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Unread 02-15-2021, 09:02 AM   #1
Allimltry
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Tiling around a fireplace box

I have tiled before with success but I have sheets of 3/4” carrera penny tiles that need to be applied to three 7” wide sides (left, right, above) around our wood burning fireplace opening and I’m daunted but really want to get this finished. We’ve built a feature wall for the fireplace so it needs to look great and be properly installed (materials that hold up for a fireplace application). If anyone has done this type of thing, I’d appreciate some first-hand pointers!

*(the whole wall is wrapped in shiplap that will all be painted the dark color already pre-applied in the grooves. There are slate pieces that will be re-applied to the left and right (like the horizontal piece above) to which I planned to adhere the penny tiles along with a schluter-type finished edge. The three inside sides of the opening our bump out wall created will then be finished with 1x6’s painted to match the shiplap. Since this will be added last, it will butt up to the penny.)

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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 02-16-2021 at 08:15 PM. Reason: Rotate picture to correct orientation :)
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Unread 02-15-2021, 10:18 AM   #2
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Welcome Allimltry.

Before I got too far down the road, I'd want the blessing of the fireplace manufacturer. Many that I've seen have a specific requirement for distance from top of firebox to flammable horizontal surfaces above and even specify how far that can protrude off the plane of fireplace front. The bump-out you've created, being framed out of wood, certainly qualifies as flammable.

Have you researched that requirement?
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Unread 02-15-2021, 12:29 PM   #3
Allimltry
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Hey Peter! The guy who services our chimney checked it out and said we should be far enough above the actual fire box and are shallow enough with the bump out wall but here is a picture and the label on the box. Thanks!

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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 02-16-2021 at 08:12 PM. Reason: Rotate pictures to correct orientation :)
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Unread 02-15-2021, 12:53 PM   #4
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The distance from the top of the combustion box to the underside of our bump out opening is 14.25”. The box is recessed 3.25” from the manufacturer’s metal surround, which is recessed 3/4” from the existing slate, which is recessed 5.5” from the front of our bump-out wall. So the outermost aspect of the bump out wall opening by the combustion box is 14.25” above and 9.5” in front. I hope that makes sense.

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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 02-16-2021 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Rotate pictures to correct orientation :)
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Unread 02-15-2021, 12:56 PM   #5
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I'm glad you trust him, but your insurance company may not feel the same should you suffer a loss due to fire. And fires are never fun unless they're the camp variety.

I'd encourage you to do your own research, as you're effectively the general contractor.

Google brought me this, which looks similar to yours, but you'd have to verify model number. It would be worth a call to Martin. Specifically see page 23 where they seem to require 18" from top of firebox to bottom of combustible surface. I'd guess yours at something less than that.

http://www.villageatriverbend.net/at...MARTIN_001.pdf
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Unread 02-15-2021, 01:06 PM   #6
Allimltry
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Thanks! This is interesting. So....looks like we will be using a natural stone surround in place of the 1x6s. so - what are your thoughts about the install of the penny tiles?
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Unread 02-15-2021, 04:09 PM   #7
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My thoughts?

Penny tile poses some unique challenges, both from an installation perspective and also appearance.

How to finish edges if the layout produces slivers? Geometrically they require some forethought to look right to my eye. The grout in a field of pennies becomes a significant visual element because the ratio of tile to grout is typically higher. To be honest, my minds eye sees the convergence of pennies, metal profile and wood ends in your suggested design as cluttered and screaming "look at me". Perhaps two of the three could be implemented but some of that water is past the bridge, eh?

The "wood" element in your bump out could be done with tile. Were it mine and I wanted the recessed look with diagonal planking, I'd raise the horizontal framing to at least what is recommended by mfgr., perhaps even do it with light gauge steel, but that's me. Then skin the frame in tile backer and tile the whole shebang. Wrapping the diagonal wood look tile inside and out would look cool, but would be some work as the changes of plane would look best mitered.

Truth be told, I'd change the fireplace too. Zero clearance fireplaces are known to be energy suckers. They lose more heat than they produce. Their virtue is that they can contain a fire and add cachet to a real estate listing.

Them's my thoughts...you did ask.
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Unread 02-15-2021, 08:39 PM   #8
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Hi, Allison.

I think you've got a big problem. That recess is very deep for how close it is. I don't think you'll pass code. And simply installing a thin non-combustible material over a those combustible wood studs won't prevent them from becoming extremely hot to the point of ignition. Page 3, towards the top of the page, number 2....warns that improper installation can result in hazardous temperatures to develop on combustible materials adjacent to the fireplace or chimney.

I highly suggest you talk to your local code people. Codes need to be adhered to with such a safety risk. In addition, the directions that Peter dug up specifically refer to local codes needing to be in place, as well as their instructions. I deal with code all the time. This is a time to make friends with your local code jurisdiction, not matter how far along the process you've gone.

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Unread 02-15-2021, 09:16 PM   #9
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Exclamation

Have to agree with above. When I installed my zero-clearance fireplace insert, it was an 18" clearance for any combustible material above.

I overcame that by using solid non-combustable material such as 14 gauge studs, cement board, and 1" thick travertine slabs.

Even then, I had month of back and forth for blessing from Fireplace Company's engineer and insurance company.

Did post install temperature chart and submitted that as part of the requirements.

Don't mess with fireplace specs unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences.

If you would like to keep that overhead mantel height, you will need to get recommendation from fireplace manufacturers and code approval. Not some installer's unwritten reassurances.
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Unread 02-15-2021, 11:28 PM   #10
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Here is what the manual for our fireplace says.
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Last edited by Tool Guy - Kg; 02-16-2021 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Rotate picture to correct orientation :)
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Unread 02-15-2021, 11:29 PM   #11
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Sorry picts are rotated - they are upright on my camera so I’m not sure why they are turning
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Unread 02-16-2021, 09:32 AM   #12
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It's the forum software, Allison, no fault of yours for the rotated photos. if you take your photos in portrait instead of landscape I think they'll show up correctly. Maybe.

I agree with Joe who agrees with Bubba who agrees with Peter. Bring the inspectors in. However, in order to do that you might be required to obtain a building permit. I'm also in NoVa, not a difficult process in my county and I suspect it'll be similar in yours.
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