Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: I have a large painted brick fireplace that we want to resurface with real river rock or something similar. My husband and I are not interested in veneer or ledge panels. Will the mortar be strong enough to hold the stones? Do we need to use a special mortar or is an additive […]

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DEAR TIM: My wife and I wanted to remodel the dated fireplace in our living room. We recently put down hardwood floor around a raised brick hearth. I’ve since removed the raised hearth and we’re putting down ceramic tile. The trouble is there’s now a recess in the floor where the hearth was and how […]

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Julie has a nice home in Quebec, Canada. But she's got a problem with some sloppy mortar around her metal fireplace. Here's what she has to say: "We have a fire place with stones all around, I am trying to find the best option to hide the cement on the fireplace. I find it really ugly and […]

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Tom Grote, who lives in Ivoryton, CT, has an unpleasant experience when he starts a fire in his fireplace. It's not a smoking issue, it's a sewer smell. Read what he sent me: "I live in a two-story colonial with a bathroom and fireplace on the first floor. Every time I have a fire in the […]

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David Roll lives in a very new home in Battle Ground, WA that had a water line MELT and caused a flood. You'll not believe Dave's story. Here it is unedited: "Hi Tim.  I am in a brand new home for 1.25 yrs.  House flooded this past weekend, significant damage. Plumber cut open wall to find […]

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Quick Column Summary: Problems with new house construction Correcting an off-center window Wood-burning stove exhaust stack not properly installed Checking to see if the contractor is on the run DEAR TIM: I'm having a house built and I've got some problems. It's still in the rough stage with just the rough framing pretty much complete […]

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Quick Column Summary: How to remove adhesive/thinset from brick fireplace Try adhesive removers Thinset must be chiseled off Danielle Torkensen is a new homeowner in Bloomington, California. She inherited a mess where the previous homeowner, well let her tell you: "I am a recent new homeowner & the previous owners messed up our brick fireplace.  […]

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A fireplace restoration can be a major project. Converting from a natural stone fireplace to a wood surround requires a lot of resources and skills. You will need to visit the local building department to check on current building codes for fireplaces.

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Installing ceramic fireplaces tiles to mimic a vintage tile look can take some research. You will have to visit specialty tile stores to find the right fireplace ceramic tiles for achieve your desired look. But your work will pay off with great looking vintage fireplace tiles.

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There are lots of wood burning fireplace accessories to pick for your fireplaces. Fireplace tools come in a variety of materials and finishes. Quality should be a major consideration when selecting the proper wood fireplace accessories.

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