the darker color with an accent in the room, like the side cabinets, can pull the room together while still keeping the main focus on the fireplace.
This chevron pattern also stays with the grayscale color scheme, but with the white surround, you get a much lighter and brighter feel.
It’s Okay To Be Square
Using square tiles on a fireplace surround is a more classic look – but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. In this case, the rest of this fireplace is dramatic, and so the understated brown tiles are the perfect accompaniment.
The same is true in this example. The deep eggplant color on the wall is so rich the square tiles in muted tones are the perfect selection for this two-sided fireplace.
Square tiles are laid out seamlessly in this design with subtle accents of smaller squares and focal point art tiles. The rust color scheme brings focus to the fireplace in a room with bright white walls.
Step It Up By Using Geometrics
The cream elongated hexagon tiles used here give a unique feel to this fireplace. Using a darker grout brings dimension into the design.
As I mentioned before, the same effect can be made if you have a darker tile and use a light grout. The dark black insert stands out with the lighter colors in the surround.
Got The Blues
Who doesn’t love cobalt blue? I know I do. Now, some people might not be daring enough to do a full-length floor to ceiling tiled fireplace with a bold color, but I am loving the result. Especially with the different use of subway tiles in a vertical pattern.
Large And In Charge
You can use tiles that are usually seen on the floor if you want a cohesive look where it almost looks as though the surround is all one slab. Sticking with more neutral colors like white, creams, or light grays works well in this application.
This is another example of larger tiles used for a fireplace surround. The same tile is continued to the hearth, where there is a large enough area for seating or to display artwork.
Take Your Design Vertical
The gold tile with a mild gloss is an unexpected choice for a large fireplace surround like this one. But look at that glam! It really works. Just imagine sitting in this room at night with the reflection of the flames bouncing off of that gorgeous tile.
Pro-tip: the pattern and layout of the fireplace tiles are just as important as the type of tile you select.
Add Depth To The Design
The raised mod circles add subtle dimension to this fireplace. The repeating texture of the tiles results in a ton of personality, while the neutral color balances out the look, so the design is not too overwhelming. Look at how the understated hearth sits off the floor, bringing even more depth to this avant-garde design.
Create A Work Of Art
A fireplace can become the statement piece of an entire home. What better way to make your guests green with envy than to design a piece that rivals art in some of the hottest art galleries?
The bright orange and cobalt blue with pops of vibrant green combined with the different shapes of tiles selected for this design make this fireplace a colorful work of art.
The bohemian ambiance of this room is accentuated by the dramatic fireplace. The mosaic design and the selection of tiles make the perfect statement.
It is hard to find words to describe the magnificence of this fireplace. The jeweled tiles mixed with metallic swirls give a funky yet glamorous feel to the room. And those striking wrought iron gates deserve an article all their own.
This tiled fireplace is a piece of art in its own right. The decorative ceramic tiles in earthy tones match the room and create a timeless masterpiece.
Pro Tip: you can get custom art tiles created through several tile companies to put your own personal touch on your fireplace.
Pastels Bring Coastal Elegance
The pastel teal and tan design of the large flower tiles give this fireplace a coastal elegance that is reminiscent of a sunny beach house. The vast wooden mantel (read also: Mantel Decorating Ideas) brings in a natural element that breaks up the light colors of the fireplace surround and the white walls. Notice how the French doors are painted an accent color to match the tiles, brilliant!
Intricate Tiling Creates A Flawless Focal Point
How would you like to count the mosaic tiles on this metallic fireplace? The intricacy of the tiling makes this fireplace the perfect room divider and is the perfect counterpart to the larger tiles on the floor.
This bathroom fireplace is another example of intricate tile design, this time using small vertical tiles. The tan color continues the serene feeling of the bathroom, making it a great place to enjoy a bubble bath in front of the fire.
Pearlized tiles are used from floor to ceiling, making a sleek and sophisticated statement.
Maintain The Style, Even Outdoors
The colorful tiles surrounding this outdoor fireplace compliments the adobe style of the home. Remember, when designing an outdoor fireplace to make sure the tile is rated for outdoor use.
Stone Fireplace Tiles Done Right
There is definitely a way to do stone fireplace tiles right, and this is it. While the stone takes up most of the wall, it is designed with a rustic simplicity that balances the more dramatic tiling that is directly surrounding the fireplace insert.
