Have brick fireplaces gone out of style?

neesieDecember 31, 2008

Just wondering if brick fireplaces are considered non-desirable in this date and time. I see so many people posting pictures of how they have changed their brick fireplaces by either tearing out the brick or covering it up. Many of them feature flat marble or tile. Is it a texture thing? Would you change your brick fireplace if you had one?

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We have a brick fireplace, and don't have any plans right now to change it. I think the only reason we would cover it would be to de-emphasize the funky grated air vents in the corners. We did paint it brick red to clean it up, though, and make it more of a focal point - the previous homeowners had painted it white and it blended with the white walls. Their 3 boys under age five apparently didn't like the white fireplace either, and tried to do their best with crayon...! (Don't get me started on the action figures and candy stuffed into the aforementioned air vents...) I'd just as soon have unpainted brick, but that's pretty far down on the home improvement list.

I've always liked the look of fieldstone-type fireplaces, but the more contemporary look of marble/tile/etc. wouldn't quite go with our Craftsman farmhouse. Are you thinking of changing your fireplace?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:31AM
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Thanks for the reply.

Actually I'm not thinking of replacing it. I've lived in this home 15 years and really like my brick fireplace. I just get surprised on so many of these makeover shows where they zoom in on the "awful" brick fireplace! Check out the home decorating forum. They don't have a lot of fireplace talk but when they do, they immediately suggest painting it or ripping it out to replace with marble or another popular smooth stone, such as travertine.

To each their own; I only wonder if and when brick becomes fashionable again how someone would take paint OFF?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 11:02AM
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Removing the paint seems a daunting task - clearly power tools would be in order! :)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 4:44PM
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I am one of those who is "guilty" of covering up my brick fire place!
When I moved here from Europe in 1998 we bought a 1970's built house with the full 70's details in the family room- mock dark wood panelling and a brick fire place wall.
As soon as I was able to, I got rid of both features.
We disguised the panelling by having the painter spackle the panel grooves and then paint.We had the brick sheetrocked and painted it a darker colour to coordinate with the walls. At the same time, we removed the wood insert (been there,done that), and installed a gas insert.Voila, we had a whole new, less dated room.
Some brick fire place walls are wonderful, especially if the home is truly old, like our UK house, but some just scream 70's!
That's just my experience, each to their own.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 6:54PM
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I have an all-brick masonry fireplace w/insert in the home my wife and I bought in 2001. The house was built in 1986. The brick runs from the hearth floor to the height of the ceiling (about 8 ft) in the family room. The bricks have not been painted over or covered up. I think that natural brick is a classy and stylish look. I would never change it.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 7:19PM
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USGIRL...I have never liked that "picture of wood" paneling, I'm glad you covered it!!! I think brick fireplaces can and do look very nice. I think the reason you see other designs today is people are just looking for something different. It all makes a turn around about every 10-20 years. I would never dream of covering up my fireplace. I have seen and love the marble one's I've seen but I wouldn't change mine...just a matter of personal taste. I have seen some funky brick ones that I would cover up though.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:32PM
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Garyg, my fireplace sounds a lot like yours. Brick from the hearth to the ceiling, never painted, don't want to. I just posted because I keep seeing makeover shows and forum threads that cry: paint it, rip it up or sheet rock over it! Are they crazy? I thought I missed a memo somewhere....

BTW, my house was built in 1985 and I think brick fireplaces are classic.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 6:25PM
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I have a brick floor to ceiling (20' ceiling!) fireplace. Wood burning. The only thing I don't LOVE about it is the color of the brick, but I am living with it as refacing would have cost $7,000!!!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 1:15PM
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I have a brick fireplace that was painted white when I moved in. I repainted it with black marine enamel and it looks great. The flames reflect off the paint like dark water! However, I wish it never had been painted. I agree that brick is timeless. Look at all ye olde houses in Britain and we call that charming (which it is)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 3:17PM
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    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 7:27PM
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I'd say it depends on the brick. I dont have anything against a brick fireplace but I do hate mine! the brick is a pale anaemic looking colour, very drab and I cant wait to tile it and make a feature of it. mine dates back to the late 60s.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 12:07PM
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