Tiling fireplace over brick: an expert reno guide |

an expert reno guide |

Discover how to tile a fireplace and you can transform an entire room. Fireplaces provide a focal point in a space, and whether you’ve moved into a property with a period design that needs a little love or you want to give a modern surround some character, it’s easy enough to tile a fireplace for an instant update. 

Your fireplace tile ideas won’t just make your space smarter, they can also create a striking style statement that can inspire the color scheme, patterns and textures in the rest of the room. 

So read on for our guide on how to tile a fireplace with advice, hints and tips from the experts on how to tackle this DIY task with ease.

How to tile a fireplace

As well as choosing a style, print, pattern or color for the tiles, it’s important to think about safety at every step when tiling a fireplace, especially with the materials, when you are grouting tiles, for example. 

‘It’s essential to use heat-resistant tile grout for this application, since the ordinary kind will break down under sufficiently high heat,’ explains Todd Saunders, CEO of Flooring Stores, a resource for finding the right type of flooring and contractor for any project. ‘It’s also best to choose a grout and tile that will effectively hide soot, unless you want to spend a lot of time cleaning your fireplace.’

You will need:

  • Tape measure
  • Tiles
  • Adhesive
  • Grout
  • Tile cutter/wet saw
  • Sharp trowel 
  • Grout float
  • Spacers
  • Level
  • Painter’s tape (optional)
  • A cement board (optional)
  • Wet cloth

1. Measure and plan before you start

The first thing to do is to measure every part of the fireplace for height and width to get the square footage for tiling – as you do when tiling in a shower or tiling a wall – which can be calculated by multiplying these measurements together. 

‘Your choice of design should be based on the size of your fireplace,’ advises John Geraghty, tiling expert at My Job Quote. ‘Therefore, the most crucial aspect of planning is keeping your fireplace’s size and design in mind. Consider the height of each tile as you determine how many rows will fit.

Once you have the square footage of tiles needed, add an extra 10-15% on top in case of tile damage. ‘Then, depending on your tile design you’ll need a wet saw, adhesives, a sharp trowel and spacers,’ adds John Geraghty. ‘Finally, you’ll need a level to make measurements to implement the design properly. A cement board is also required if you need a surface to apply the tile. A cement board must be cut and installed before installing any tiles. Use a thin-set to smooth out the surface of your fireplace and wait for it to dry before adding tiles.’

2. Cut tiles to fit

Check your measurements again then cut any tiles needed to fill the space, feeding them through a wet saw carefully and slowly to prevent chips. 

3. Apply the tiles

Next, starting at the bottom and working your way up, apply the adhesive to the back of the tile using a notched trowel and ensure the tile is fully covered. Make consistent tracks using the notched trowel.

‘Apply the tile to the fireplace surface firmly and move it a little so the tracks stick to the surface where you want them to,’ advises John Geraghty. ‘Put spacers between each tile if you plan to grout between them. At this point, use your level to check that every piece is perfectly straight before securing the tiles. As you go along, wipe up any excess adhesive mix with a wet cloth. To prevent any mistakes, refer to the design pattern frequently. You might need to trim the final details along the tile’s top as you approach the top of the fireplace. Then, leave it to set overnight.’

4. Apply the grout

The final part of the job is to apply the grout, using painter’s tape to cover any tiles the grout might adhere to, and you can find details in our complete guide on how to grout. Using an angled grout float, apply carefully, removing any excess with a diagonal motion using the edge of the float. 

Leave to dry for an hour then remove any residue using a wet rag or sponge in a circular motion. Lastly, apply caulk to the outer parts between the tile and mantel after leaving it to dry overnight.

Can I use any tiles on a fireplace?

The main thing to remember is that tiles need to be at least 6in away from the heat source to prevent discoloration and cracking. ‘Tiles may be considered for the surround and the hearth, but not for the firebox,’ explains Steve Elliott, franchise owner at Restoration 1 Minnetonka.

Either way, porcelain tile is advised as the best option. This is because it can absorb heat from the fire without transferring it to the surrounding areas.

‘It’s a common misconception that tiles aren’t suitable for your fireplace,’ says Harriet Goodacre, brand communications manager and tile consultant at Topps Tiles. ‘As long as you choose the correct kind, which are suitable for use around a hearth and your fireplace, then tiling it is a great way to add interest and create a focal point in your room. You can tile any fireplace, providing the walls are flat and sound and can take the weight of your chosen tiles, but you do need to consider the type you use. We’d recommend porcelain tiles, as these will offer the strength and durability needed.’

Can I tile over a brick fireplace?

You can tile over a brick fireplace so long as the bricks are in decent condition.

Do you need a special grout for fireplaces?

