Victorian Fireplace Renovation

lovesjazzycatAugust 2, 2008

Would like to get a fireplace surround and hearth renovated so grandmother's bedroom can be completed. We will not be using the fireplace. Previous owner glued hideous "faux stone" ceramic tile over the original tile on surround. The fireplace was coal-burning, and the original iron insert and summer cover are there. However, PO cut a chunk out of top of iron surround to install a gas heater. PO also removed the tile from the hearth and poured a bigger concrete hearth.

We removed "ugly as sin" heater and the hearth extension when floor refinisher was here. Daughter used Dremel to remove some of new tile from Victorian tile but didn't finish. Tile installer (was here working on bathroom) demonstrated his removal "technique" and knocked out a chunk of Victorian tile along with the ugly tile.

I guess I will have to get rid of all the Victorian tile now and replace it with more antique tile or reproduction tile. Maybe if we could use the Dremel to remove the rest of the new tile, then we could replace just part of the old tile? We will need to get tile for the hearth no matter what we decide to do with the tile surround. Then there's the matter of the iron insert for the summer cover. I don't guess there's any way to get that repaired. I know another one could be purchased.

Have any of you been faced with a situation like this? What did you do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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In my area there were many homes built with the same detailing at the same time so local salvage and antique shops often have house pieces. Local salvage in your area might have the iron insert from another home built at the same time.

I don't know exactly what kind of damage you have to the cast iron but if you're going to paint it, I've had excellent results using auto body filler (the kind you mix on site) to recreate missing pieces and repair cast iron. After it cures it can be sanded to create a seamless repair. I found Bondo is better than the cheap stuff sold in HD.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:20PM
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I would post your question on the fireplace forum. You might get more responses there. Also, you might try looking in this website: It contains links to all kinds of resources, and they have a chat room of real die-hard fireplace aficionados who might offer some useful suggestions.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 9:54AM
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