Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fireplace #2

Last weekend, Drew was due to arrive home Sunday morning. I started this fireplace project the previous weekend, so I felt somewhat responsible for trying to finish it. Thursday, Friday, and most of Saturday I played, including two days cross country skiing. I was feeling slacker for goofing off while my poor husband worked his tail off, so Saturday night, I decided to stop by to see if Home Depot might have a demo hammer for rent, as Andy suggested. By 8 PM I had my work cut out for me.

I am my mother's daughter, and I find home-improvement projects a fine way to spend a Saturday night. For those of you that don't know my mom, this is a woman who, in her 50s, re-shingled our house - the two story farmhouse. Just last month she was hanging drywall. She is 77 years old for cryin' out loud! What an inspiration. Anyway, I got a little crazy with the demo hammer.

You can see, it got pretty bad for a while, but underneath the ugly mauve tile, rebar, reinforcing wire mesh, and 1.5 inches of grout, the original 1910 tile was in tantalizingly good shape.
Finally, at 12:30 AM I had to shut it down, but underneath, the tile was very exciting. It is an olive brown tortoise-shell variegated pattern. Alas, there are some pretty damaged spots that I don't think I created with the hammer. We don't think we'll be able to salvage it, and the corresponding original tile on the vertical surface is no where to be seen. It was a good try at preserving the original, but we are now looking at some "restoration tile" (read "ka-ching") manufactures on the web.

The good news is, the wood trim around the hearth is in decent shape and with a little light refinishing and repair, should about match the rest of this old house.

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