If your fireplace surround is looking a little old or is just plain drab, adding a new tile surround can give it a fresh, brand-new look. The surround is the decorative part of the fireplace around the actual opening where the fire burns. You can decorate fireplace surrounds with a many different heat-resistant materials, from tile to brick.
If the room your fireplace is in is painted in neutral tones or you just like natural decorative elements, go natural by using slate or other natural stone tile on your fireplace surround. Natural stones come in a variety of colors from gray to tan. You can also mix colors or break up natural tiles into free-form shards to create a natural-looking stone tile mosaic for your fireplace surround.
If you like vintage looks or your house is older, add a bit of history to your home by using a historic tile or tile design to create your tile fireplace surround. Available in a wide range of designs and colors, historic tiles are usually square and often feature rather elaborate designs. You can purchase historic reproduction tiles from specialty historic tile shops online, but you may be able to find them at your local home improvement store, depending on where you live. For a true bit of history, search out a local reclaimed or reused building material store to see if they have any historic fireplace tiles on hand.
Make your fireplace the room's focal point by using a bold, colored tile on the surround. Use red, yellow or bright blue to draw the eye to its surface, or make a high-contrast effect by pairing a white tile with a dark mantel or a black tile with a white mantel. For a creative look, try mixing and matching colors to create a tile surround with a range of related colors.