Tiling fireplace over brick: tiling over brick fireplace surround

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.

How to Install Fireplace Hearth Tiles

How to Install Fireplace Hearth Tiles

  1. Angi
  2. Solution Center
  3. Chimneys Fireplaces

Lay on the charm with this DIY project

Photo: Photographee. eu / Adobe Stock



Big project; big rewards.

Time to complete

72 hours


Doing the labor yourself goes a long way.

Need professional help with your project?

Get quotes from top-rated pros.

What you’ll need:


  • Plastic sheeting
  • Painter’s tape
  • Notched trowel
  • Heat-resistant thin-set mortar
  • Utility knife
  • Cement backer board
  • Metal lath
  • Wet tile saw
  • Tile spacers
  • Level
  • Grout sponge
  • Grout float
  • Caulk gun
  • Penetrating sealer (if necessary)


  • Tiles
  • Grout

5 Steps to Installing Fireplace Hearth Tiles

  1. Check Local Building Codes

    Because this area in front of your firebox protects the floor from ash and embers, you’ll want to make sure you comply with local building codes. The codes might require the hearth material to be a specific thickness, such as one-half-inch. They may also dictate the hearth dimensions, such as 16 inches deep and 8 inches from both sides of your firebox.

  2. Prepare the Substrate

    Place plastic sheeting and painter’s tape around the hearth’s perimeter to protect your floor. Then make sure your hearth has an even and level non-combustible substrate.

    If your home has a concrete slab, you might need to level it out. With the unnotched edge of a trowel, apply a thin coat of thin-set mortar with latex additive to smooth the surface. Let it dry before moving on.

    If you have a plywood subfloor, use a utility knife to cut two pieces of cement backer board to fit your hearth dimensions. Apply mortar to the subfloor, then embed one of the boards in it. Apply mortar and place metal lath on top of the embedded board. Apply mortar to one side of the other board. Lay the other board on the embedded board mortar side-down. Make sure the boards line up and let it set for 48 hours.

  3. Dry-Fit the Tiles

    Decide on a pattern for your tile, such as grid or herringbone. Divide the hearth into quadrants. Beginning at the front of one, set down a line of tiles, working from the center to the edge. Leave room between tiles for grout and mark any edge tiles that you’ll need to cut. Fill in that quadrant. 

    Repeat with the remaining quadrants until you fill in the entire hearth. Carefully move all the tiles in the correct order to a board.

  4. Cut and Set the Tiles

    Photo: Grispb / Adobe Stock

    Cut tiles with a wet tile saw. Using the straight edge of a trowel, spread a mixture of thin-set with latex additive on one quadrant of the substrate. Working from the center outward, put tiles in place, using tile spacers to maintain space for grout. Complete one quadrant at a time and after finishing each one, check evenness with a level. Let the mortar dry, at least overnight.

  5. Grout and Seal

    Photo: vladdeep / Adobe Stock

    Using unsanded grout and a grout float and sponge, grout the joints, removing excess grout and haze. Let it dry for 24 hours. Caulk the joints and let everything set for two or three days. Then, if necessary, seal the tiles.

DIY Hearth Tile Installation vs. Hiring a Pro 

Because the fireplace is usually the focal point of a room, the hearth is a very visible spot. For this reason, you might want to only take on this project if you have tiling experience and feel confident that you can lay tiles symmetrically. Whereas a local professional tile installer might be able to tackle this project in a day or two, it could take novices closer to three days.

Hiring a pro will cost between $13.50 and $83 per square foot. If you choose to DIY this project, you’ll only pay between $9.50 and $51 per square foot.

Need professional help with your project?

Get quotes from top-rated pros.

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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.

In our company for any antique materials, including bricks

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Old tree
Forged products and metal structures

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.