Contemporary Fireplace Tile Ideas

Posted on Apr 15, 2022
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Castle Brick Grey Porcelain Tile Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile
Featured Image: Castle Brick Grey Porcelain Tile Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile

Whether you’re hosting for the holidays or enjoying a quite romantic evening, having a fireplace can make your space feel warm and inviting. If you would like to improve the look of your fireplace or are thinking of having one installed in your modern space, there are several things to consider. First, there are many types of fireplaces, each with unique features. Also, with so many tile and stone options available, it’s a good idea to analyze what works best for you and your design. Read on to learn about some contemporary fireplace tile ideas for your home.

Popular Contemporary Fireplaces

Let’s look at the four main types of fireplaces. Each one allows for different tile options based on how you want to use the fireplace and where it’s located in your living space.

Negro Marquina Black Marble Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile
Image: Negro Marquina Black Marble Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile

Wood-burning Fireplaces

More traditional wood-burning fireplaces have found a place in modern design by incorporating the right style elements. The open-hearth style of the fireplace offers options for stone or tile on both the fireplace surround as well as the buildout above it. A dark marble-like Negro Marquina makes an excellent choice for your design if you would like to contrast it with a lighter-colored overmantel.

This is the most expensive option if you don’t already have one in your home, as it takes a lot of construction to properly build one. Because of this, most people will pass on this type of fireplace unless their home was constructed with one from the start.

Four-sided Fireplaces

If you’re looking to add a sophisticated look to your space, a four-sided fireplace is an excellent choice. The multiple viewpoints allow you to enjoy the warmth from all angles. While the views are great, there is not as much opportunity for tiling beyond the base of the piece. For a modern design aesthetic, we recommend a natural stone base like River White granite.

Glass Fireplaces

A glass fireplace is an efficient way to showcase the fire in your home, as it provides safety and offers an unobstructed view of the flames. They can be used with gas, coal, pellet, and wood-burning options. Although the more modern open fireplaces tend to use gas logs or decorative gas inserts. There are many design options as well. Some fireplaces are low profile, while some are beautiful feature pieces within the room, which allow you to incorporate beautiful tile and stone selections into the space.

Classic Limestone Combed Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile
Image: Classic Limestone Combed Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile

Gas Fireplaces

Homeowners looking for a clean and traditional look tend to choose a gas fireplace. Often lit with a wall switch or remote control, either tile or stone would work well with this option. Classic Limestone is a great contemporary tile choice and can be used with a darker color floor to help create contrast between the spaces.

Tile & Stone Options for Your Fireplace 

There are several tile and stone options to help accentuate your contemporary fireplace design. Selecting the correct product ensures safety and peace of mind. To get the most benefit from your investment, it’s important to choose something that reacts well with heat and in the case of wood-burning fireplaces, can be easily cleaned of any soot or debris.  Always check the recommended uses to be sure your product selection can withstand the harsh temperatures of a fireplace. Keeping all of this in mind, here are the types of tile and stone we recommend using in your fireplace design.

Pietra Italia Beige 12 x 24 Porcelain Tile Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile
Image: Pietra Italia Beige 12 x 24 Porcelain Tile Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile


Porcelain is one of the most versatile tile options available on the market. It can withstand a high amount of heat providing the level of resistance needed for a fireplace surround. We recommend a large-format porcelain tile like our Pietra Italia available in beige, black, grey, and white. For a more traditional look, consider Castle Brick porcelain.


Limestone is another popular choice for your fireplace surround as it is resilient when exposed to high temperatures. While traditional brick is often the mainstay, limestone is a more contemporary replacement. Its muted coloring offers more versatility as a backdrop to other design elements in the space.

Taj Mahal Polished Quartzite Stone Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile
Image: Taj Mahal Polished Quartzite Stone Fireplace Surround from Arizona Tile


Quartzite is a superior option for a fireplace because of its durability and heat resistance. The beautiful veining in quartzite stone mimics the free-flowing look of the flames. As a fireplace surround stone, the design of quartzite such as our Taj Mahal adds a cohesiveness to the space. Quartzite is quite easy to maintain when properly sealed if you are considering it as an accent for a fireplace.


The timeless beauty of marble allows you many options for your fireplace design.  Available in a wide array of colors and patterns, it is heat resistant and easy to maintain when properly sealed. It makes a wonderful choice for any contemporary fireplace design.


Granite would make an excellent choice for a modern fireplace. Due to its mineral composition and the conditions in which it was formed, it is one of the hardest and most durable surfaces available. It is heat resistant and when properly sealed, it is simple to care for and maintain.

Granite is available in a surprising array of colors with varied movement and veining within slabs, giving you an almost endless palette to choose from for your design. As a product of nature, every piece is one-of-a-kind, so know that your fireplace will be unique and the feature piece of the room.


No matter what tile or stone you choose for your modern fireplace design, Arizona Tile has you covered. Please contact us or visit us in person at one of our many locations and one of our experienced tile experts can help guide you through the process. Do you want to stay in instead? Our Just Imagine tile visualizer tool will help you to envision which products will work best in your space without leaving the comfort of home. Or take a look at our Online Slab Yard, which lets you find the piece you need at the location nearest you.

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