How to Detail a Gas Fireplace

A gas fireplace is really an appliance that is installed against a wall and then drywalled over. More often than not, the joint between the face of the fireplace unit and the drywall is covered with a row of tile. The typical builder solution is to have one row of tile surround the fireplace, but as all Slow Homers know, this can end up looking cheap and unfinished.

There are gas fireplace units that are available on the market that have a “zero clearance” edge, meaning the finish material, like tile or stone can come right up to the edge of the glass of the fireplace. Then, by extending the tile on a larger surface area and creating an overall composition, the fireplace unit will look more integrated. The downsides to a “zero clearance” fireplace is they are more expensive and can be more difficult to install than a typical front venting unit.

If you have a front venting unit, try to choose a tile that is either black or darker in color to make the grills blend more easily. Then, try to use a larger format tile or stone to minimize the number of grout lines. And finally, try to extend the tile surface area to cover a larger portion of the wall and create a composition, rather than simply putting that ubiquitous ring of tile around the face of the unit.

Today’s Slides:

  • BradW

    Can you guys comment on tile planning (tile sizes, grout line locations, etc.). It seems to me that these small details can really make a big difference in a successful tiling job whether it be around a fireplace or in a shower/tub location.

  • Matthew North

    Hi Brad – thanks for the comment, great suggestion – the tile layout can also make or break the final result of a bathroom or fireplace detail – we will do an episode on this topic.