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Old 10-17-2010, 04:13 PM   #1
ajk170
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DIYer Question on glass tile over marble Fireplace surround

Hi All-

I found this forum and think it's great that there are professionals and experianced DIYers out there willing to share thier knowledge and experiance to the rest of use! Let me say think you in advance for any help you all can provide! We just bought a new house just south of Richmond Va, and I'm wanting to change the black marble(?) surround around the gas fireplace to a glass mosaic tile. None for the mosiac will overlap or touch the metal so I don't think I'll have a problem there with heat.

A few preliminary questions that I have are
1) can I tile over this marble (it's a stone that is slick as glass- but it's not glass) without using a backer board
2) What product would work best for this kind of application (ie thinset vs mortar and sanded vs unsanded vs epoxy grout)?
3) Would it be better to rip the black marble out first and install backer board in its place?

I've done simple bathroom and foyer installs but I've never worked with mosiac or glass tile before- uncharted territory for me. I've been trying to read other posts and am learning alot but hoped this could help cut through days worrth of reading.

The glass tile will go up the sides and across the top while the floor will be either a ceramic or maybe a stone- not exactly sure what would look best for the floor. Any recommendations would be really appreciated as to what might look good for the floor. There is an access panel for the pilot light beneath the fire box so building up from the floor isn't really an option.

Thanks again!

Andy

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Old 10-17-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Andy,

Yes you can tile over marble, but from here it looks more like granite. Absolute granite.... are you 100% sure its marble?

If you want to go that route, I'd suggest contacting the most excellent tech support at Laticrete at 800-243-4788 x 235 for which thinset will help you the best.

I'm gonna guess you'll do some damage to the wall pieces when you demo the floor. The floor should be replaced with CBU which is set with thinset and screws. Thinset your new tiles over that.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:05 PM   #3
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yep yep what paul said
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:23 PM   #4
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Thanks gents for the quick response! Hadn't really anticipated needing to demo the floor- not 100% certain that it's marble . . . I'll do exactly that and contact the tech support.

No way around the demo of the floor? I guess by laying that on top of the existing stone- I will raise it up a bit and have an exposed joint that I would have to deal with- I guess demo the floor to recess the new tile is the right way to go

Thanks again!

Andy
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:45 PM   #5
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If that is Absolute Black granite (AB) then getting anything to stick to it will be difficult unless you scuff it pretty darn good. AB is so dense water normally doesn't penetrate.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
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Paul- Thanks again! didn't know what that stuff was- I assumed marble because there is NO pattern or anything to it- just slick black rock (looks OK for black rock)- I assume a contractor grade or maybe some type of upgrade but not anything too special. I was affraid that I'd have to scuff it pretty good to get something to adhere - so it sounds like 1) We let it go and live with it, 2) bite the bullet and test my hand at taking it out or 3) get a pro.

Well, this is what I needed to know- what I was up against! Thanks for the input!

-Andy
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:38 PM   #7
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Andrew,

I'd be tempted to leave it.

1- Since its super tough granite, nothing will ever bother it.
2- Anything you replace it with will take some maintenance and will not wear as well, except another equally hard granite or porcelain
3- The existing craftsmanship looks pretty good from here
4- Black is classic & very slimming.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:11 AM   #8
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Paul- after discussing with the boss, she's agreed that maybe she can live with it for now. Glad I asked the question here before going at this!

Thanks again!

Andy
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