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Unread 01-06-2021, 02:13 PM   #1
Scott_M_FLA
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Fireplace tile pattern question - large format

Question for the experts (newbie here).

I am involved in a fireplace tear out/remodel and want to know if anyone has a recommendation regarding the pattern. We are using large format 24x48 tiles and the dark rectangle in the middle is the (electric) fireplace.

First image is more vertical while second option is more horizontal. Is there a "best practices" we should follow?
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Unread 01-06-2021, 04:02 PM   #2
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Welcome, Scott.

Purely an aesthetic consideration. No industry standards involved.

Our usual recommendation here (TYW) is to use whatever pattern Mrs. Scott likes best.

But on the technical aspects, I strongly recommend you do whatever possible to make the tiling surface as flat as you possibly can. Installing tiles of that size is not for the faint of heart under the very best of circumstances. And getting the grout joints to line up accurately as shown in your second photo might be a bit difficult. Using the layout in the first photo would eliminate any problem with that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-06-2021, 11:06 PM   #3
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I think the fire is the main event, not the tile. And because the firebox is so horizontal, I’d want the tile to be horizontal, as well, to compliment.

Two cents.
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Unread 01-07-2021, 06:43 AM   #4
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I liked #2 pic best all. But sketch up can look better than what you can achieve. Like CX days this is tricky. Is this a drawing of all the tile on the fireplace wall? Plan to use a nice straight ledger board.
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Unread 01-07-2021, 08:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback - Ms. Scott also voted for the horizontal orientation (#2) so I'll see if the installer will agree to do as well. No way am I (amateur) going to attempt this.

Question for Elkski: If this tile pattern goes all the way to the floor, do I need to be so concerned about your ledger board recommendation? I agree with getting everything flat/straight but I don't think I'll have a weight issue. A new floor is being installed first and that crew is performing additional leveling so I hope my starting point at the floor is good to go.
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Unread 01-07-2021, 10:05 AM   #6
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Your tile guy may start at the floor. But amazingly even large tiles stick in place with little sag if done right. A ledger board is just a temporary support I would put under the tile that contacts your fireplace. All things will be centered around this focal point. However you should draw the entire wall to scale so we can see if there are any slivers or unbalanced looking things. I can't imagine the bottom of the fire place and floor will be parallel. Is the fireplace centered in the tiled wall?
If it's only one cut tile below the fireplace tiles he may start there but for sure the bottom edge will need to be cut.
If fireplace is not installed or drywalled in I would level it perfectly. I mean perfectly. Laser is so nice.
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Unread 01-07-2021, 05:01 PM   #7
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We are framing for the fireplace this weekend so I will stress getting this level.

Because of 24x48 tile size, the lower tile run will be cut along the bottom as will the upper run. The two sides are 24" tall (size of the rough opening for the fireplace) so we have wiggle room all around the perimeter. There would be no additional cuts other than what I've mocked up since we'll have walls left or right (it's a corner install). I'll double-check to ensure the side walls will give a clean line.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise - if the job comes out nice I'll post a photo or two. If terrible, I'll drown my sorrows...
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Unread 01-07-2021, 05:17 PM   #8
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If you can get the joints to line up with the fireplace box like #2, that's what I'd do. Make sure your installer has a tile saw that can cut these big tiles nice and straight. That's sometimes a problem with installing these big tiles.

Not only does the wall need to be plumb but it needs to be flat. Get studs that are straight if you can find them. If this is a corner fireplace which means you'll be tiling to the walls on each side at a 45, I'm not sure how you'll avoid cuts there unless you plan to build the wall to fit full tiles.
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Unread 01-07-2021, 06:30 PM   #9
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When I do some frame ng like this I go pick the studs as far ahead as I can. I will sort through fifty studs to get 5. Get extras as some will warp in the dry build site. Also don't buy studs if they felt real wet and heavy. In this area sometimes lowes lumber sits a long time in this bedroom community. Where the home depot 3 miles next to interstate goes through bundles in just days.
On a corner wall I can't imagine it's going to be easy to have the angled wall equal width top to bottom. Maybe make it a bit small and use shims
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Unread 01-07-2021, 08:04 PM   #10
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Or, maybe your installer knows how to handle a hawk and trowel. This wall had a bow that was at least 3/4 inch before we floated it.
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Unread 04-08-2021, 12:55 PM   #11
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Tiling fireplace and adding stone mantel - which should be first?

Hello experts!

We will be installing large format rectified tile around our fireplace and another company is planning to install a large stone mantel above. The tile and (underside of) the mantel will touch, so the question is who should install first?

The mantel underside is smooth (think of a granite countertop) and because we want the rectified tile to appear "groutless", does it matter who does their part first? I fear the mantel installer will chip the top of the installed tile and I fear tile installer will fight to get the large format tile seamlessly under the installed mantel. Am I doomed no matter which way we start?

Any feedback is appreciated.

Cheers,
SM
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Unread 04-08-2021, 04:52 PM   #12
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Scott, how is the mantle supported? If I could install it first I probably would, but every install is different, so there's no real rules.
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Unread 04-08-2021, 05:19 PM   #13
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Scott, I think you'll be making a mistake trying to set all that with no grout joints, but that's up to you.

As for who goes first, I think a discussion with both of the contractors is in order to make that go well.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-09-2021, 07:23 AM   #14
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Here's a photo of the fireplace with a sample of the tile (will be installed horizontally). The stone mantel is more like a shelf and will overhang about 3". I understand a small amount of grout is needed (1/16th ?) so does that mean I should do the mantel first and assume the tile installer will get some grout under the stone mantel and the upper edge of the tile? If yes, the mantel goes in first, correct?
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Unread 04-09-2021, 07:40 AM   #15
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If I were doing both parts of that installation I would install the tile first on the face of the fireplace with the top edges flush with whatever substrate was on the top. I would then provide the necessary space between tile and top using the bonding mortar for setting the top.

Not knowing just what you've got in mind for a "stone mantle," I could easily see a lip made at the front of the mantle that would completely cover the joint between face tile and stone top.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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