How to Reface a Fireplace
A big DIY upgrade for your hearth that doesn't require a big budget
As the focal point of a room, the fireplace shows off every penny of a makeover fund. Here, we replaced a drab slate surround with richly veined marble and enclosed the prefab, zero-clearance firebox with glass doors set within a polished-brass frame.
To keep costs down on the surround, we hit the remnants section of our local stoneyard and had a slab cut into three ¾-inch-thick pieces for the top and two side legs. Prices start at $195 for the stone and fabrication. We paid $450 for our rare Portoro marble (Bridgewater Marble & Granite Works), bringing the total outlay to about $875, including about $425 for the Thermo-Rite doors.
By leaving the wood mantel in place and removing only the trim that overlapped the surround, we minimized the work—and the mess.
Budget: $650 to $1,000
Key players: Marble surround, brass-framed fireplace doors
DIY savings: Up to $800 to hire a fireplace pro
TOH Tip: To hide scuff marks on an old slate hearthstone and add a soft sheen, rub on a thin layer of boiled linseed oil, then wipe off the excess with a rag.