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?
Wow, what a huge difference! I’ve never even heard of this product, but it sounds amazing! Your fireplaces look completely different and you wouldn’t even know it wasn’t real tile. Love!
Thanks so much, Katie! I’m definitely happy with how things turned out! I really like how real they look! 🙂
Holy smokes! What an incredible transformation! I’ve never heard of these smart tiles before – definitely going to have to check them out!
Thanks so much, Kristi! They really are a pretty neat option for people who don’t know how to tile like me! And they are a Canadian company so if you were looking to use them I know they would love to work with you!
I love this! Have you tested it to remove? I am a renter and would love to try it – but the reviews on Wayfair.com don’t mention anyone trying to remove it or mention that it’s removable. Thanks! Bonus that the white subway tiles are half off right now on Wayfair so I need to decide where all i need to tile 😉
So far it seems to come up really easily! I’ve tested peeling it up and it seems to come up just fine. Smart Tile’s website advertises it as removable and an ideal solution for renters so I think it would work really well for you! I’d love to see pictures once you get the project finished 🙂
Looks great and so much brighter! Thank you for sharing at Pin Worthy Wednesday!
Thank you so much! We definitely love how it lightens and modernizes the spaces 🙂
I am just amazed by your creation. How can you think like this :). I will definitely try this.
I used these tiles in the brown tones as a backsplash in my kitchen. Everyone thinks it’s glass tile. They look great! You’re supposed to be able to remove them by heating them with a hair dryer. I rent so I had to use something that would be temporary.
That’s so great, Merrie! I bet they look fantastic in your kitchen 🙂 I was so pleasantly surprised with how real the tiles looked! Thanks for the hairdryer tip, too 🙂 So glad that smart tiles worked out for your rental!
Nice job! I used the Bellagio tiles as well (different colour) to do my kitchen and now I’m wondering if I should tackle the fireplace surround as well… Hubby would probably kill me…he says “no more projects!” – hahaha!
Oh awesome! I just love the style of the Bellagio tiles 🙂 And doooo ittt!! Haha I just did our fireplaces in an afternoon when my hubby wasn’t home 🙂 He loves it!
Hi! Have you turned on the fireplace? Since they supposed to be removal using heat I was wondering if it effect the tiles at all? It looks great and want to do something similar with mine too.Thanks!
Thanks for your comment! Yes, we have used the fireplaces since and there have been no problems! They are far enough away from the heat that it doesn’t affect them at all. You should definitely use these on your fireplace! 🙂
Hi Erica,I’m wondering of you applied these directly on the the previous tile or did you remove them?
Hi Jodie – I just placed these directly over the top of the existing tile! They stuck really well and it was a snap to totally change the look with barely any effort 🙂
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