Perhaps your tile has been on the fireplace for several years and you need a solution for how to remove it and redo it in the best way. Some say you can lay tile over tile, but this is not really a solution, and is not recommended. The best way is to remove the old tile. After removing the tile, re-laying it depends upon what is under the old tile. If brick, stone, or cement is under the tile you will have no problems what soever.
If other material such as wood is under the tile, the fireplace will need to be examined where you re-moved the tile to make sure it is structurally sound. Most likely the wood will have a metal lath, or sheath under the tile when it is laid on wood. This is good because it is what you need for laying tile on wood and other substances beside cement, stone, and brick.
How to Remove Old Fireplace Tile
Prepare Work Area
Removing tile from your fireplace is going to be a dusty job. Open your windows if possible while working, and keep a shop vacuum handy. You will want to cover your furniture with plastic drop cloths which are very economical and easy to find. Also if you want you can put a plastic sheeting over doorways, hanging loose, so you can get in and out. This keeps the dust contained to one room.
Oscillating Tool to Remove Grout
The next step is to “oscillate” the grout in between the tiles. You hold the blade of the oscillating tool to each grout line and the vibration will break the grout up into dust and other very small debris. Every little bit, stop and vacuum up some of the mess from the grout as it slowly disappears. Now your tiles are free on the edge and they just need to be pried up from the adhesive.
Pry Tiles Off with Hammer and Chisel
Slide the chisel under the edge of the tile using the hammer to tap it in further and further until the tile falls off. It is actually a very simple process. Continue doing this “tile by tile” until they are all removed. If there is any mortar left behind on your fireplace remove it with a floor scraper. Clean up the work area and any dust residue left behind for the next step in your project of re-laying tile. You can take all of the plastic off of everything because the messiest part is over.
How To Redo Fireplace Tile
Redoing fireplace tile follows the same guidelines as it does for laying any tile, no matter what the kind, the installation process is always the same. It is easiest if it is laid on brick, cement or stone as no preparation is needed except for removing dust. Earlier in the introduction it was mention if another material besides cement, brick, or stone is on your fireplace after you removed your old tiles you will need to see that it is reinforced with metal lath. Metal lath is kind of like a metal mesh which you cover your fireplace with and it will make the structure stronger. It will also enable the tiles to adhere better.
Process for Laying Tiles
The process for laying tiles is always the same. You apply thinset to the surface where you are laying the tiles. Lay the tiles using a spacer to ensure they are laid evenly. Tap with a leveler if any seem uneven. Let the tiles dry overnight. The next morning after the thinset is dry, it is time to grout the tiles. Apply the grout in the grooves between the tiles and you are done. You might want to wipe any excess grout off of the tiles with a cloth. After about a week you can apply sealant to the grout for a lasting job.
How to Remove and Redo Your Fireplace Tile Overview
Removing and resetting tiles is one of the simplest remodeling jobs there is. The most important thing is to make sure your foundation, or fireplace is structurally sound under the tile work. As mentioned over, and over, if you are doing tile work on cement, brick, or flat stone you will have no problems with the underlying material. Relax and enjoy the looks of your newly remodeled fireplace obtained by the removal and the redo of your fireplace tile.