Fireplace surround help [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-21-2008, 12:05 PM
I hate asking this question, but after what seems like hours of searching I just can't seem to find the answer.

I am in the process of replacing the surround and mantel on my fireplace. I have removed the existing tile surround that was in place. I have gone back and installed new drywall that was destroyed by the removal of the old tile. There was a "raised" hearth that I removed. I wanted the hearth to be flush with my hardwood floors.

So here are a couple problems that I hope you can answer.
1. I plan on installing 18"X18"X1/2" Travertine to cover the hearth. This will require exactly 4 pieces with no cutting. I have read and it appears that there is no way to lay the tile directly on the plywood. I was thinking of laying the "Easymat" down. My subfloor is 3/4" plywood on 16" centers. My concern is going to be how thick will the thin set coat be? The tile is 1/2" thick and the "Easymat" is 1/8" thick this will only leave 1/8" for the thin set? Also what type of thin set would be best for this application?
2. I will be installing 8"X18"X1/2" pieces on the side of the side/surround of the fireplace. Part of this will be adhering to drywall and the other part will be adhering to the metal of the prefab fireplace. What adhesive should I use?
It looks like the original installation used liquid nails?

I plan on installing the Travertine with no grout line or as close to that as possible.


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02-21-2008, 12:46 PM
I'll be attacking a similar project in a couple months (although I get to start fresh - no tear-out) but have a thought. Is this a wood fireplace or gas? Reason I ask, is my code (Wisconsin) requires a fire-proof layer under the tile for the hearth. Something else to consider, as that might tweak on your floor height a bit.


02-21-2008, 12:50 PM
I think the correct definition for my fireplace would be wood burning fireplace with gas logs?

I live in the state of GA and don't know anything about the code. What was installed before was around 3/4" thick.

02-21-2008, 01:37 PM
Is the hearth area going to be walked on? Probably not I would imagine. Since it would be purely decorative, I would personally just put the 4 tiles directly onto the plywood using a premixed "Mapei" tile adhesive (gasp!...I know people on this board think premixed stuff is sacrilege, but I used it on my fireplace surround and hearth 3 years ago and it is still strong and beautiful.)

02-22-2008, 06:29 AM
I just finished putting a marble tile surround on an outdoor fireplace, the wall itself is cinderblock covered with Dryvit. Half the tile covered it while the other half covered the metal of the fireplace.

There have been problems getting thinset to stick to Dryvit, so I finally ended up using Liquid Nails Marble & Granite adhesive because it's rated for use at over 300 degrees.

Worked great.

02-26-2008, 06:18 PM
Have not heard very many comments on this. If I lay the tile directly on the plywood what size trowel should I use on this?