Tiling a fireplace can be a great way to update and refresh the look of your living space. But where do you start? Harriet Chalmers, a renovation expert, advises that the first thing you should do is measure the area you want to tile and determine how many tiles you’ll need. “It’s important to take accurate measurements to ensure you purchase the right amount of materials,” says Chalmers.
Once you have your measurements, Ashley Goodacre, another expert in the field, recommends choosing the best type of tiles for your fireplace. “There are so many options to choose from – whether you want a classic brick surround or a more modern, sleek look,” explains Goodacre. “Consider the style of your home and what kind of tiles will complement it.”
When it comes to actually tiling the fireplace, Harriet Chalmers advises using a tile board as a base. “This will provide a smooth and even surface for the tiles to adhere to,” she says. “Apply tile adhesive to the board using a notched trowel, then press the tiles into place, leaving a small gap between each one for grout.”
Both experts agree that using tile spacers is essential for a professional-looking finish. “Spacers help ensure that your tiles are evenly spaced and aligned,” says Chalmers. “They’re worth the extra time and effort.”
Once the tiles are in place, leave them to set overnight before applying grout. “This allows the adhesive to dry and the tiles to fully adhere,” advises Goodacre. “After the grout has been applied and any excess wiped away, give it a final clean and you’re done!”
“Tiling a fireplace can be a bit tricky, but with the right materials and tips from the experts, it’s definitely achievable,” says Harriet Chalmers. “Remember to take your time and be patient – the results will be worth it!”
So, whether you’re looking to update the look of your fireplace or simply refresh its appearance, tiling can be a great option. Just make sure to follow the advice of the experts, measure accurately, choose the right type of tiles, and use spacers for a professional finish. With a little bit of patience and some careful planning, you can transform your fireplace into a stunning focal point in your home.
Sources: Ashley Goodacre & Harriet Chalmers, Gardens & Flooring Weekly, July 2022
How to tile a fireplace
Experts recommend tiling fireplaces for a fresh look
If you’re looking for a way to update the look of your fireplace, experts recommend tiling it. Tiled fireplaces not only add visual interest but are also easy to clean and maintain. Whether you prefer a traditional brick look or something more modern, tiling can provide the desired aesthetic. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to tile your fireplace and transform its appearance.
Gather the materials you’ll need
Before starting the tiling project, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. Here’s a list of items you’ll need for tiling your fireplace:
- Tile of your choice
- Tile adhesive
- Tile spacers
- Tile cutter
- Tile saw
- Grout float
Measurements and preparations
The first step in tiling your fireplace is to accurately measure the area you want to tile. Take into account the height, width, and depth of the fireplace. It’s recommended to leave a 10% extra tile allowance for any cuts or breakages. Also, consider the surrounding space and ensure you have privacy and enough room to work comfortably.
Protect your flooring by laying down a drop cloth or plastic sheet. Clear the fireplace of any ashes or debris before starting the tiling process.
Applying the tiles
Next, you’ll need to apply tile adhesive to the back of each tile using a notched trowel. Leave a small gap between each tile using tile spacers, as this will allow room for the grout. Start at the bottom and work your way up, ensuring the tiles are level and aligned.
If you’re tiling a brick pattern, consider alternating the orientation of the tiles for a more authentic look. Continue tiling until the entire fireplace surround is covered.
Grouting and finishing touches
Once the tiles are securely in place, it’s time to grout. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the gaps between the tiles using a grout float. Make sure to remove any excess grout before it dries using a damp sponge.
Allow the grout to dry overnight before using the fireplace. After it has fully dried, use a grout sealer to protect the grout from staining or discoloration.
The final result
With the tiling complete and the grout dried and sealed, step back and admire your newly transformed fireplace. The tiles will add a fresh new look to the space and can be easily customized to match your design preferences.
Remember to always follow the advice and recommendations of experts when it comes to tiling your fireplace. It’s important to understand the terms and measurements involved so you can achieve the best results. Enjoy your updated fireplace and the cozy atmosphere it will bring to your home!
1 Measure and plan before you start
Before you begin tiling your fireplace, it’s important to take accurate measurements and plan out your project. This will ensure that you have the right amount and type of materials, and that your tiles are fitted properly.
Start by determining what kind of tile you want to use for your fireplace surround. There are many different types available, so choose one that suits your style and the overall look you’re going for. You can then decide on the size and shape of the tiles.
Next, measure the height and width of your fireplace surround. This will give you an idea of how many tiles you’ll need and how they should be arranged. It’s also important to measure the depth of the surround, as this will determine how far out the tiles should stick.