‘It’s extremely important to use the correct adhesive and grout when tiling your fireplace,’ says Harriet Goodacre from Topps Tiles. ‘The amount of heat that hits the tiles determines what product you require, so the closer your tiles are to the heat source, the more resilient your materials need to be. We recommend a heat resistant adhesive and grout, which can withstand temperatures up to 212℉ (100⁰C). For anything above this temperature you’ll need to use a cement-based product.’

How to Reface a Brick Fireplace with Ceramic Tile » The Money Pit

LESLIE: Beverly in Nebraska is on the line and is looking to do a flooring, I guess, tiling project. Tell us what’s going on.

BEVERLY: Well, I have a brick fireplace that I would like to reface with ceramic tile.

LESLIE: Oh, great. It’s a fireplace question.

BEVERLY: Yes. I want to know if what – if I need to do any special steps to prep the brick. I’ve heard yes and I’ve heard no, so thought I might call somebody that might have a real answer.

TOM: As long as the brick is not dirty or doesn’t have loose paint on it or anything of that nature, I don’t think there’s a lot of prep involved there. What’s going to be really important is that you get a good coat of adhesive underneath it. And you can use a tile mastic on top of that brick to attach the tile to.

LESLIE: What size are the tiles that you’re looking at, Bev, to put over this?

BEVERLY: Twelve by twelve, probably.


LESLIE: Tom, is there any concerns with the difference between the brick and the mortar line for unevenness? Or because the tile is so large, it’s going to …

TOM: No, because you know what? Think about it. When you put tile down, you use a notched trowel, right? So you never have a complete 100-percent contact of the tile with the substrate. So the fact that there’s recessed mortar on this brick fireplace is not of a concern to me. It’s just more of a concern that we get a good, solid coat of adhesive there and that they dry well, they’re nice and stable.

And really, you want to make sure that you plan this out carefully, Bev. I mean frankly, it’s really small spaces to get that to fit right, to look right, to make sure the corners are done properly. If it’s sloppy, you’re going to be kicking yourself because it’ll be obvious to anybody that looks at this that it wasn’t done by a pro. So just make sure it’s done really well so that it looks like it was almost intended to be that way the first time the fireplace and the hearth was envisioned, OK?

BEVERLY: OK. One thing that I’d heard about, the brick mortar line sucks up the moisture out of the mastic quicker. Is that something I need to worry about or just …?

TOM: Nah. Nope. Wouldn’t worry about it at all. That makes no sense to me. Look, people put concrete – put tile down on concrete and will tell you the same issue. Just plan it correctly, Bev, so that you have all the corners line up right, you have the right pieces, the right – the types of tile that you’re choosing are the ones that, for example, have closed corners where they wrap around the outside.

And make sure it’s going to work. You may find that 12-inch is too wide for that; it might be easier if you use a smaller tile because you’d have a little more flexibility.

BEVERLY: Like maybe a six or eight?

TOM: Like a six, yeah, or an eight. Yep, exactly.

Depending on the shape, right, Leslie?

LESLIE: Yeah. It really depends on what look you’re going for. And with a ceramic tile, think about the finish on them. You know, a glazed tile is going to clean better when you get dirt and debris from the smoke in the fireplace itself. But an unglazed one might have a more hearth-y, traditional look. So think about the overall look you’re trying to get.

And you can also – a 12-by is kind of large so if you’re looking to put a decorative tile, say, as cornerstones around your mantle or something, think about adding in little detail pieces and then you can size your tiles accordingly.

TOM: So does that help you out?

BEVERLY: Yeah. We’re just trying to make it look a little more modern.

TOM: Yeah, I think that’s definitely a good idea. I think it will look more modern; I think it’ll be very attractive. Just take your time, do it once, do it right and you won’t have to do it again.

Brick lining of the fireplace insert

Brick lining of the fireplace insert










Brick cladding of a fireplace insert

Old brick is a unique material that is widely used for building, decorating, arranging fireplaces. It allows you to get original effects, create the identity of the desired era. The material fits perfectly into various styles, from loft to gothic, from country to provence. Today you can meet dishonest companies on the market that pass off modern fakes as antique bricks, but by contacting the Old Yard company, you can be sure of the authenticity of the acquisition.

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Antique brick tiles

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Benefits of our material

Antique brick properties

Antique bricks offer many benefits, including:

  • Resistance to temperature fluctuations, UV radiation, mechanical damage;
  • It is easy to care for, easy to clean, does not change its appearance under the influence of time and cleaning agents;
  • In many ways, it has the same characteristics as the modern m500 fireplace brick;
  • The material can be used for finishing various premises, external works, some types of bricks have proven themselves to be excellent for arranging fireboxes and fireplaces, and lining the fireplace insert with bricks will allow you to get an amazing in appearance and durable construction;
  • The surface of the products has natural roughness and chips, which give extra extravagance and elegance.

