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Fireplace Makeover

How to Use Tin Tiles on Fireplaces

Collage of fireplaces with tin tile on them.

As summer winds down and you start thinking about autumn and all things pumpkin spice, it’s also a good time to get your home ready for cold weather.

If this is the year you’re ready to give your fireplace an update, stay tuned! Metal tile on the fireplace surround is a beautiful and vintage addition that will change the look and feel of your hearth and home.

Increase the cozy factor and bump up the elegance with some tin tile on the fireplace. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Metal Tile Frame

A little goes a long way. Such is the case with dramatic, yet elegant tin tile. Use tin tile to create a frame around the fireplace then supplement with other materials. It’s a look that requires little but has a big impact.

The use of white tin tile on the fireplace is classic but you may want to reconsider if you will actually be building a fire (as opposed to a gas or electric fireplace). Building a fire can be dirty work and white may not be the best option.

However, a brushed nickel adds some shine and draws attention without showing every spec of dirt. It will reflect the light from the fire and amplify the effect.

Patchwork Effect

A patchwork quilt uses many different colors and patterns of material to create a unique quilt that sets a style standard all its own. It has moved beyond quilts and has become a favorite motif in interior design.

You can achieve the patchwork effect on your fireplace by selecting different tin tiles to create a custom fireplace surround. You can choose different patterns and stick to the same color, different colors in the same pattern, or mix and match both color and pattern.


Are Tin Tiles Heat Resistant?

Tin tiles are an excellent material to use as a fireplace surround. At American Tin Ceilings, our tin tiles are made of T1 grade steel plated in tin. In testing they achieved an ASTM E 84-03b approval rating.

They are designed to withstand high temperatures for extended periods. The Fire Underwriters Association conducted a study on tin tile and found that when exposed to continuous 1400 degree heat, the tin plating bubbles up but steel lasts over an hour without damage.

Get more information about tin tile and fire safety and watch a video of us testing tin tile in our warehouse.

Fire Resistance


No-Fire Fireplaces

If you have a fireplace in your home but never intend to use it as a fireplace, tin tile can help you turn it into an eye-catching vignette.

The fireplace as an architectural feature is perfectly acceptable. Use tin tile to line the firebox and the surround for a stunning look that speaks for itself. Or use it as a backdrop for additional decor.

Modern Wall Mounted Fireplaces

If you have a more modern fireplace that’s mounted on the wall and has no mantel, tin tile can be an interesting addition.

This more streamlined fireplace can turn the whole wall into a feature. Cover the entire wall with tin tile of any color or pattern. A modern fireplace on the wall becomes the centerpiece and the tin tile the elegant backdrop.

When you choose to cover a wall in tin tile, you have the option of using larger ceiling tiles rather than the smaller backsplash tiles you would have to use on a fireplace surround.


Be Aware of Mounting Materials

If you already watched our fire test video, you noted that the tin tile did not burn, however the wood under the tin tile did start to singe.

What you mount your tin tile on is very important in maintaining fire safety. If you will have a fireplace with actual flame, be sure to follow construction guidelines for constructing the firebox and surround.

A flammable material under the tile is not safe even though it is covered by a fire resistant material. Consult your contractor and local building codes for approved fireplace materials.


Create the fireplace of your dreams with a metal tile surround. Get more ideas for how to use tin tile.

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Posted in: Inspiration