Once you have your measurements, consult a tiling guide or expert for advice on the best way to apply the tiles. They can give you specific instructions on spacing, adhesive application, and grout details.
Ashley Goodacre, a tiling expert, advises using tile spacers to ensure even spacing between each tile. She explains, “Using spacers will help you achieve a professional finish and prevent the tiles from moving as the adhesive dries.”
If your fireplace surround is not square, Harriet Chalmers from Homes and Gardens recommends using a notched trowel to apply the adhesive. This will allow for better grip and adherence of the tiles.
When it comes to choosing the type of tile adhesive, there are a few options to consider. Goodacre suggests using a ready-mixed adhesive for better adhesion on vertical surfaces. This will help prevent the tiles from sliding down as the adhesive sets.
In terms of grout, experts recommend using a flexible grout that is suitable for use with fireplaces. This will allow for expansion and contraction of the tiles due to heat exposure.
Once you have all the materials and measurements in place, it’s time to start tiling. Begin by applying the adhesive to the back of each tile and pressing it firmly onto the fireplace surround. Make sure to leave a small gap between each tile for grout.
Work in small sections at a time, so that the adhesive doesn’t dry before you get a chance to place the tiles. You may need to use tile spacers to ensure even spacing.
Once all the tiles are fitted, leave the adhesive to dry overnight. Then, you can apply the grout using a grout float, making sure to remove any excess grout as you go.
It’s important to let the grout dry completely before using the fireplace. This can take up to 48 hours, so make sure to plan accordingly.
By measuring and planning before you start tiling your fireplace, you’ll ensure a successful renovation project and a beautiful finished result.
2 Cut tiles to fit
When tiling a fireplace, you’ll inevitably have tiles that need to be cut to fit properly. According to Ashley Goodacre, a tiling expert from Flooring Guide, it’s important to take accurate measurements before making any cuts. “You want to make sure you know exactly what size tile you need,” says Goodacre, “whether it’s square or rectangular.”
If you’re not sure how to measure your tiles, Goodacre recommends using a notched trowel or tile spacers to determine the best fit. These tools will help you determine how much tile you need to cut and where to make the cuts.
Tips for cutting tiles
Here are some tips for cutting tiles to fit your fireplace:
- Use a tile cutter or wet saw to make precise cuts. This will ensure clean edges and a professional finish.
- Measure twice and cut once. Double-check your measurements before making any cuts to avoid wasting materials.
- Cut just a little bit less than what you think you need. It’s easier to trim off excess tile than to add more.
- If your fireplace has a brick surround, consider using a diamond blade to cut through the brick. This will make the cutting process easier.
- If you’re unsure about cutting the tiles yourself, seek advice from experts or refer to online sources for step-by-step instructions.
Goodacre also advises leaving a small gap between each tile to account for any movement or expansion. “You don’t want the tiles to be too tight together,” she says, “because they might crack or pop off.” This gap can be filled with grout or caulk, depending on your preference.
Once you’ve cut your tiles to fit, apply them to the fireplace using tile adhesive or mortar. Allow the tiles to dry overnight before grouting or sealing them. This will ensure that they are firmly fitted and will last for years to come.
More details about tiling fireplaces
If you want more details about tiling fireplaces, Harriet Chalmers, a home renovation expert from Better Homes & Gardens, has some additional advice:
- Consider the height of your fireplace when choosing tile. A taller fireplace may require larger tiles to maintain proportion.
- In terms of materials, Chalmers suggests using porcelain or ceramic tiles for fireplaces. These types of tiles are heat-resistant and easy to clean.
- Don’t forget to consider the overall style and design of your fireplace when selecting tiles. You’ll want to choose tiles that complement the existing decor.
Remember, each fireplace is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Use these expert tips as a starting point, but don’t hesitate to consult professionals or other reliable sources for personalized advice. Happy tiling!
3 Apply the tiles
When it comes to actually applying the tiles to your fireplace, there are a few important steps to follow. Harriet Goodacre, an expert in tiling, offers some valuable advice on how to do it.
- Measurements: Before you begin tiling, it’s crucial to measure the area where the tiles will be installed. Make sure you have accurate measurements to determine how many tiles you’ll need.
- Type of tiles: There are various types of tiles available for fireplace surrounds, such as ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone. Consider the style and theme of your room and choose the tiles that best complement it.
- Prepare the surface: Before applying the tiles, make sure the fireplace surface is clean and free of any debris or dust. If necessary, use a tile backer board to create a smooth and even surface.