The Hearth Stands On Its Own
When choosing a hearth design for the fireplace, you need to decide if you will continue the tile, or pick a different material to complement the look. In this example, the lighter colored solid surface hearth breaks up the space between the darker fireplace tile and flooring.
Check out the FAQs below to see how I choose the perfect material for a show-stopping hearth.
It’s Okay To Go Halfway
I wanted to show you this fireplace because it is so unexpected. The tile only goes halfway, but the shape and the dark metallic color of the fireplace tiles blend perfectly with the industrial look of the other half of the fireplace design.
Go Bold Or Go Home
The vibrant red and orange tiles remind me of fire – very fitting for a fireplace design. It is okay to go as bold as you want, but I would suggest keeping the wall color and flooring more neutral so that the fireplace really stands out.
Make a statement with a bold design like this dark graphite gray tile with raised oval insets to give dimension. Again, tiling all the way to the ceiling gives the room height.
Shimmer & Shine
The metallic mosaics on this fireplace remind me of a disco ball – without the accompanying music, of course. The light gold shimmer adds glam to an otherwise bland room design.
Keep The Focus On The Fire
In a two-sided fireplace like the one here where the obvious intent is to have the focus on the fireplace insert, using a more understated tile works well. The light colors and continuous tiling from floor to ceiling brings the eye directly to the fire and not focused on the surround.
Take It To The Ceiling
Taking the tile all the way to the ceiling creates a remarkable effect that has a major impact. It is definitely the way to make your fireplace stand out in the space. The graystone brick-like tile used here combined with the floor to ceiling windows is the perfect way to bring in natural light and make a statement.
The Entire Wall- Wall To Wall
The deep blue miniature subway tiles cover an entire wall, but the way it is done is not overpowering. If you are going to cover an entire wall, the consistent color, and the simple pattern are the perfect way to cover a large space without being too overwhelming.
Mod To The Bone
The design here is the perfect retro throwback with a modern twist. To make sure the tiles are lined up so seamlessly takes patience, but it is worth it for the end result.
See the FAQs below to see if you can DIY a tile fireplace.
The peaceful waves on this tile give the fireplace a serene vibe, just like the rest of the bedroom. The gray accent tile around the insert gives an extra boost to the design and takes your eye where it is supposed to be – on the fire.
Frequently Asked Questions about Tiled Fireplaces:
1. What are the options for a herringbone or chevron tile designs?
There are many tips I give when it comes to designing a herringbone or chevron tile fireplace.
- Create a contrast by using a lighter color grout on a dark color subway tile, or vice versa.
- Using a larger size tile, like 4×8, gives a bolder look, and you will need to use less tile.
- Choosing a few different colors of tile results in a more striking outcome.
- Continue the herringbone pattern onto the hearth for a seamless look.
- Glossy subway tiles will give more dimension to the fireplace.
2. Can I DIY a tile fireplace?
If you are a home improvement guru, you may be able to pull it off. However, I think it is always best to hire a designer and/or contractor if you want perfection – and who doesn’t want perfection? If you do it yourself you need to worry about:
- Planning the layout
- Choosing materials
- Figuring out if you can tile over the existing structure
- Doing demo if needed
- Getting the required tools, usually including an expensive wet saw
Need I say more? It is a ton of work, and in my opinion best left to the professionals.
3. How do you choose the right material for a fireplace hearth?
First, you need to start with these questions:
- Do you want a hearth as a part of your design?
- How large you want the hearth to be?
- Will hearth to be flush with the floor or raised?
- Do you want to use the same tile from the surround or use a different material?
One perk of using tile is the small surface area. You can pick some fancy materials that you may not use in a larger project if budget is an issue. Some of the most popular tile materials to use on a fireplace include:
- Natural stone
No matter what type of tile you choose, it needs to be rated to handle high temperatures. Even though it is only featured on the surround and/or hearth of the fireplace it is still exposed to some pretty high heat.
All of the materials mentioned above, for the most part, stand up to this test.
Here are a few additional things to keep in mind:
- The material for the hearth needs to be floor rated. It needs to stand up to more wear and tear than the surround.
- You do not need to continue tile to the hearth; you can choose a solid surface or different tile.
- Natural stone works well for a hearth.