We have been in our home for just over two and a half years. One small thing that has bothered me since we moved in was the stone around or fireplace. We never noticed during our walk through, but as soon as we started living here the condition of the stone started to annoy me. But, what is probably more annoying is the two plus years it took me to do something about it.

Our fireplace surround is tiled in large slate tiles. I actually love slate. We used a slate tile mosaic back splash in the kitchen of our last home. So, the slate fireplace was something we liked about the house. But on closer inspection, as I stared at the stone while sitting on the sofa, I realized it needed a bit of work.

The stone was dull and lifeless. When I looked closer, I noticed there was almost a haze over the stone. There was definitely grout in some of the crevices on the face of the stone. It was almost as if they did not completely clean up after grouting the tile. A good cleaning with soap and water helped, but the tiles were still dull.

The same day I did the little rug and chair switcheroo in the kitchen, I also finally tended to the fireplace surround. It was time I whipped that fireplace into shape for the winter season. I know our holiday animal parade appreciates being on display above some nice stone.

I bought a bottle of stone cleaner and sealer at Home Depot. It was a super simple project, and totally one of those why didn’t I do this sooner kind of things. Basically, you spray the sealer on the stone, wipe it around with a sponge, let it sit for about five minutes, and then wipe it off with a clean rag. Repeat a second time.

The result was pretty stone!  The sealer makes the color of the stones richer. They almost have the wet-look, except the sealer I used does not make them glossy. The previous hazy, dull look was gone even after the first coat of sealer.

Another house lazy project tackled. I sat around and stared at dull stone for over two years before I took the 15 minutes to make it look better. At least it is done now.

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7 Responses to Sprucing up the Fireplace

  1. Jesse says:

    Looks great! You mentioned you didn’t notice it on the walkthrough, would THAT have been a deal breaker? I gotta say, out here in CA pretty much nothing is a deal breaker, your just trying to get ANY house before the next person outbids you! Haha. Great work on the stone, looks nicer.

    • Jackie says:

      Jesse, It certainly would not have been a deal breaker for us, but we would have asked the builder to at least clean up the tile. We had several other punch list items we asked them to do. Would you believe from the time we signed until we closed, they were still showing our house to show other buyers the layout. Some kid went through with a red crayon and colored on the walls and trim. We made the builder clean that up!

  2. Jimmi says:

    Did you clean the stone before applying the sealer? And would you use a glossy sealer for slate tile on the floor?

    • Jackie says:

      Hi Jimmi,
      I did clean the stone with soapy water and let it dry before applying the sealer. I am sorry I don’t know enough about sealing stone to recommend a sealer for floor tile. I am sure your local home center can provide a recommendation.

  3. What a noticable difference! It looks great.

    Are you guys using the fireplace this winter? We had one in our old apartment and never used it. Now, we’ve moved and don’t have and I wish I did. Oh the irony!!

  4. Gina Amante says:

    I also have slate floors in our new home, and have been thinking they need something. I will look into this…great info! (Although it will unforunately take me much longer than 15 mintues!!)

    • Jackie says:

      Gina,
      I think for larger applications you can buy a jug (not a spray bottle) of the sealer and user a roller to put it on. The wiping off part will probably take longer. Maybe look for a product with a one-step application.

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