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Old 11-03-2009, 10:17 AM   #1
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OK to tile over vent/gaps on brick fireplace?


I've started renovating my masonry fireplace. I've removed the raised hearth and will be tiling the hearth flush with hardwood floor. I will tile 12" surrounding the firebox and build a wood surround and mantle to encase the brick.

I cannot figure out what these gaps were intended for and when I've had others look at them they can't either. The only time I've seen this there has been a fan apparatus that would blow hot air out of the vents into the room. In my fireplace there is no apparatus at all - doesn't look like there ever was as it is original to the home (1957). There is cool air that I can feel when I hold my hand against the gaps. I'm assuming this is air that is coming down the chimney?? Not a good thing as far as the heat bill is concerned When I have a fire going there isn't hot air coming out of these vents, but there isn't cold air coming out either. I don't see them serving any purpose at all. Maybe it was an masonry experiment back in 1957.

Here's my question: Can I tile over these vents/gaps without filling the gaps first? Oh, just thought... if there is a gap how would the grout workout? Maybe not, huh? So.. if I need to fill in the 1/2" wide gaps any suggestions of what to use for filler?? Gorilla Glue strips of cement board into the gaps? Anything different to use? I don't deal with masonry stuff much so somewhat clueless to available/proper product to use. I am intending to tile right over the brick after first doing a scratch coat to make certain the face of the fireplace is plumb before tiling.


I don't like the gaps and don't want to have them in my fireplace design if I can avoid it. Thanks for your input!!
Rox
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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OK to tile over vent/gaps on brick fireplace?


those vents are there to help with the efficiency of the fireplace. when you have a fire, the whole brick surround heats up and acts like a heatsink. since heat rises, the openings on the bottom will draw in cool air and as it warms up, it will come out the top vents into the room. Covering them up will defeat this feature, but isn't a big deal if you don't use the fireplace much.

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Old 11-03-2009, 12:49 PM   #3
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OK to tile over vent/gaps on brick fireplace?


those vents are there to help with the efficiency of the fireplace. when you have a fire, the whole brick surround heats up and acts like a heatsink. since heat rises, the openings on the bottom will draw in cool air and as it warms up, it will come out the top vents into the room. Covering them up will defeat this feature, but isn't a big deal if you don't use the fireplace much.

I had considered that theory however no WARM air comes out of the top vents. The only thing that does happen is there is no COLD air coming out. I can't believe it was thought to add efficiency. I will use my fireplace more once the room is completed, maybe once a week I'm guessing.

Is the cold air coming from the chimney?

Will blocking these vents create any problems? I'm guessing it won't. Most all of the masonry fireplaces I've seen do not have these vents and they function fine.

I just got back from Lowe's - picked up some Quickrete Mortar Repair Caulk. They suggested using this. I will wait to do anything until I hear more from those of you who know better than me.

Here's how my visit to Lowe's started - the 1st guy told me I "needed to remove all the brick from my (masonry) fireplace - you NEVER tile over brick, EVER!" Needless to say, I walked away.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:35 PM   #4
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OK to tile over vent/gaps on brick fireplace?


did you ever cover those gaps? i have the same exact 4 areas in my brickwall fireplace and i want to close them. for me, cold air comes through them and smoke comes out of them when i burn the fireplace.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:48 AM   #5
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OK to tile over vent/gaps on brick fireplace?


Yep, sure did!

I posted several photos as well as a thread "Fireplace Renovations so far"

http://www.diychatroom.com/members/r...n/2558-slide4/

This grout worked out super.
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