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Unread 12-19-2016, 08:23 PM   #1
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Glass Fireplace Project

Hi Everyone,

Recently discovered this site and it is great! I have done some lurking but I think it is best to just ask questions.

I have a fireplace in my master bedroom that is a gas unit Heatilator ND4236. The unit was installed previous to my owning the home. I would like to tile around it and all the way up on three faces of the unit (front is 44"Wx11'Tall)
(sides about 19"Wx11' tall) and mount my tv over it. My question is this. I have glass tile that I would like to use, but after reading up a bit I'm starting to question whether this is such a great idea. I have a feeling that I will need some level of cement board but I've had one contractor tell me to just clad it in cement board and other folks tell me to just put the tile over the glass.

1. What do I need to do to do this once and properly?

2. Since glass doesn't really expand how are others putting glass so close to the fire and I'm not really seeing anything with cracking?

3. How would I finish the corners (wall/ ceiling and wall/wall)

4. Am I going to have to leave an untiled part in the front for the mount of the tv? I was thinking I may have to put plywood down, mount that to the studs, and then mount to the plywood.

5. I also have seen little LED lights in grout to make it a twinkle function, too much work?

6. Can I remove the hearth? The unit is a gas unit with the protective glass in front.

7. Mastic? Thinset? What kind of grout?

8. W or M?

I am a bit of time away from this project (2 - 3 months) as I'm also working on other areas of the house. Depending on how things go and how brave I get hoping to be through this by February/March. Not sure if I'm being overly cautious or overly ambitious.

Thanks to all in advance.
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Unread 12-19-2016, 11:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Maingey.

1 & 2. I'm not a big fan of glass over a heat source, since it doesn't always work well in that situation.

3. Wall to ceiling could just be cut off with a 1/8" gap for expansion, then caulked. Wall to wall corners would need a bullnose tile or a trim piece, like one of these.

4. I would put the mounting bracket up, or at least mark where it will go, and tile around it. You'll want to hit a framing stud there, or add some framing where needed. If you mount to the tile, you could crack it when tightening up the bracket.

5. Sorry, no experience with those.

6. You have a picture of what you're wanting to remove?

7. Always thinset in that application, no matter what tile you use.

8. You'll have to clue me in on what those stand for.

The top ten reasons to procrastinate:

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Unread 12-20-2016, 08:01 AM   #3
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Glass expands much more than ceramic or porcelain tiles. When cutting glass for windows, the glass is normally cut 1/4" smaller than the space to allow for expansion and contraction. Have you seen the rubber seals around commercial winders?

Make sure your glass tiles are rated for use around high heat areas. Some glass tiles will crack more easily, or heaven forbid explode.

Is the glass tile floor use rated?

W or M refers to the design. Its dealers choice.

For when DIY isn't such a good idea...
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Unread 12-21-2016, 10:18 PM   #4
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@Kman & @Houston Remodeler thanks for responding.

It looks as if it this is going to happen. The white border is going to stay (going to be changed out with something more ornate), so there will be a little distance from the heat source. It's funny I thought from reading here that glass didn't have much expansion, and that is why it was not the greatest to put it in shower surrounds. It is what caused me to start asking questions. I don't believe the tile is rated for floor as it is so thin. After I'm done responding here I'm checking out American Olean's site. If I can't find anything there then I'll email them. I just moved to the home so this is the first winter I'm getting to use the unit and see what it does for us. I've read before that for hanging tv I would want to put a thermometer around the area where the tv is supposed to be. If it gets to a really hot temp then I would know that the tv can't go there. I'll find out if there is some kind of thing like that for glass tile. Would I have to cover the whole think in cement board to support the weight, take down the sheetrock first, what would be the best way? And yes Houston Remodeler is correct on the M or W. Dealer being the Mrs. said she had to think about it.
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Unread 12-22-2016, 12:36 PM   #5
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Called American Olean. They refused to tell me anything other than "...we recommend that our tile get installed on backer board." Anything other than that the gentleman said "...we are not the installer, so I can not make recommendations for you." He did tell me that the tile is fine to install around the fireplace, "...just not in it." The guy didn't look up anything so I have to hope he knew what he was talking about. I called two more times and was on hold for more than 4 min and I can't wait that long unfortunately. Thought I was going this was going to be an easy one, but it seems a little more specialized.

I did find little more detail on the lowes Canadian website. and the American Lowe's site had the same reviews with some people posting images. The Canadian site says it is indoor/Outdoor which is good.

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Unread 12-22-2016, 12:36 PM   #6
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American Olean 12-in x 12-in Royal Palm Mixed Material (Stone and Glass) Linear Mosaic

Last edited by cx; 12-22-2016 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Light up link
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Unread 12-22-2016, 01:47 PM   #7
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The challenge here is determining how hot the area above the fireplace gets. Do you have a way to safely do that? If it's in the 150 degree F range you should be fine, higher than that and you would want to consider tile. (Yes, I made that number up based on experience, you won't find it written down anywhere official).

I wouldn't recommend Mastic for your situation, glass has no mechanism for allowing air to get to the Mastic. You would be better off with a product like our Mosaic and Glass Tile Mortar with Polymer additive.

We don't recommend going over painted drywall. In a perfect world we would suggest you replace it with cement backerboard. If that's not an option, a bond promoting primer should be used first. Give us a call at the number below if you need additional assistance.

MAPEI Product Tech Support Hotline 1-800-992-6273
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Unread 12-22-2016, 01:58 PM   #8
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Does the 150F temperature applies to both conditions -- wet or dry -- ? In shower use , does the temperature could be increased or decreased -- in % --? TY

There was something here but is no longer available
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Unread 01-01-2017, 04:17 PM   #9
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@CX thank you for hotlinking the Canadian description. The US link, under reviews, has pictures of the tile installed and a few interesting tips, like I'll need to seal the stones on the tiles before grouting.

@Dan, thanks for the advice. I'm looking into ways to take the temp. Seems like taping a thermometer to the area or using a thermos gun are the two options. I will call your number shortly. Happy New Year everyone.
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