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Old 04-11-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
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Stone Tile Over Brick Fireplace - Did I Make a Mistake?


I'm in the process of tiling over our old brick fireplace, and I want to make sure I have it level enough before I actually put the tile on. The fireplace was made out of reclaimed bricks, which had corners broken, and the mortar joints were uneven, basically filling in the spots where the brick was missing.

I read somewhere that I should skim coat over the bricks first, to help fill in the gaps. I didn't think thinset would fill in the holes enough, so I did this using brick mortar ... maybe about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, depending on what it had to fill in.

I'm concerned the resulting surface is not level enough now. It rises and falls, at least 1/4 inch in spots.

Can thinset fill in these gaps? If so, should I do a coat of it first, let it dry & then tile, or just try to back-butter & use enough thinset while applying the tile? Or should I just cover the whole thing with cement board?

The tile on the vertical face is a subway layout, in 12x12 mesh sheets. Hoping this will help conceal any unevenness I can't get rid of.

I'd greatly appreciate any advice.

PHOTOS: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...36662331483969


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Old 04-11-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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Stone Tile Over Brick Fireplace - Did I Make a Mistake?


Here are some "before" and "during" photos. You can see the underlying brick that I reshaped & covered. I guess maybe the real question is, how level does the face need to be, and any tips on how to get it there?
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:03 AM   #3
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Stone Tile Over Brick Fireplace - Did I Make a Mistake?


4' straight edge to align mtl & scrape down the high spots,,, you'll also need a 4' level for vert checking,,, for depth, we always sight by eye &/or use tape measures,,, be interesting to see if your patchwork ' holds ' w/o using mechanical attachment ( expanded wire mesh ) we certainly do that 1st & also think other pro's would do the same,,, we'd have used polymer-modified cementitious o'lay mtl probably reinforced w/fiber ( chopp'd f/g, polypropylene, or polyester ),,, we have done this work previously
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if you hear it from a guy in the apron store, be VERY suspicious the mtl/method will work,,, when it time to build something together, they won't answer phones NOR help

Last edited by itsreallyconc; 04-13-2013 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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Stone Tile Over Brick Fireplace - Did I Make a Mistake?


Thanks. Still learning how hard it is to get concrete really level. I was thinking I'd try gently scraping with my brick chisel first. It knocks down the mortar pretty quickly. Have an angle grinder but hoping to avoid the dust.

I hope the face holds, too. The tile is travertine ... pretty pricey. It seems really stable now. Next time I'll ask the forum before I act.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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Stone Tile Over Brick Fireplace - Did I Make a Mistake?


today's episode of ' this old house ' included a mason covering an existing f/p which may be applicable to your project

acting before knowing how/why/when/where/who is for men doing it over the right way is for fewer men we don't need no steenking durekshuns
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if you hear it from a guy in the apron store, be VERY suspicious the mtl/method will work,,, when it time to build something together, they won't answer phones NOR help
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