Covering brick fireplace [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-26-2001, 09:07 AM
Hi, We have a corner fireplace in our living room, it has a beautiful black marble hearth, however, the fireplace itself is painted white brick. We would like to cover the brick with some type of man=made stone and we want to do it ourselves. Can we cement directly on to the brick? How exactly do we go about this? Do you have suggestions for suitable products, not real expensive, please! Thanks, Kheat

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Bud Cline
05-26-2001, 09:18 AM
Hey guys,

Got a question for you right off....

when you say man-made stone are you wanting a flat stone-look "tile" application, or a even more dimensionally "stacked stone" look.

I ask because the paint already on your brick may be an issue for bonding when it comes to tile, it may not be so important if you are talking a stack type material.

What is the texture of your brick at this time, and are you dealing with outside corners either at your firebox or the sides of your corner fireplace?

Let's see what these other guys think.

05-26-2001, 09:39 AM
Brick is a very good surface to install tile or natural stone on.You should remove as much of the paint as possible as it will have an adverse affect on adhesion.If the brick has a slick finish you'll want to scarify it with a course sandpaper or grinder.Don't go "cheap" on the adhesive! I recommend a high quality Latex modified thinset.TEC makes a "no-sag" thinset.They also offer "marble mastic". This is a premixed, quick-grab white adhesive. It has a quick grab and will not allow the tile to slide down.Spacers are still a good idea though.

A white setting material may be necessary to prevent staining. Some stone and marble will absorb the thinset to some degree and can show staining if a dark thinset is used.
Check with the stone manufacturer for recommendations

Spend some time on layout.Planning how your tile will fit on your fireplace is the most important step in obtaining the look you want.
Find the center point side to side and top to bottom and mark them.Hold a tile with one side on the mark and mark the other side allowing for the size joint you want. Continue till you reach the side. Note how big the cut will be.If the cut is less than desired shift the tile to be centered on your first mark.Repeat the process.This is very simple to do and should only take a few minutes.Do the same top to bottom.

Once you know where you'll be starting from, using a level place it alongside your starting mark and get it plumb. Then make a mark along the level.This will give you a good starting mark to lay your tile to. Use the appropriate size spacers to insure a uniform grout joint throughout.

This process is a lot easier than it sounds!!
Good luck,

John Bridge
05-26-2001, 02:30 PM
Hi Kheat, Glad you stopped by.

I don't know of any "man made" stone product that is cheap. I think some sort of natural stone might be less expensive. Say, a limestone or something like that. Slate might look nice, too.

And no matter what you choose tile-wise, the paint will be an issue, as Bud said. We wouldn't want to stick a bunch of expensive product to the paint and then have the paint come loose down the road.

The other thing, of course, is that whatever you choose will have to take the heat in the vicinity of the firebox opening. So it really can't be anything artificial, which might either melt or burn.

I still think the slate, maybe.

Hi Keith,

Welcome to the most diverse group of tilers, tile setters, and brickies on the Internet. We're glad to have you and your input. You can help us shed darkness on an array of technical issues. The big question is, though, being from Tennesee, what do you know about making booze? :-)

[Edited by Admin on 05-27-2001 at 08:06 AM]

05-26-2001, 06:28 PM
Preshate the welkom...Booze,soap,cheese,apple cider,watermelonwine and yes.....even ELDERBERRY-WINE!!! We make it all!
The Elderberry Wine is very helpful on those difficult tile helps to thank ur superman!!

John Bridge
05-27-2001, 06:03 AM
Ah, good. A refined gentleman in our midst.

05-29-2001, 07:35 AM
I've seen the man made stone I think your talking about.
cobble stone look cut in half.

If this is it, the paint is the issue.

You may want to consider mechanically fastening metal lath to the brick and screeding mud onto the lath and back buttering the stone.

I've seen this done with this product both interior and exterior.

Even though they say just cement is ok both inside and out, I would highly recomend a latex additive outside.

Bud Cline
05-29-2001, 12:05 PM
There is also a means of installing some stone-look products using a "thin-brick" system.

Thin-brick/stone is cemented or actually glued into a metal channel that is first mechanically attached to the existing surface. This metal track will go on right over the paint and has little tabs turned out to support the stone product while creating a proper and consistant grout or mortar line at the same time. Virtually fool-proof and very DIY friendly. This system works on stone or cultured stone products that have the appearance of "cut stone" or "chopped stone". A product such as "Liquid Nails" can be used to attach the stone and the grout is applied using a "grout/pastry bag".

Pretty neat deal!

05-29-2001, 06:10 PM
That sounds neeter-n-grits! Where could I go to see a picture/illustration?

Keith Alford
"Hire a Relative...Blame him"

Bud Cline
05-29-2001, 07:07 PM

I'll see what I can find for you. The "thin brick" system is pretty slick, hell I just thought it was everywhere by now. There's a whole lot of crap that can be eliminated with this process.

Believe it or not twenty-five miles from hear there is a one-story commercial building in a strip mall type location getting thin-bricked. Looks pretty good actually but the children doing it could have used a little more guidance.

Bud Cline
05-30-2001, 09:55 AM

Tried contacting the manufacturer about the "thin-brick system", they have offered me a video tape. I am now waiting to see if they have some photos on line.

That "clear fields button" is much too close to the "submit reply button". I'm not a very good shot I guess. I just hope Keith fully appreciates the work that has gone into this simple post. hehehe!

05-30-2001, 11:10 AM
I appreciate the effort and I understand.My mouse doesn't always go where I intend for it to either........kinda like my money!LOL

Keith Alford
"Do it Right Anyway"

John Bridge
05-30-2001, 04:55 PM
Hey Bud,

Clear your field a few times inadvertantly, and you'll get the hang of it, won't you? Seriously, I haven't even delved into that part of the program yet. I'll probably have to get Dave B. (brother-in-law/techie) to help me.


How you aim your mouse has a lot to do with what you're drinking. Tonight I'm doing Dos Equis, and the mouse seems to be working pretty we'p0p joom. It's th keyboard i'm hivin tribblee widt . . .