Fireplace Surround~ The Stockings Were Hung...

  We were so busy enjoying the holiday season that I forgot to share the fireplace surround.  I finished it just in time to decorate for Christmas (I was so excited because all  of the stockings fit across the fireplace).
We had a plan in mind and a picture we both liked, believe it or not.  I agreed to the T.V. above the fireplace,  but didn't want it to stick out any further than the wall.   So the upper portion has a recessed "box" for the mounting bracket and cords, making it flush with the "wall" once it is mounted.
After the insert was installed and the frame and dry wall went up, (no, I did not do any of that) it was time to start on the surround.  I shared the idea photo and the first steps in this  previous post

Here's the rest...

First, I cut 1 X 3's to the length I needed in order to create the design for the surround.  I used liquid nails and real nails to attach them all the way around.  I used a 1 X 6 board for the base of the surround, just to visually anchor it to the hearth a bit.
  This couldn't have been easier, they were all straight cuts and I used a saw and miter box.  You don't even need electricity for this job, people.




The mantle is a 1 X 12 board that I cut to the length of the entire box,  along with a few inches of overhang to allow for the crown molding that would be added underneath.  
I "liquid nailed" that on and used weights to secure it until it bonded.   




Now as for the tile,  I don't own a wet saw or even tile nippers.  I knew I wanted a small area of tile around the box- just 6 inches.  After a ton of what-if's, we chose a less-than-favorite, but oh-so-simple solution.   I found tile sheets at a local store that  were 12x12  and consisted of square and rectangular tiles, so that meant no cutting...at all!  I don't know how I lucked out on this, but even the length across the top fit perfectly without any cuts.  


I used this easy, premixed adhesive and grout.   




Here it is half grouted and half not.  



The hearth is a few tiles- that were cut by a very kind worker at a store where we didn't even buy them.  I cut back the carpet, installed cement board, and then the tile. 


 After a coat of paint.. .


...and in the process of decorating 
(yes there are cords and crap everywhere in this picture)  I still have a lot to finish, but I quit there to enjoy Christmas and I'll finish the upper portion later.  


and it was good enough for Santa.