I really hate the hearth on this fireplace. The tiles are cracked, pitted, stained and just plain ugly. Can I cover tiles with more tiles? Taking out the existing hearth is not an option. I'd love to hear some ideas on how to change it.
When you say you can't take the existing hearth out what do you mean. I believe you should be able to break the existing tiles up and then pry them up with out too much trouble. Then you should be able to clean the substrate and put new tile down. Make sure you and any one thats standing around "helping" is wearing safety glasses.
Another thing I'd do, would be to print this picture out and go visit a tile place, a fireplace store and a big box store. The tile place will be able to give you the most ideas about tile, the fireplace store may be able to give you ideas besides tile and maybe the same with Lowes, Homedepot or what ever your local one is. Depending on the knowledge of the particular person you happen to run into they may help you or not, but all you are out is a little bit of time.
Glad I saw this thread, I have a similar problem with my hearth and never thought about ripping it up and replacing. We have converted to gas in the fireplace so now may be a good time to think about replacing the existing as I would really like something that is "stoney" looking.
Politely butting in, I just would love to have a fireplace. I live in Pennsylvania and since I am a gardener, the approaching fall and winter are a greatness sadness to me. However, I bring in many of my plants and the greenery sustains me during the days of bitter cold and dreariness. This year I am determined to have a fireplace. However, I have no chimney so it will be interesting. I looked with envy at the photo of your fireplace. I also noticed that you do not like the hearth. I would say that it's neutral quality can be an asset to the furnishings in your home. Your fireplace is like an unadorned eye of a woman and needs a little "makeup" or embellishment to bring out it's beauty. Have you considered adding additional tile as a frame around the fireplace, perhaps in a geometric pattern or to get some tiles which have a design or pattern in the same shade that matches your hearth tiles along with complementary colors such as cobalt blue, rust or the like? Move that bookcase and start using that wonderful fireplace. Did you know that a fireplace adds resale value to your home?
Louise, this fireplace was actually a negative when I was looking for my home. You've obviously never had a fireplace. They are dirty, stinky and suck out more heat than they put in. They also are an avenue for bugs, rodents and birds and wood and maintenance is expensive. My kerosene heater is less stinky!
If you wish to make the trip down to Summerville, you may have my fireplace, hearth, chimney and everything that goes with it as long as you plug up the holes.
I solved my problem by carpeting over the hearth and putting a bookcase in front of it.
Here it is about a year later and my dream is finally about to come true. I have located a fireplace product from a manufacturer called Ecosmart. I just have to create an opening in my bricked up fireplace and place the unit inside. No venting, etc. It burns on denatured alcohol at about $1.00 per hour. Now I don't feel too bad about the winter; although I still prefer the hot weather.