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rocketdoctor 11-24-2009 12:26 PM

prepping a fireplace surround for tile
I have a directvent fireplace installed in surround that's currently constructed out of 2X4's I was wondering whats the best way to prep this for tile. Since the fireplace extends about 5/8ths from the 2x4s I was thinking of using 1/4 cement board? If I use this do I tape the seams? Anybody have good suggestions for webs sites for installing backing and tile?

Termite 11-25-2009 11:27 PM

I'd suggest 1/2" backerboard. 1/4" is only for floors unless there's a plywood substrate on the wall you can screw it to. Taping the seams with fiberglass backerboard tape and mudding with thinset is good practice to prevent cracking at seams.

Check out the Tile Council of North America's website. You can download their tile installation guidelines as I recall, and it is very informative.

ralphfravel 11-26-2009 09:29 AM

Thekctermite is right on. I used a stone product from Natural Stone Veneer International ( for my fireplace and the backer was 1/2" Durock cement board fastened to the framing with Durock screws. All joints were taped and covered with the same thinset mortar used to adhere the stone to the Durock. Complete instructions can be found at
Follow the instructions for interior installations. Good luck with your project.

rocketdoctor 11-30-2009 10:53 PM

thanks for the info, I'll need to use 1/4 inch board to keep the tile from extending too much past the fireplace. I'll put a few more studs in the surround framing to support it good. thanks for the tiling guides.

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