- Apply adhesive: Use a trowel to spread the tile adhesive evenly on the surface, starting from the bottom and working your way up. Apply only a small area of adhesive at a time to prevent it from drying out too quickly.
- Apply the tiles: Place each tile carefully onto the adhesive, pressing it firmly into place. Use tile spacers to ensure even spacing between the tiles. Continue this process until all the tiles have been fitted.
- Cutting tiles: If needed, use a tile cutter to trim tiles to fit properly around corners or edges. Measure and mark the tiles beforehand to ensure accurate cuts.
- Grouting: Once the tiles are in place and the adhesive has dried overnight, it’s time to apply the grout. Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and use a grout float to apply it between the tiles.
- Clean excess grout: After applying the grout, use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess grout from the surface of the tiles. Be careful not to remove too much grout from between the tiles.
- Finish and seal: Once the grout has dried, you can finish the tile surround by wiping it down with a clean, damp cloth. If desired, apply a sealant to protect the tiles from moisture and stains.
Following these steps will help you achieve a beautifully tiled fireplace surround. “It’s important to take your time and ensure each tile is properly fitted,” advises Harriet Goodacre. “Using spacers and being meticulous in your measurements will make all the difference.”
Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or new to tiling, these expert tips will guide you through the process of tiling your fireplace. Remember to consult the manufacturers’ instructions for specific advice on materials and techniques.
4 Apply the grout
Once all the tiles are in place, it’s time to apply the grout. Grout is a cement-based mixture that fills in the gaps between the tiles, creating a smooth and cohesive finish.
Here are some tips for applying the grout:
- Make sure you have the right type of grout for your fireplace. There are different kinds available, so check with your local home improvement store for advice on what kind is best for your specific needs.
- Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll typically need to add water to a powdered mixture to create the right consistency.
- Use a notched trowel to spread the grout over the tiles. This will help ensure an even application and minimize excess grout.
- Work in small sections, applying the grout diagonally across the tiles. This will help push the grout into the gaps and ensure a strong bond.
- Use a grout float or sponge to remove excess grout from the surface of the tiles. Make sure to wipe diagonally across the tiles to avoid pulling the grout out of the gaps.
- Wait for the grout to dry. The drying time will depend on the type of grout and the temperature and humidity of your room, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details.
It’s important to note that some experts recommend leaving a small gap between the tiles to allow for expansion and contraction of the materials. This is especially important if you’re tiling over a brick or stone surround.
Harriet Ashley, a tiling expert from Green Gardens, advises, “Whether or not you leave a gap between the tiles will depend on the type of surround you have. If it’s brick or stone, I would recommend leaving a small gap, as these materials can expand and contract with temperature changes.”
Once the grout is dry, you can give the tiles a final clean with a damp sponge to remove any haze or residue. Then, you can sit back and admire your beautifully tiled fireplace!
Can I use any tiles on a fireplace?
When it comes to tiling a fireplace, you’ll need to consider the specific requirements of your project. While many types of tiles can be used for fireplace surrounds, there are some important factors to keep in mind.
Harriet Chalmers Goodacre, a tile expert from Gardens and Goodacre, advises that not all tiles are suitable for use on fireplaces. “Fireplaces can generate a lot of heat, so it’s important to choose tiles that can withstand high temperatures,” explains Goodacre. “Some tiles, such as certain types of ceramics or vinyl, might not be able to handle the heat and could crack or warp.”
Ashley Best, an expert in tiling and renovations, recommends using materials that are specifically designed for fireplaces. “Brick, stone, and porcelain tiles are often the best choices for fireplace surrounds,” says Best. “These materials are durable and can handle the high heat that fireplaces produce.”
Before starting your tiling project, it’s important to measure the area where the tiles will be installed. “You’ll need to know the height, width, and depth of your fireplace surround,” advises Best. “These measurements will help you determine how many tiles you’ll need and what size to buy.”
Once you have the measurements, you can source the appropriate tiles for your fireplace. “There are many options available, from mosaic tiles to large-format tiles,” says Harriet Chalmers Goodacre. “The type of tile you choose will depend on your personal style and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve.”
When it comes to the installation process, it’s important to follow the advice of experts. Harriet Chalmers Goodacre recommends using a notched trowel and spacers to ensure the tiles are properly fitted and have the right spacing between them. “A little extra attention to detail will go a long way in achieving a professional finish,” says Goodacre. “Using spacers will help create a clean and even look.”
It’s also important to consider the type of adhesive to use when tiling a fireplace. “Some adhesives are specifically designed for use with fireplaces and can withstand high temperatures,” explains Ashley Best. “Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and choose an adhesive that is suitable for use on fireplaces.”
