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housegsx 04-30-2012 12:13 AM

Replacing tile in 1920's fireplace & hearth
4 Attachment(s)
I need some help building up the base after taking out the old stuff today.

Hear is what I started with. Ugly tile, some missing, and some cracked and missing grout.

Attachment 50091

At first I thought I could just chip up the tiles and be able to tile directly to the old mortar. This got old real fast and then I started using a hammer drill to chisel off the tiles.

Attachment 50092

Once I got the tiles off I was still dealing with some leftover tile remains and old trowel grooves. The wife wants the new tile to be flush with the floor like the original so I couldn't just clean it up and go over top. I tried using the hammer chisel to knock down the trowel grooves and other mess, but eventually we decided to see just how far we could go and started knocking it all out.

So here is where I'm at now.

Attachment 50090

Attachment 50089

What's the best way to build this back up (it is about 4-6 inches deep) and prepare to install new tile?
I'm no mason, my thought was to fill in all the rough stuff in the firebox with a bunch of cement or concrete until it is level with the sunken wood hearth frame. Then cover that while it's still wet with some 1/2" cement board and screw the cement board down to those planks. that would make it one big piece. Then once it dries pour cement or concrete on top of that to build it up to a level where I can do my tile.

Does that sound reasonable or even close to a good idea? :whistling2:

Should I use a piece of Ditra over top? Also, what tile do you think would look good in here that would be flush with the floor? The fireplace is brick painted in white.

Oh, I also plan to put a woodburning stove insert here eventually. I didn't know if I needed to take the weight into consideration for my tile choice.

housegsx 05-02-2012 10:29 PM


Fyi, I want to block off that cleanout hole as well. Obvious since I want an wood stove. Also, once I figure how to attack this, how do I get the tile perfectly even with the wood floor? I'm guessing that could just come down to the trowel I use to set the tile... :help:

housegsx 08-29-2012 03:36 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I did fill the area with some concrete and screwed down a piece of hardibacker.
I have a pic but it won't upload.

Should I pour my concrete directly on this, or should I put some plastic or tar paper down first then pour to create a "floating" slab. I was thinking it might be less likely to crack.

CoconutPete 12-03-2012 09:07 AM

Did you ever make progress with this? I've been trying to figure out what to do with my hearth and it looks almost identical to yours.

housegsx 12-04-2012 06:50 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Yes, I finished this a couple months ago. I used 6x6 tumbled marble.

Attachment 61411

Attachment 61412

Attachment 61413

CoconutPete 12-04-2012 08:49 AM

That looks great! Does the tumbled marble take heat well? Do you plan on putting an insert of sorts on there?

housegsx 12-04-2012 06:25 PM

Thanks! I don't know how well it takes heat, but I plan on getting a wood burning stove insert and lining the chimney before ever using it.

Zach_C 04-11-2013 07:23 PM

Looks nice
2 Attachment(s)
Curious why you used the cement board?
I'm doing something similar. I tore up the 4-inch "hearth" made out of reclaimed brick in front of my wood-burning fireplace, and poured a concrete slab for a new hearth. Was about 4" at its thickest where the bricks were, and 3/4" where they weren't. Used Quikrete Sand/Topping mix, and then self-leveling concrete on top. Was just thinking of tiling right onto that.

housegsx 04-11-2013 10:29 PM

I used the cement board on the base below the the concrete, not as an underlayment.

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