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Old 08-12-2019, 12:25 PM   #1
adphill
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Best adhesive for fireplace tile

I'm new here, but I am setting reproduction Batchelder tile on a newly rebuilt cinderblock fireplace structure. The tiles are mostly 4x4", and 5/8" thick and HEAVY. I do not anticipate much heat, as we will be burning mostly duraflames, the firebox is deep, and most of the heat goes straight up the flu.

I would appreciate advice on adhesive for the tile. The consensus seems to be that thinset is generally best (and I have successfully used thinset for kitchen backsplashes), but I am concerned that the heavy tile will sag. Also, I will be setting the line of tile directly above the firebox opening first (as this determines the spacing for the entire fireplace front), so I can't start at the bottom and set the tile on spacers.

Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:40 PM   #2
Elkski
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Do a layout on the nearby floor. Determine what layout and spacing will end up with a row on the top of the Firebox. Maybe put a piece of tape on each side of the Firebox and put a grout line location and make sure you're staying on track starting at the bottom so that you'll end up just right at the top of the Firebox. You could do just a couple columns near the Firebox on one side in a quick succession so that if it does not match-up you can still move them a little bit or we cut the bottom one a little bigger or smaller to make things perfect. You will be surprised with these new modified heavy format tile non sag formulations. Such as kerabond t or ultraflex lft
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:33 PM   #3
SpaceCadet
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You could do this:

Take a board as long as your fireplace is wide or a bit longer. Attach 2 boards perpendicular to that one like the capital letter pi. These legs should be just long enough that you can prop that long horizontal board across your fireplace (securely) and have it sit level at the right height so that it will support that row of tile that's hanging above the opening.
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