How to Tile an Arch Design on a Fireplace
A fireplace commands focal-point attention in whatever room it occupies, but if its current style clashes with the room's decor and design, it only functions as a big eyesore in the space. Changing that is just a matter of changing its facade, and the design and material options are many. One such way to give an existing fireplace a new look is to make it looked arched -- softening its appearance with interesting curves where it used to only have straight lines. Prep the fireplace with the backing and tile mortar it needs, and tile it over with an arched design.
Tools and Materials
Tile saw or rotary cutter with tile blade
Stucco or textured wall finish
Transferring the Arch From One Side to the Next
Make the outline for the arch using a starting midpoint and two endpoints that mark where the curve of the arch ends. This is a freestyle approach that custom fits the arch to the size and profile of the fireplace's facade.
Mark the midpoint of the arch a few inches above the center of the fireplace's opening with a marker. Come down on the two side edges of the fireplace's facade 8 to 12 inches from the level of the midpoint mark, and mark the endpoint of the curve on one side with a marker. The endpoint of the curve is where the curve ends and the vertical line continues downward to the base of the fireplace.
Sketch the outline of the arch from the midpoint to the endpoint with a marker. Follow the design of an arch -- come down with a marker at a 45-degree angle from the midpoint, curve the mark down and to the right towards the endpoint on the side, level it off horizontally, and then curve it down to the endpoint.
Lay a large sheet of transfer paper over the arch, and trace the outline of the arch through the paper.
Cut the arch shape from the midpoint to the endpoint with a pair of scissors.
Flip the transfer paper over, and align the midpoint of the paper to the midpoint of the arch, but with the curve of the arch on the other side. Trace the outline of the arch on the other side of the fireplace. Follow this guide for installing the tiles.
Diamond-Oriented Square Tiles
Select 5-inch or smaller tiles to work with.
Start at the fireplace's midpoint. Orient the first tile like a diamond with its corners pointed in a north-south-east-west orientation. Apply the mortar and affix the tile to the fireplace's facade.
Install the next tiles -- one on each side of the middle tile -- just below the east and west corners of the first tile.
Install the rest of the tiles following the arched outline on the fireplace, on both sides. Install the last tiles vertically downward until they reach the base of the fireplace.
Finish the tile with grout, and complete the rest of the fireplace's facade with a wall-textured finish, such as stucco.
Resources and References for Fireplace Tile Designs and Ideas
- Decorative ceramic tile fireplace designs, hand made fireplace ceramic tiles for custom fireplace de
Decorative ceramic tile fireplaces, hand made fireplace tiles for custom fireplace designs, fireplace tile designs, and fireplace hearths.
- Tile Over Brick Fireplace | Fireplace | This Old House
Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, landscape contractor Roger Cook, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and host Kevin O'Connor answer your home improvement questions. Expert advice on new construction, remodeling, easy upgra
- The Kiva Fireplace . . . Steppin\' Up & Out, Southwest Style!
Today's Kiva fireplace designs offer a wide array of unique and exciting variations of traditional Kiva fireplace design.
More by this Author
Undermount sinks were once exclusive additions to granite, stone and solid-surface countertops. Learn how they are now installed in laminate countertops.
Many homeowners find that transforming their basements into living and sleeping areas requires more than a few decorative finishes. Some must find ways to correct low ceiling heights to make it happen.
Slide-in stoves improve the way freestanding stove units present with a kitchen's cabinetry by fitting into the cabinetry and its countertop. The stove top fits snugly into the countertop in a way that looks like the...