Once the tiles are installed, it’s important to let them set overnight before grouting. “This will ensure that the tiles are properly bonded to the fireplace and will help prevent any movement or cracking,” advises Harriet Chalmers Goodacre.
When it comes to grouting, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. “Make sure to choose a grout color that complements the tiles and the overall design of your fireplace,” says Ashley Best. “Applying the grout with a grout float and then wiping away the excess with a damp sponge will help achieve a clean and professional look.”
Overall, whether you’re tiling a fireplace surround yourself or hiring a professional, it’s important to consider the type of tiles you use. “Not all tiles are suitable for use on fireplaces, so it’s important to choose materials that can handle the heat,” advises Harriet Chalmers Goodacre. “By following these tips and seeking advice from experts, you’ll be able to create a beautiful and functional fireplace that will enhance your home for years to come.”
Can I tile over a brick fireplace
If you’re considering giving your brick fireplace a new look, tiling over it can be a great option. Whether you’re tired of the outdated brick or simply want to add some personality to your space, tiling over a brick fireplace can completely transform the room. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind before you begin the process.
Determine the type of tile
First, you’ll need to decide on the type of tile you want to use. The choice of tile will depend on your personal style and the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve. It’s important to measure the dimensions of your fireplace to ensure you have enough tile to cover the entire surface.
Seek expert advice
Seeking advice from experts in tiling and fireplace renovations is essential. They can guide you on the best materials to use and offer valuable tips and tricks for a successful project. Whether you consult with a professional or do your research, having a good understanding of the materials and techniques involved in tiling over a brick fireplace is important.
Prepare the surface
Before you begin tiling, it’s crucial to prepare the surface of the brick fireplace. This involves cleaning the brick thoroughly and applying a layer of backer board. The backer board will provide a smooth and even surface for the tiles to adhere to.
Tile installation process
Once the surface is prepped, you can begin the process of tiling. It’s important to use a notched trowel to apply the tile adhesive evenly. Place the tiles on the adhesive, using spacers to maintain consistent spacing between each tile. Allow the tiles to set overnight before grouting.
Grouting and finishing touches
After the tiles have set, you can grout the spaces between them. Use a grout float to apply the grout, ensuring that all the gaps are filled. Once the grout has dried, you can clean the tiles and apply a sealer for added durability and protection.
It’s worth noting that tiling over a brick fireplace can be a time-consuming process, so it’s important to be patient and take your time to ensure a high-quality result. Following a detailed guide or seeking professional help can make the process smoother and easier.
Do you need a special grout for fireplaces
When tiling a fireplace surround, you may wonder whether you need to use a special grout. The answer is…
Yes, you will need a special grout for fireplaces.
According to Ashley Goodacre, a tile expert at Chalmers Gardens, it’s important to choose the right kind of grout for your fireplace. “Regular grout may not be suitable for high-temperature areas like fireplaces,” Goodacre advises. “You’ll want to use a grout that is heat-resistant, so it doesn’t crack or discolor.”
Goodacre explains that fireplaces can reach high temperatures, especially when in use, and regular grout may not be able to withstand this heat. Using a heat-resistant grout will ensure that your fireplace tiles stay in place and maintain their appearance over time.
In terms of what type of grout to use, Goodacre says there are different options available. “I recommend using a high-temperature grout specifically designed for fireplaces,” she says. “These grouts are made to withstand the heat and provide a long-lasting finish.”
Goodacre also advises using a grout that matches the color of your tiles to create a seamless look. “Matching the grout color to the tiles will give your fireplace a clean and cohesive appearance,” she explains.
When it comes to the application process, Goodacre says it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. “Each grout may have different mixing and application requirements, so be sure to read the details on the packaging,” she says.
Goodacre recommends using a notched trowel to apply the grout, spreading it evenly between the tiles. “Make sure to leave a little excess grout on the surface,” she advises. “This will allow you to pack it into the joints and ensure a strong bond.”
Once the grout is applied, Goodacre suggests using spacers to maintain a consistent gap between the tiles. “Using spacers will help ensure that the grout lines are even and straight,” she says.
After the grout has set, which usually takes about 24 hours, Goodacre advises using a grout sealer to protect the grout from stains and moisture. “Sealing the grout will help maintain its appearance and make it easier to clean,” she says.
In summary, when tiling a fireplace, it is important to use a special grout that is heat-resistant. This will ensure that your tiles stay in place and maintain their appearance over time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and consider using a grout sealer for added protection.