12 Fireplace Restoration Ideas That Will Revive Any Home

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A fireplace is an important part of your home, and you should strive to take good care of it.

Over time, fireplaces can get damaged, leading to dangerous house fires and smoke entering your home.

That is why you need to restore your fireplace if it is old or damaged. Fireplace restoration ensures that any fireplace repair is completed and everything functions normally.

In addition, it significantly increases the resale value of your home. Many buyers consider a working and beautiful masonry fireplace a must-have amenity.

12 Fireplace Restoration & Renovation Ideas

Many fireplace renovation ideas would be perfect for your home. Finding the right one can be overwhelming, so we have compiled a list of the top fireplace restoration ideas. Let’s get started.

1. Marble fireplace

antique marble fireplace restoration

Marble is a metamorphic rock made of recrystallized carbonate minerals like dolomite and calcite. This natural stone is one of the best materials for building and decorating your fireplace.

A marble fireplace has the following benefits:

  • Timeless style – Marble provides a unique style that never goes out of fashion. For this reason, you can use this natural stone fireplace material to develop classic and contemporary designs.
  • Easy to clean – Marble has a smooth surface that you can easily wipe to keep clean.
  • Durable – Marble is a long-lasting material, so you won’t have to worry about your fireplace looking old after a few years. Moreover, the material is heat resistant, so stray embers from the fireplace will not affect it.

Keep in mind that marble is not immune to soot staining. You must clean and treat it regularly to prevent damage and maintain its high quality.

2. Exposed brick fireplace

Exposed brick fireplace renovation

An exposed brick fireplace is a popular design. This is because it is simple and doesn’t require much work.

If you have a brick house, all you need to do is remove the plaster, and you will have exposed the brick behind it. You can do this yourself, but to get the best results, use the help of a qualified chimney service.

Here are some cool tips for exposed brick fireplace restoration:

Choose pale bricks – Red bricks (usually the most popular) may not be the best option, especially in small or vast spaces. Lighter bricks reflect light, increasing the aesthetic appeal of a fireplace.

Explore various brick bond patterns
– Experimenting with different brick arrangements can elevate your fireplace’s design. Seek guidance from a professional to identify the ideal brick bond pattern that enhances your fireplace’s appearance.

Brick as a backdrop – If you use a modern wood stove, you can create a brick backdrop to bring out the feel of a traditional fireplace.

3. German smear brick fireplace

restoring fireplace hearth

Some homeowners with an exposed brick fireplace do not like the uniform appearance of the bricks. One way to alter the uniform appearance is to apply paint, but you always end up with the same look.

The solution is to do a “German smear or schmear.” This technique gives your exposed brick fireplace the appearance of irregular stones. It involves applying wet mortar over bricks and removing some of it before it dries.

The mortar gives the bricks a rough texture, making them appear rustic. Typically, a German smear involves spreading mortar over red brick, but you can try various mortar tints and brick colors. Remember, the mortar will not work on painted brick.

You can do a German smear yourself if you have a brick fireplace. But if you are building your chimney from scratch, you will require an experienced masonry company to lay the bricks.

This treatment method is permanent, and you cannot remove it easily, so you must apply it correctly.

We recommend using the services of a skilled chimney sweep team to help you do it.


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4. Lime-washed fireplace

Applying a lime wash finish is another trendy brick fireplace treatment technique. As the name suggests, you will need lime made from limestone. If your fireplace has suffered damage, you might also consider repairing it before applying the limewash to ensure a smooth and even surface.

The process involves cleaning your fireplace and applying lime wash. The resulting chalky appearance gives your fireplace a unique look.

The lime-washed fireplace looks like a German smear brick fireplace; the only difference is that the lime is on more of the bricks’ surfaces. Note that the lime does not entirely cover the bricks.

The main benefit of a lime wash finish is that it protects the bricks against damage from the elements. It is also highly durable and won’t peel or chip.

5. Cast iron fireplace

cast iron fireplace restoration

Cast iron fireplaces have gained popularity over the past few years. The main benefit of a cast iron fireplace is that it heats rooms efficiently and retains heat for a long time.

The fireplaces are available in various sizes, so you can find one that meets your home’s heating needs.

Let’s discuss other benefits of cast iron fireplaces:

Stylish – Cast iron fireplaces come in contemporary and classic designs. You can coat the components with porcelain to create a distinct style. Discuss the various design choices with a professional to find one that matches your décor.

It is economical – Many homeowners install a cast iron fireplace because it helps them save money. These fireplaces burn wood more efficiently than other wood-burning stoves, significantly reducing heating costs.

Easy to install – A cast iron fireplace installation requires little labor or materials. The process takes only a few hours.

6. Natural stone fireplace

stone fireplace restoration

Natural stone is a great choice for your fireplace surround. Some popular natural stones to restore your fireplace include granite, limestone, marble, quartzite, and slate. 

Natural stone fireplaces provide many benefits.

First, natural stone is durable. The stones are excellent conductors of heat and keep the heat in the firebox long after the fire is extinguished. Most natural stones are scratch-resistant and will not crack because of exposure to extreme heat. 

Secondly, natural stone is low maintenance. To clean a natural stone fireplace, wipe it with a damp cloth. You likely will not need to use cleaning products.

Remember that soot can stain and damage the stones, so you must clean the fireplace every few days, especially during winter (when you use the fireplace daily).

If soot accumulates and causes discoloration, we recommend contacting an experienced chimney sweep to clean and treat the stone.

Thirdly, a stone fireplace is environmentally friendly, containing no dangerous chemicals or toxins. You can easily repurpose or recycle natural stone.

Finally, another benefit of a natural stone fireplace is that it significantly increases the value of your home.

