Do you guys know how to grout and tile? …… ‘Cause I don’t. I’ve found it a bit intimidating and can’t bring myself to jump in and try it yet! But we have two gas fireplace inserts in our house that were just begging for some tile surround. What’s a girl to do? You guys, I’ve found a ‘cheater’ way to get the awesome look of tile without having to mud, grout, and try to cut tiles. Isn’t that awesome? I recently discovered Smart Tiles and they are SO easy to use!
*I was given free product for this post, but have otherwise received no compensation. All ideas, opinions, and content are my own! For my full disclosure policy, click here. *
Here’s a before of what our two fireplaces looked like. We have one in our master bedroom in the other in the family room.
Our master bedroom fireplace had green tile surround, which was fine, but nothing in my house is green. Plus it looks a little dated and stuck out like a sore thumb in my all white/black bedroom! For the living room, nothing was surrounding the fireplace but paint, which sort of made it look like it was an afterthought and wasn’t really anchored in the space. Enter Smart Tiles!
You can find Smart Tiles through either Home Depot or Wayfair.com and there are so many great color options and styles! We decided to go with a style called “Bellagio Marmo” which is beautiful whites and marbled grays – there are a few slightly sparkly ones in the mix as well! We thought it was the perfect neutral for both our spaces and it’s great that it will go with all sorts of decor. You can’t go wrong with the classic look of white + marble!
Now, these aren’t ‘real’ tiles – they are a super smooth and sturdy sort of rubber material that mimics the look of real tile. But it’s definitely convincing! And because it isn’t real stone, it’s super easy to cut down to size! Here’s what you need when installing Smart Tiles:
A cutting mat, an exacto knife, and a ruler – that’s it! Super easy peasy. Smart Tiles has a page with handy dandy video tutorials and a pdf instruction booklet so I think it’s easier for them to explain it than me! But basically all you do is measure, cut, peel, and stick! It’s that simple!
I didn’t really get any pictures of the installation process because I did this when I was home alone and it’s a bit difficult to try to peel and stick something perfectly straight when you are holding a camera! But the videos on Smart Tiles are more than enough to get you on the right track! These tiles are very repositionable and forgiving while you are installing them, but are more than secure once you get them in place and press down firmly. These are a great option for renters (or non-tilers like me) because they are easy to install and also easy to remove with no damage to your walls.
Without further ado, here are how the tiles look on both of my fireplaces! I’m pretty excited with the results!! The master bedroom is up first:
Doesn’t it look so fantastic in our bedroom? I love how it instantly brightens the space and blends so nicely with the walls. No more sore thumb green! The Smart Tiles have helped to say “classy, sophisticated, and timeless” instead of ” gaudy 80’s glamor shots.” 😉 Our bedroom just feels so much more open and airy now!
Here are the tiles as seen in our family room – it’s another winner!
The fireplace feels truly anchored now and like it is meant to be apart of the space. It’s even better in person! The tiles definitely add a more finished and sophisticated feeling to our living room. Even though my husband knows that they are fake tiles, he keeps telling me how real they look! If you look super closely you can sort of see where I lined up each tile piece, but I doubt my guests will be pressing their noses against the fireplace 😉 Now it’s time to get rid of the baby blue paint in that room so make it feel even more fresh and classy!
Let’s take one more look at the before’s and afters, shall we? 🙂
Ahh, much better, don’t you think? So if you’re looking for a quick and easy (or temporary) way to tile something, consider checking out Smart Tiles! They aren’t waterproof, so they aren’t good for showers, but they do make excellent backsplashes for kitchens, bathrooms, and around fireplaces! All in all we used about 20 tiles total for both projects combined. They do have a handy calculator on their site so you can figure out how many you need. This was a super easy project and I would gladly do it again! We are just slowly switching up things in our home to make them more our style while on a budget and this ’tiling’ option definitely fit the bill!
What’s your favorite finish/style of Smart Tiles?