Our company offers you antique bricks with an optimal ratio of quality and price, with excellent performance and presentable appearance. Using the proposed materials, you can make your home or commercial premises unique, attracting the attention of others.

Chimney brick

Today, there is a huge choice of materials for arranging fireplaces, from concrete to metal, but only antique bricks allow you to get a noble design with many advantages:

  • Such fireplaces are distinguished by excellent heating efficiency, since the material evenly distributes heat over the entire area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe structure. Your fireplace will not cause any complaints, since the products have the same characteristics as the fireplace brick m 500;
  • You can create a unique and inimitable interior, give the fireplace any configuration and shape. We offer antique bricks and tiles based on them, which will perfectly fit into any room design. We offer a wide range of materials, so if you need brick lining of the fireplace insert, you can choose the optimal size and pattern of products;
  • The cost of the offered materials is quite affordable, and the fireplace will serve you for many decades.

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Tags: chimney brick m 500, chimney brick m500, fireplace stove brick, brick lining of the fireplace insert, brick lining of the fireplace insert.

  • What kind of brick is needed for a fireplace? Antique – can be bought at an affordable price

  • Restoration brick from the manufacturer. Brick 18-20 centuries for restoration

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Fireplace lining with bricks | Articles TopHaus


Brick-lined fireplace inserts look attractive and solid. A huge variety of bricks in color and shape allows you to embody any design ideas. In addition to the pronounced decorative effect, this type of cladding also has practical advantages. If you wish, you can brick the fireplace insert with bricks on your own.

Choosing a brick

First you need to choose the right material and calculate its volume. By following a few basic rules, you can easily cope with this task:

  • for laying the furnace part, it is necessary to choose a refractory material that can withstand prolonged exposure to high temperatures. If you plan to heat only with firewood, ordinary red brick will be enough (withstands up to 800⁰С). For fireplaces on coal, you need to choose fireclay bricks that can perceive temperatures up to 1200 ° C and above. Brand of brick from M200;
  • for laying secondary parts of the fireplace lining, you can use both new and recycled bricks (without damage):

  • only fireclay bricks are suitable for lining the firebox.

How to line a fireplace insert correctly?

Facing a cast-iron portal with a solid brick is the easiest way to get a brick fireplace. This will require approximately 500 pieces of standard brick and a sufficient amount of cement-sand mortar. Laying can be done in one row with seams of 1 cm.

Wooden formwork is often used to clad the furnace supports. In this case, ordinary cement joints alternate with 10×10 mm rods, on which a reinforcing mesh is placed. Then the formwork is poured with a concrete mixture with sand and gravel (fraction up to 10 mm) and left for 2 weeks.

For fire safety purposes, the recommended air gap must be left between the grille and the ceiling slab. In the lower part of the cladding, experts recommend leaving a technological hole to facilitate the prevention and repair of the fireplace insert in the future. This hole must be insulated and covered with non-combustible material.

We start facing work

First you need to sort the brick by color tone and thickness. For decorative finishes, it is better to use shaped and textured bricks. Having tinted the solution in the desired color, you can do without finishing.

Brick structures have an impressive weight, therefore, at the place of their installation, it is necessary to prepare a concrete foundation. Please note: the distance between the foundation of the building itself and the base of the fireplace cannot be more than 0.5 m (without reference between them). The foundation for cladding should extend beyond the structure itself by 10-12 cm.

Prepare mortar

The quality of the masonry mortar is no less important than the quality of the base material. Agree, putting fireclay bricks on a mixture that can withstand temperatures up to 700 ° C is at least not logical. You should not count on the durability of an ordinary cement mortar – it will quickly become covered with cracks.

Ideally, use a clay solution prepared according to a special “recipe”. Its basis is a sand-clay mixture. To prepare it, you need to determine the fat content of clay empirically. Make about a dozen clay balls with a diameter of 1 cm, adding a different amount of sand to each of them (it is better to take mountain sand – it holds surfaces together perfectly). After drying the balls, drop them from a meter height. A ball that has retained its integrity and original shape has an optimal composition.

The content of stones, clots, air bubbles in the solution is unacceptable, because the clay must be sifted, the stones separated and the lumps kneaded. Then it is filled with water and left for a day. Only then can sand and fireclay be added. It is best to mix the solution with a drill with a nozzle – the mass is homogeneous and plastic.

Laying a fireplace

The lining of the fireplace insert with bricks is performed rigidly to ensure the strength and durability of the structure. For this:

  • put two corner bricks;

  • do not rush to put the rest of the brick on the mortar – try on the row dry. Adjust the elements with a cutting wheel or grinder. Attach a fishing line or nylon thread to the extreme bricks, and then report the entire row;

  • laying out subsequent rows, use a plumb line to avoid the slightest deviation.