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thewoodguy 01-08-2011 09:15 PM

Tiling masonry fireplace
Nearing the end of our project, the wife decides she wants to re-do the fireplace. In our last place we painted over the already painted brick, which worked fine. In this one, since the walls are already done, and I don't want to paint, we're thinking of facing with tile.

Fireplace is all masonry, built for wood but now has a gas insert. Just had the upper chimney rebuilt by an expert, so I know the thing is solid and safe, so I just want some pointers on prepping the brick to accept tile, hopefully a natural stone tile like slate. Things I should look for? Ideas to make it easier?


oh'mike 01-09-2011 08:21 AM

If the brick work is flat you should be able to tile over that using a modified thinset--

Post a picture if you can--someone will be able to offer exact methods,if you do.--Mike--

thewoodguy 01-14-2011 07:04 PM

Re: tiling fireplace
1 Attachment(s)
oh'mike, it's taken me a while to find time to shoot an image, so here it is. I think it's pretty straightforward, and the brick is intact and in plane, so it should be easy (!) to get a nice even surface. BTW, the screen is just sitting there, not attached in any way.

Can I extend the tile back slightly into the firebox, or should it stay on the face only?

oh'mike 01-14-2011 08:00 PM

You are lucky there--That is a good candidate for tile---

You can wrap the brick to cover the exposed bit in the fire box,But I don't recommend it--If you put on a fireplace door --that edge will be hidden.

A clean mitered edge would be called for--they aren't easy without a top notch saw--might make the work harder than needed.

You will want to build a temporary 'bridge' inside the opening to hold the tiles above the opening while they set.

Visit contractor talk and look up John Whipple-He's a bath guy who also does fireplaces--inspiring work. (screen name JohnFRWhipple)

Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum

oh'mike 01-15-2011 07:16 AM

John has a video,complete with cheesy music-(his description,not mine)--Mike---

thewoodguy 01-15-2011 11:58 AM

Thanks. I may shift to ceramic instead of stone, and then use a roundover or bullnose to create the frame around the opening, which will cover up the exposed edges. Can't seem to gain access to, but I'll try again later.

DrHicks 01-15-2011 12:34 PM


Originally Posted by thewoodguy (Post 570717)
Thanks. I may shift to ceramic instead of stone, and then use a roundover or bullnose to create the frame around the opening, which will cover up the exposed edges. Can't seem to gain access to, but I'll try again later.

I think you're on the right track.

2 winters ago I pulled some crappy white ceramic tile off our old brick fireplace & hearth, and installed 1x1 iridescent glass tile that I got from (gasp, gawd forbid...) Home Depot.

I used a poly-modified thinset, as oh'mike mentioned. Honestly, the biggest painus in the anus was getting a good smooth coat over the brick, then making sure it didn't come up between the tiles (they're 1/8th" thick). Other than that, I used unsanded grout (to not scratch the tiles) and called it a day.

My wife is very happy with it, so obviously I'm happy.

oh'mike 01-15-2011 12:54 PM

Depending on your access to tools and your skill level---You can easily make your own bullnose on marble using wood working tools. (not granite--to hard--diamonds for that)

A hand held belt sander--using progressively finer grits will give you the round over--then a buffing wheel and wax for a nice polish--

Pick up a scrap of marble some time and give it a try---Even if you don't use it on this project --it's a handy skill to learn.

I make clocks as a hobby--they make nice gifts----I've used marble inset banding with a rolled edge as decorations---Every one seems to like the touch---Mike--

highonlife 01-16-2011 03:14 PM

Limestone makes for a great fireplace. It is through and through the same product and no trims or bullnoses are needed / unless you want to add to the look of the fireplace. American Olean offers great products that are limestone or look like limestone tiles. Glass mosaics are also very popular... and come in many colors and sizes. Oceanside Glass has incredible products for an awesome fireplace.

thewoodguy 01-21-2011 09:19 PM

Just looking over this thread again. Why "modified" thinset as opposed to standard or rapid set? Does brick required the modified to set properly?

thewoodguy 03-16-2011 10:09 AM

After shot
1 Attachment(s)
It's taken awhile, but here's the finished product.

cjj 12-14-2011 10:09 AM

Installing metal lath over hardie board
I am wanting to know if it is okay to put the metal lath over the hardie board i have installed around my fireplace. If so can i use a different type of screws to go through the metal lath. I orignally was just going to put the natural veneer stone on the hardie board , but i have decided to put up the metal lath and put a scratch coat on it now. Any helpful hints would be great...

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