Update a Marble Fireplace

Beth Asaff
Marble Fireplace Surround

Update a marble fireplace in your living room, family room or bedroom and give the entire room a face lift.

Traditional Marble Fireplaces

Marble fireplace surrounds carved out of a single piece of stone are one of the most common fireplace surrounds today. Marble has a beauty and elegance that can't be matched by exposed brick or fieldstone, which has made it a popular surround in many higher end homes.

Today's fireplace, however, is more than just the center of the room; it's the center of the room's design. So while a heavy, marble fireplace surround can be beautiful and elegant, it may also clash with the room's décor, or with your personal style. If you are looking to update a room's style, you may also want to update a marble fireplace in the room to create a cohesive design.

Update a Marble Fireplace for Today

If you love the natural beauty, elegance and polish of your marble fireplace surround, but the color or ornate style isn't working with the rest of your home, there are ways to create a new marble fireplace surround out of tile that can enhance any look.

Modern Home Designs

If your style is more modern than traditional, consider replacing a one-piece marble surround with marble mosaics. Polished mosaics each catch the light individually, which can give the surround a sparkling effect when the firebox is in use. Nearly every marble from classic, black Nero Marquis to wild and veined Breccia Pernice is available in mosaic sheets that can complement a modern design.

Understated Home Design

If you are looking for a classic fireplace surround that will fade into the background of the room, why not consider honed marble in a subway tile? Honing gives marble a flat, smooth appearance that shows off the veins and colors without a lot of flash. Subway tiles can help give the marble that classic brick look that works so well on fireplace surrounds, but with the added beauty that only marble can give.

Rustic Home Design

If refacing your fireplace surround in field stone is a little too rustic for your tastes, but your home is in a rustic or wooded setting, consider tumbled marble for your fireplace surround. Marble tiles are tumbled by placing them into a drum with pieces of rock and chunks of cement and tumbling them until the edges and face of the tiles are worn. The stone's natural fissures, pores and veins become emphasized, while the color of the stone fades to a quieter look. Tumbled marble is available in sizes from 5/8-inch mosaic up to 16-inch square tiles, and in nearly every color as well, so you'll be certain to find a size and color that suits your taste.

Classic Contemporary Design

If you love polished marble, but a heavy surround is too ornate for your tastes, try tiling your surround in 12-inch polished marble tiles. Look for unusual stones with unique veins or colors, such as Oasis Blue, Sahara Gold or Green Fantasia to give the surround a contemporary look while the classic size and finish of the tiles keeps the design grounded.


The fireplace is often the center and focal point of a room's design. Consider updating an old marble fireplace to make sure that the focus remains cohesive to the rest of the room, and isn't a jarring contrast. For more fireplace inspirations, check out these fireplace photos and help give your room's design a whole new look.

Update a Marble Fireplace