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VinceA 01-01-2011 11:00 PM

Refacing a Fireplace
4 Attachment(s)

I am currently in the process of remodeling my family room. We are taking down all of the textured drywall and replacing it. We were planning on keeping the fireplace but the more I look into it it seems that it might not be very difficult to reface it and my wife would really like if we did. I posted a few pictures. I would like to take down the stone, and build a new fireplace with tiles, like this.

I feel that I can do this my removing all of the stone, I believe that behind the stone is a plywood wall but I won't know for sure until I take it off. My question here is would I be able to do this without having to do anything special to the fireplace? I would like to take down all of the stone. Build the new tile onto the existing plywood, and then put drywall up on the top half. Would doing it this way be OK?

Here are some pictures attatched.

starkenwolf 01-02-2011 03:36 AM

Yep, we do it all the time replacing with granite. From the photos, the stones appear to be "real"...meaning full size and not a veneer. In that case you would need to be aware that the depth of the plywood is at the back of the stones, meaning that if you want the final product (drywall and tile) to be on the same plane as existing, you may end up having to fur the wall out some before installing the drywall.....that being the case, you would want to fur the wall, plywood the entire wall, then put on your finishes, otherwise, your tile and drywall will not plane (tile would stick out 3/4" more than the wall tiles done to chair rail height in bathrooms does)...not a big deal, but wanted to point it out.

Good luck!

jomama45 01-02-2011 09:25 AM

That IS certainly a thin veneer, culture stone actually. You can see the galvanized diamond mesh in the last picture. I would plan on the total thickness of the existing to range between 1 1/4" to 1 3/4", including the lath & scratchcoat. This isn't always the easiest to take off, it all depends on how well the lath is stapled or nailed to the plywood & studs. It certainly is possible to replace with tile though.

VinceA 01-02-2011 09:43 AM

Yeah I think taking it down would be the hardest part. I would like to build the actual tile fireplace out a little bit though, I don't want it to be flush with the wall. And then put a mantle on top of it.

JohnFRWhipple 01-02-2011 09:48 AM

Smoke on the face of the fireplace - Fireplace Renovations gone bad
There appears to be a fair bit of smoke building up on the face of your fireplace.

I'm guessing it is a real wood burning fireplace? The temperature at the center point above your fireplace gets extremely hot and great care should be taken in the construction. It could be as well that the inner bricks got altered on the last remodel and it may not be working properly.

Get a chimney and fireplace expert in to ensure the fireplace is venting properly. It is not uncommon for a DIYer to mess this up and cause an unsafe home.

Good Luck.


starkenwolf 01-02-2011 11:06 PM

jo- thanks for pointing that out - I missed the last photo...definitely a veneer

Bud Cline 01-02-2011 11:15 PM

You wouldn't want to apply tile directly to the old plywood without first using a cement board tile backer. The heat-rise may be more of an issue with the thinner tile then it has been with the thick concrete that is there now.:)

But this is certainly do-able.:)

JohnFRWhipple 01-03-2011 09:02 AM

No Plywood
A wood burning fireplace can generate over 75,000 BTU's - almost 5 times as much as a small gas unit.

There should be no plywood around the fireplace's opening.

Check your local code. Ask a local fireplace expert...

This is dangerous what your playing with here.

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