Fireplace hearth tile - need tile contractor

The hearth tile on the floor in front of our bedroom fireplace was damaged from chimney work we had done, as was the wall above the fireplace so they could gain access. We just had our bedroom repainted, and we asked the painter to paint the hearth tiles, but now I hate it even more than just the chipped tile. They used oil paint, and even though it's technically dry, it's so glossy that it still looks wet, and if you step on it, it leaves marks from your feet/shoes. Even worse is that the paint covers the grout, so it looks like a giant mass of shiny color - more like nail polish than a typical matte ceramic tile finish.

If I had realized how bad this would end up looking, and how unfunctional having a painted tile floor would be, I would have just touched up the chipped tiles with a bit of flat wall paint and called it good enough. Unfortunately, it's too late.

So now I'm thinking that we should just have the area re-tiled, but I want something similar to what we had - a basic matte brick red tile - and I don't know where to buy the tiles or who to call to do the work. Do we need special "hearth" tiles, or will any ceramic tile work?

The tiles we currently have look(ed) something like this (this picture is not from our house):

Go check out the folks at Standard Tile on Rt 10. They are very knowledgeable. A bit gruff but they know their stuff. Tell them we sent you. Maybe give a call first to make sure they have what you want. 973.884.4933. Sam and Dave are the best.

Jasco has that too. You can get basic quarry tile, 4x4 or 6x6. They may even have some in stock.

Thanks, honeydo and shh. I'll check them out. What about someone to actually do the work? I'm not sure I'm inclined to do it myself, even though it is a very small job.

The other possibility is that we have a bathroom that needs work, and maybe if I get started on that project, I can fold the hearth tiling in with the bigger job.

Jasper - if you have ever wanted to try a DIY - then this hearth tile would be the place. You can either pick up pointers on DIY sites or give me a call. I'd be happy to meet with you and give you pointers. Honey Do List 973.763.4726. Sherri

Thanks so much, Sherri. Let me talk to my husband, and have a look at some tiles first, and then I'll get back to you when I'm ready to tackle it.

Hi Jasper - I have been meaning to tackle the same project in my living room, so take good notes! One fireplace guy told me putting in a large stone was the "in" thing for fireplaces these days. I am going to go to Wayne Tile.

Hi hauscat. I kind of liked the somewhat rustic look of the tiles that I had, and I've worked that red color into the room in other ways, so I'd like to stick with that look if I can replicate it with new tiles. I'll let you know if I make any forward progress on it. I tend to be a procrastinator with these things - we've been about to redo the bathroom for well over a year now.

Our living room fireplace has those same red tiles and I'm looking to replace them too... report back when you pick something out! I was thinking large black granite tile for ours but I'm a terrible home decorator and hate to make a mistake on something like that.

We have those same hearth tiles there and in our entryway. What is the deal with them? They seem to be ubiquitous in our area. I've never liked them but am not sure what to exchange them with.

And why ARE the guys at Standard Tile on Rte. 10 so unpleasant? I would only go back there if I absolutely had to. And Jasco is just so gross I hate going there too. Anyone have a great tile place to recommend?

We had the red tiles in our front entryway as well, and when we needed to do repair work on that space, I couldn't find something similar to replace them with at that time and ended up going with something completely different. I think I had gone to Standard Tile then, and don't recall anyone being unpleasant, but I also remember thinking that there weren't as many choices as I would have liked. I'll report back when I go tile hunting and let you know what I found where.

Yes, I have the red tiles on the hearth as well and they are cracked and blackened. I am thinking of replacing them with brown subway tiles and then using different smaller tiles with a mix of earth colors around the surround. Just need to get moving on it....

If you Google tile and hearth tile, you will get many web pages to choose from and there is a wholesaler in Newark NJ on McCarther Highway AKA NJ RT 21. It's easy to get to and they are many choices, including kitchen and bath tiles and designs. Good luck with your replacements and repairs, everyone. Please post pix before during and after, if you get some time to do so. I'd love to see them. : )

world of tile on rt 22 carries vintage and reclaimed tiles. I sold them some tiles a while back. I am not sure if they have the terra cotta tile, but worth calling them. Home Depot actually has some nice 4x4 tumbled slate that I was looking at for my hearth. For new tile, Short Hills tile on Morris Ave is also a nice place to shop, they have a lot of unique tiles and can help you with pattern.

Thanks, critterlover and jpickett. It looks like I've got my work cut out for me just to choose the tile, but at least I have a number of options.

critterlover, do you mean this place?

A lot of the tile in older Maplewood houses came from the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, a national historic landmark in Doylestown, where you can still see artists molding tiles by hand. (Totally worth the trip:

They sell tiles that would probably match yours, as well as gorgeous mosaics. I recall that a MOL poster bought hearth tiles there and "aged" them with used motor oil.

