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Unread 07-17-2021, 08:58 PM   #1
Oozz
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Tiling Fireplace

Hello -

Looking for some advice on tiling my gas fireplace. Attached are some pics and a diagram I drew. It is metal. I removed the bricks and mortar that was there previously.

1) Remove the metal clips attached to fireplace. These were used to hold the bricks.
2) Build wooden frame for fireplace surround using 2x4
3) Insert the wooden frame against the fireplace and secure to the studs using nails.
Question: Is it safe to put the wooden frame against the metal fireplace? There will be no wood exposed to the actual fire.
4) Cover the frame w/Durock and secure via manf. instructions.
5) Lay thinset & tile over Durock.
6) Lay thinset & tile for hearth directly over concrete in front of the fireplace.
Question: This should be done last, correct? Or, at least, until the frame is installed. Is it alright to apply the thinset & tile directly over the concrete floor or should i use more Durock here?
Attached Images
   
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Fireplace.pdf (775.9 KB, 73 views)
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Last edited by Oozz; 07-17-2021 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Update
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Unread 07-18-2021, 09:00 AM   #2
Carbidetooth
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!Danger Will Robinson!

I imagine there's a reason that framing doesn't touch the metal surround and that reason is most likely fire, as in house fire.

Before planning your attack, I'd suggest you consult fireplace manufacturer's installation instructions. They will call out distances to combustible material, which would include wood framing.

Once that's known and accomplished, you can plan the pretty stuff.
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Unread 08-18-2021, 09:31 PM   #3
Oozz
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Update

I checked with the manufacturer and they indicated that I can tile directly onto the metal; however, because the fireplace is not flush with the wall, the tile will sit about 2 inches behind the drywall.

I'm absolutely clueless on how to fill the ~2 inch space to get the tile flush with the wall.

Any ideas?
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Unread 08-19-2021, 07:14 AM   #4
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We've mudded and tiled over many metal fire boxes over the years but the metal box is usually set inline with the studs, not set back two inches. I don't know what else to do but mud it the two inches and add 2 inch cuts to cover the edge of the mud near the inside of the box. Two inches of mud would have to be done in several coats. Maybe someone else has a better idea.
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Unread 08-19-2021, 07:32 AM   #5
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Is it not possible to move the firebox forward to flush up with the adjacent walls, HZ?
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Unread 08-19-2021, 08:04 AM   #6
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exactly how did they tell you to tile direct to the metal ? Curious what THEY said to do and use?
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Unread 08-19-2021, 09:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e3
Curious what THEY said to do and use?
Me too.
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Unread 08-19-2021, 10:05 AM   #8
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Add me to the list of curious.
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Unread 08-19-2021, 06:16 PM   #9
Oozz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
We've mudded and tiled over many metal fire boxes over the years but the metal box is usually set inline with the studs, not set back two inches. I don't know what else to do but mud it the two inches and add 2 inch cuts to cover the edge of the mud near the inside of the box. Two inches of mud would have to be done in several coats. Maybe someone else has a better idea.
This is what I was actually thinking of doing. But, I’m a complete boogie and am afraid I will botch the job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Is it not possible to move the firebox forward to flush up with the adjacent walls, HZ?
No, it’s attached to a chimney.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e3
exactly how did they tell you to tile direct to the metal ? Curious what THEY said to do and use?
I can tile directly on the metal. As long as the fireplace is working correctly, the box shouldn’t get that hot. Tile using regular thinset, no special instructions. I asked several times, the man seemed sure. He said that’s what they do in-house. Should I call back?
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Unread 08-20-2021, 07:53 AM   #10
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I would get specifics including whos and what thin set..then/and or contact the manufacture of the thinset you plan on using and let them advise since their doing the bonding!
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Unread 08-20-2021, 11:30 AM   #11
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I would examine your chimney very closely to see if it’s possible that you can move the fireplace and adjust the chimney. If the chimney coming out of the fireplace is a round tube with joints along the way as it heads toward the roof it’s very possible that you could get away with moving the fireplace forward to be flush with the studs and adjust the chimney for the new location. I had a similar situation in a house I used to own and was able to do just what I described here.

The gas line would also have to be able to be slightly relocated and that could be hard or easy depending on what you currently have in place.
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Unread 08-20-2021, 01:30 PM   #12
Oozz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e3
I would get specifics including whos and what thin set..then/and or contact the manufacture of the thinset you plan on using and let them advise since their doing the bonding!
They did not provide any specifics. Although he spoke confidently about being able to tile directly on the mertal, he seemed quite uninformed about any specifics. He advised me to go to Home Depot (or the links) and ask them what type of thinset/adhesive would work best.

I’m actually thinking about reapplying bricks and mortar, then applying the tile to that. There were bricks and mortar there originally so I know it would stick and it could fill the 2 inch gap. I removed the bricks because they were crumbling and stuck out really far.
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Unread 08-20-2021, 10:55 PM   #13
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Based on what you’re saying, the person from the fireplace manufacturer doesn’t seem to have even an elementary grip on the tile industry and is oversimplifying things because they don’t know any better...and haven’t been sued yet.

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Unread 08-21-2021, 08:42 AM   #14
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Yeah, what Bubba said. Passing the buck to Homer at Home Depot tells me the guy doesn't have a clue. I know Homer means well but there's 100 x more thinset experience here on this forum than what Homer has.

The bricks appear to have ties anchoring them to the metal box. The mud I mentioned would need lath anchored to the box using short self tapping sheet metal screws along with flat washers. That will anchor the lath without having to worry about trying to bond to the metal. I'm afraid if you install the bricks back, it'll still be too rough and crooked to tile to, which would then need to be mudded. I will say that it's not an easy job to mud something without having some experience doing it. That said, there is a lot of info on mud work here on the forum.
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Unread 08-21-2021, 09:24 AM   #15
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Assuming you can't move fireplace forward, here's yet another option.
Either use light gauge steel framing or have someone weld dimensional steel frame that attaches to fireplace and/or wood frame.

This could bring out face to within 1/2" of wall plane. Screw on 1/2" CBU to bring flush.
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