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Unread 07-25-2016, 10:11 PM   #1
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Need help on resurfacing a fire place

I'm flipping a house and it has red brick as the facade. I want to modernize it and put some ceramic tile on it. How do you prepare the surface. I've seen people use backboard which seems the easiest and fastest way but others use thin set to smooth out the bricks and fill mortar cracks in. Whats the best and fastest way to prepare it for tile. Its a gas fed fireplace that uses natural wood.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 08:25 AM   #2
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Here is a link to Sal DiBlasi's video on resurfacing a fireplace he explains everything he does throughout the video and why he built it out with Durrock.


The fastest way is one you've mentioned already of keying in thin set to fill the tuck pointed joints. And then spreading out thin set and installing the tile (be sure to back butter the tile also to ensure complete coverage). However, you can only do this if the brick and joints are in good condition and well installed. On top of that the brick should be cleaned and free of contaminants and debris, a good scrub wash with diluted muriatic acid (wear gloves, ventilation mask, open windows and doors and set up fans so the whole area is extremely ventilated). After that wash it down with water, let it dry for the most part before keying in the thin set.

This is what I've done in the past. Do wait for the input from the site's pros and I'm sure you will get a better variety of methods for preparation. Preferably one that doesn't involve using muriatic acid.

Best of luck

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Unread 07-26-2016, 12:06 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, Mike.

I would not use muriatic acid on the brick when it is to be covered with tile, especially within a house. There are other products that you can use if you need to, but you may find wiping the brick with a wet sponge. You could also use a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water, or trisodium phosphate, just be sure to rinse the brick thoroughly when you've cleaned it.

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