Thanks, j r! I vaguely recall hearing about that place some time ago, but completely forgot and have never been. I'd definitely be interested in checking it out, especially if I can't find what I want locally.

I found the folks at Berkely Tile to be the most helpful several years ago when we were redoing 2 baths and the kitchen.

The Short Hills tile store seemed more expensive and will add shipping charges to your order, but do have some gorgeous high end stuff. Standard Tile, yes, difficult personalities to deal with, but their displays are useful for visualizing (hubster really liked that part).

Did anyone mention eBay. There is a lot of antique tile.

The tiles surrounding our fireplace are rather bland and I would like to replace them. I love the several tiles imbedded in the wall of our Maplewood room. They are Motawi tiles--gorgeous art & craft tiles. It looks like they are no longer featuring our tiles of sail ships.

I went to Standard Tile today. They didn't have much to choose from that looked similar to my current hearth tile - the only thing I saw that was close was the Mayflower Red in the Quarry Basics or the Commercial Red in the Quarry Basics (in the sample I saw of the Commercial Red, the specks were less prominent and looked blue/black, not red):

However, in looking at this website, I think I might like the Somerset tile in Galaxy, so I will call Standard Tile next week to see if they have a sample for me to look at.

Then I looked at bathroom tile, and quite liked one marble sample for the floor until I learned that it was about $86 a square foot. After that, the other marble sample I liked seemed a veritable bargain at about $18 a square foot. We have roughly 40 square feet to cover. But the store was closing and I need to think about what I want to do and how much I'm willing to spend before I make any decision there.

Next up is to find someone to do the bathroom. I'm not looking forward to that.

Okay, back to the hearth tile situation. I need a tile person to come and give me an estimate for removing the old tile and installing the new, and also to advise about layout.

I've selected the variety of tiles I want - a mixture of the Galaxy and Harvard Square colorways in this group: By the way, this company will send sample tiles for free, and it was really helpful to see these in my room. I was sure the Galaxy was the right color based on the website photos, so they sent me 4 of those (they vary in color) as well as a colorboard showing samples of all the colorways in the group, but when they came, they were much browner than I thought, so they then sent me a set of 4 Harvard Square, which I realized was closer to what I was looking for. Then I decided that they look nice mixed.

However, because the old tiles were 5" square, and these tiles only come in 6" square or 4"x8", they don't fit in the outer wood-molding border without having short pieces somewhere, and I want to minimize the look of a whole row of odd pieces, so I'm leaning towards a staggered brick-like layout, but need advice before I order as to whether it would look better with the squares or the rectangles. The tiles we have now are squares, and I think I prefer them so that they're somewhat different than the brickwork of the fireplace itself.

Can anyone recommend a good tiling contractor?

You might want to look @ ebay for some tile from the period of your house. There is a lot of it there.

Thanks, BabFab, I took a look last night, but mostly found the various Spanish tiles, which I like, but am afraid will be too busy for our bedroom. And without being able to see the actual colors, it's a bit of a risk.

So, nobody has a contractor to recommend?

Tenecia's husband does nice work, maybe send her a PM. She has some pictures of a fireplace he did recently.

Check with Mario from Mario's Painting. You can see some fireplace work they did on their website.

Thanks for the recommendations for tiling contractors. I haven't called yet, because I was still on the fence about the tile - trying to fit 6x6 tiles in a small fixed space that previously had 5x5 tiles just wasn't working for me.

Then, as luck would have it, when I was over at Short Hills Tile for a second time this past weekend, I happened to notice some 5x5 tiles they had in another room I hadn't been in the previous time. These are from a custom tile maker (Ken Mason Tile) in California, and they had a color called Beeswax that Mr. Jasper and I both really liked. We agreed that it would play nicely off the wall color in our room, and work better with the blue paint on the fireplace brick than the dark red color that was there previously and that we were attempting to mimic.

So they're ordering us a couple of samples in two different finishes, and then we'll decide. The one that they had was on a rustic bisque clay body that felt a bit like unglazed clay, so I'm hoping that this other finish, appropriately named "Cal smooth", will be just a bit smoother but still show the color the same way. When we get the samples, I'll try to take a picture and post.

Finally tiled the fireplace!

Wow, hauscat, how'd you manage to dig this thread up? Clearly I forgot about it entirely, as I never did post our "after photo". If I think of it, I'll do it when I get home.

Looks very clean, though I kind of miss that rustic red tile look in our bedroom, and the newly laid tile ended up being slightly more sloped than it had been before, so the screen, which just rests on the floor, wants to tip over. I solved the problem somewhat ingeniously (if I do say so myself) after watching a video of clever uses for those black binder clips. I'll take a close-up shot of that and post here.

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