How to Remodel a Fireplace With Tile

Have you considered a remodel of your fireplace using tile? The results can be extraordinary and quite charming. There are many kinds of tile and all are fairly easy to work with. Tiles come in marble, stone, ceramic, slate and more.

These modern tiles are made especially for your fireplace and like areas such as your kitchen. They are durable and heat resistant. Man has been using tile on their fireplace as a decorative force for a long time and as far back as ancient times.

How Do You Install Tile to Remodel Your Fireplace?

Tile is a wonderful option to choose for remodeling your fireplace. It can be used on the hearth, the mantle, and all areas of your fireplace. It doesn’t matter what kind of tiles you decide to use as they are all basically all laid the same way. 

Choose the Design Style and Type of Tiles

Decide which tiles you are going to use and how you want them laid out. There is a very large selection to choose from when it comes to tiles. Ceramic and slate tiles are very popular for the fireplace and the design possibilities are immense. No matter what type of tile you choose, the installation process will be practically the same. 

Prepare the Surface

If you are tiling over brick or cement very little surface preparation is needed. The tiles will adhere good to brick, stone, and cement, plus the installation surface will be very strong and durable.

If you are tiling over some other surface you might need to reinforce it with metal lath, or a “sheathing” to make sure it holds the tile’s weight nicely. Stone tiles can be especially heavy, as they are similar to using stone veneer. Metal lath is similar to stucco wire. The stucco wire holds the stucco adhesive on and makes it rather flexible and strong.

You might want to use the same system, if you are using stone tiles, as you do when applying stone veneer. You must always keep the weight of the tiles in mind as it will affect the adhering properties.

Remember this doesn’t apply to stone, bricks, or cement surfaces as they have strong adhering properties. Most fireplaces are made of these, but a few fireplaces have areas made of wood. Wood is especially something you will want to reinforce with metal lath. This all might sound rather complicated, but it really is not, and ensures your tile work will hold up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Install the Tiles

Mix thinset adhesive following the directions on the package. Next you spread this over the fireplace areas you want to set the tiles on. Make sure your tiles are nearby so you can easily reach them. Begin laying the tile from the center of each space as you lay them working out to cover the entire area. Spacers are important to use between tiles so you can keep grout lines even.

If you need to you can use a tile saw and nippers to trim edges of the tile as needed. Work the tiles back and forth as you set them to make sure they are setting nicely in the thinset adhesive. You can tap down any high spots with a level until they are even with the other tiles. Let the tiles dry in the thinset for 24 hours.

Finishing Off the Remodel of Your Fireplace Using Tile

You now have a lovely new tile fireplace. You have let the tiles “cure” for 24 hours and are feeling very satisfied with the results. There is a final step you need to do to be completely finished. The grout needs to be added between the tiles. Prepare your grout according to the instructions on the packaging. It works best when it is the consistency of creamy peanut butter.

Next, remove the spacers you used to keep the tiles even. Start working the grout into the crevices between each tile with a grout float. When you have grouted all of the tiles, clean off the tops evenly with a slightly damp sponge. Any stray grout will wipe off easily. You have seen the grout on tile work before and know what it looks like. You most likely can walk into your bathroom or kitchen and see tile work with grout right now. Clay floor tiles will have grout around them.

After about a week the tile grout will season and then you are ready to add grout sealer, and then you are completely finished with your well done work of art. You have a newly remodeled and beautiful fireplace that you will be proud of for years to come in the remodel of your fireplace with tile.

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