Natural stone usually appears as a unique and pricey decoration material, mainly when also used in other areas of your home, like countertops and bathrooms.

7. Tiled Fireplace

tiled fireplace renovation

Tiles are mainly used in bathrooms and kitchens. Many homeowners don’t realize that they are an excellent option for fireplaces. Here are some reasons you should use tiles for restoration or repairs:

Tiles are attractive – Tiles come in various styles and sizes. It doesn’t matter if you have a modern or classic fireplace; you will always find the right tiles. You can add tiles to the chimney breast or walls to improve your home’s aesthetic appeal.

Tiles are heat resistant – Ceramic tiles can withstand extreme heat. So you never have to worry about them cracking or getting damaged by the heat in the fireplace. This makes tiles a great option if you are looking for long-lasting fireplace restoration materials.

Easy to clean – All you need to do is to wipe the debris and soot away. You do not need any special sealant to protect the tiles.

8. Cast limestone fireplace

rebuild fireplace in a cast limestone style

Cast limestone is another widely used material when renovating fireplaces.

Limestone is typically softer than many other stone materials, so it is easily carved to create a wide array of shapes. Also, limestone comes in various distinct hues.

Limestone is low maintenance because you only need warm water and a soft cloth to remove soot and debris.

It is also heat resistant, meaning the embers from the fireplace will not affect it in any way. Another vital benefit we need to mention is that it is long-lasting. It is scratch and dent-resistant and can last decades if you keep it in excellent condition.

9. Wall-mounted fireplace

Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are quickly becoming a permanent fixture in modern homes. One of the major advantages of installing wall-mounted fireplaces is that they are the best space-saving option.

They come in various sizes and shapes, so you can always find a suitable choice for your home or apartment.

Wall-mounted fireplaces are eco-friendly as they don’t require refueling and do not produce smoke and toxic gases like carbon monoxide.

Another great feature is their realistic flames, which make the units resemble traditional fireplaces. Wall-mounted fireplaces are also easy to install.


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10. Concrete Fireplace

More homeowners choose concrete fireplaces, and it is easy to see why. Concrete fireplaces provide various personalization options. You can customize the size, style (glossy or matte), and shape of the surround and mantel.

A concrete fireplace is low maintenance. You only need a soft cloth, soap, and warm water to eliminate debris and soot with little problem.

This fireplace type is heat-resistant and isn’t easily damaged by elements like moisture. Remember, concrete fireplaces are also resistant to earthquake damage, making them a safer option.

11. Two-Sided Fireplace

two side fireplace renovation

The main benefit of a two-sided fireplace is that it helps spread heat to all areas of your home.

If your fireplace is at one end of the living room, consider building a two-sided fireplace away from the wall.

A two-sided fireplace can be a unique centerpiece in your home, a statement feature that your family and guests will love. It could also significantly boost the value of your property.

12. Plaster Fireplace

plater restored fireplace

Plaster is a popular material for restoring fireplaces. Plaster has been used as a finish in the construction industry for hundreds of years.

Plaster makes fireplace surrounds and mantels more attractive. You can easily find the plaster color that matches your interior design.

Another vital feature is that plaster is non-flammable, meaning the stray embers from the fireplace will not affect it. It also lasts many years, especially if you do proper maintenance.

What are the advantages of a fireplace restoration?

There are many advantages of a fireplace restoration project. Let’s look at them:

  • It makes your fireplace safe – When you restore a fireplace, you fix issues such as cracks, which helps prevent hazards like fires and toxic gases like carbon monoxide from leaking into your home.
  • Improves your home’s visual appeal – You can select from different fireplace styles and sizes to match your interior design. A well-maintained fireplace that has been restored to its former glory not only serves as a focal point in a room but also enhances the overall aesthetic, contributing positively to the lifespan of a fireplace by keeping it in good condition.
  • Increase your home’s resale value – Many potential buyers consider a home with a functional and beautiful fireplace a gem. Fireplace restoration is a surefire way to boost your home’s value.

Does restoring a fireplace require a permit?

In most states, you will require a permit to engage in an extensive fireplace renovation project that involves altering your home’s structure. This is usually when the project involves tearing down a part of the fireplace and building a new one.

However, in many states, you may not need a permit to make minor changes to your fireplace. Check with local authorities to see if your specific project requires a permit.

Does fireplace remodeling qualify for a tax credit?

Fireplace remodeling qualifies for a tax credit in most states because it is a project that raises your home’s value. In most cases, you can only claim the tax credit in the year you sell your house.

For example, if you restored your fireplace in 2019 and sold the house in 2022, you can claim the tax credit in 2022.

Fireplace restoration cost

Fireplace TypeAverage Cost
Marble fireplace$2000-$6000
Exposed brick fireplace$3500 installation. Removing the plaster and exposing the bricks takes less than $200.
German smear brick fireplace$1500-$3500
Lime washed fireplace$1500-$6700
Cast iron fireplace$1200-$3500
Natural stone fireplace$3000-$10000
Tiled fireplace$600-$1200
Cast limestone fireplace$3200-$4500
Wall mounted fireplace$300-$7000
Concrete fireplace$1050-$3780
Two-sided fireplace$2000-$8000
Plaster fireplace$400-$1200


Fireplace restoration keeps your fireplace safe, increases its aesthetic appeal, and boosts your home’s resale value. So, a renovation will be beneficial if your fireplace is old or damaged. A professional chimney sweep can help you properly restore and renovate your fireplace.

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Thomas Green

Thomas has worked in the Chimney & Fireplace field for over 12 years. He is an expert in his trade and loves to help People with their needs. Thomas Write helpful articles so that homeowners can make the most informed decisions about their fireplace and chimney.