A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Right Fireplace Tile

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Fireplace Tile

Have you considered revamping your fireplace surround with beautiful marbled tiles? Could you use a little guidance along the way? 

The type of tile you choose can say a lot about your home and the style you prefer. There are a variety of materials to consider, including cement and ceramic.



A fireplace is often a focal point in a living room, whether for heating or decoration. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right tile to create a beautiful surround for the fireplace that will draw visitors’ attention and enhance the room’s overall look.

Luckily, there are many different tile styles to choose from that will look fantastic with your fireplace. A straightforward choice is to stick with a standard matt tile in a regular laying pattern and a coordinating grout color. This will make the tile a subtle background for the fireplace and allow you to put more emphasis on what you want the actual focal point to be, such as a sizeable ornate rug, a painting, or even a bold piece of furniture.

Another great option is to use herringbone or chevron tiles for a more striking look. These are excellent options for darker or metallic tile colors, as they can add an extra pop of color that will draw the eye. If you’re looking for something more unique, you can always go with picket tiles which are long and narrow with pointed ends for a more unusual shape that will stand out.

Finally, you can also get a customized look by mixing and matching tile shapes to create a bespoke surround. For example, if you’re using herringbone tiles, you could incorporate some diamond tiles to add interest or try something more experimental, like hand-painted tiles, which can depict anything from beaches to your favorite flowers.


The material your fireplace tile is made from will significantly impact the overall appearance of the space. For example, a natural stone tile installation will add a luxurious feel to your fireplace and is a timeless option that will always look good. Another popular material for paint fireplace tile is porcelain. This durable tile is available in various colors and styles, making it an excellent choice for any design. It also is very heat-resistant and works well around fireplaces.

Porcelain tiles are usually glazed, which gives them a smooth surface that is easy to clean. However, if you want your tile to be more rustic, you can opt for unglazed tile. Unglazed tile could be smoother and will show stains more quickly, but it still looks great in the right setting.

Other natural tile options for fireplaces include slate, travertine, and terra cotta. Slate has a rough textured finish that can give your fireplace a country feel. Travertine has small pits caused by gasses during formation and can add an antique appearance to your fireplace.

You can also find concrete tile molded to look like different materials for a more modern feel. This type of tile is rugged, fire-resistant, and inexpensive compared to other natural stone or wood tiles.


The color of your fireplace tile will also affect the appearance of the space. Online stores have many colors, so you can find the perfect hues to complement your design scheme and make the room more open and inviting.

A neutral color scheme, especially with high-quality porcelain tiling, will look more sophisticated and refined. But this doesn’t mean you can’t add a splash of personality to your design with art tiles that feature a favorite beach scene or your pet’s face.

The pattern is a great way to create a specific design aesthetic for your fireplace surround. From a classic herringbone to a more contemporary chevron, the tile patterns available for your fireplace will directly impact your design scheme.

Even if you have your heart set on an intricate or elaborate tile pattern, installing it doesn’t have to be challenging. For example, this sleek setup features gray herringbone tiles painted with flat dark gray to look textured and modern rather than fussy or complicated. Using a visualizer tool to test tile designs before you purchase your materials will help you ensure that the finished product looks exactly how you want it to and fits perfectly with your room’s dimensions.


Fireplaces are a central focal point in many homes and can be an incredible way to make a space feel warm, welcoming, and homey. Tiling a fireplace can give a unique look that stands out while still providing functionality and potentially increasing your home’s resale value.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a tile for your fireplace surround or hearth is its pattern. Whether you want to create a sleek, modern finish or something more natural, there is a tile that will work for you. A herringbone pattern, for example, can be a beautiful choice and is perfect for creating a visually stunning centerpiece.

If you prefer a more natural feel, stone tiles are an excellent option. Both slate and travertine tile are great options for achieving this look. Slate typically comes in gray or white but can also be found in various other shades. Travertine has small pits on the surface that can add to the rustic charm of a fireplace.

Once you have chosen the suitable material, color, and pattern for your fireplace tiles, it is essential to take the time to plan out how you will install them. Doing a dry layout of the tile before you start is always a good idea to ensure everything fits properly and no glaring mistakes will stand out. It is also good to consult a professional to ensure your fireplace tile installation complies with local fire safety regulations.

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