I have a gas log fireplace (metal prefab box) that had tile fireplace opening.
The builder just tiled over the steel firebox (outside/front) and the first
time we fired up the gas logs tiles came off (apparently mortar doesn't stick
to steel very well ;-).
I want to tear it all out and replace the tile but I certainly don't want this
to happen again. My first idea was to pull down the tile and cover fireplace
opening (part of the wall between the mantle and firebox) with Hardiebacker
before re tiling. To get things to come out right, about an inch of the
Hardiebacker will be exposed on the back side. Anyone see any issues with
this. Better ideas?
On Sun, 22 Jul 2012 12:38:07 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) email@example.com"
It was mortar ("apparently mortar doesn't stick to steel very well"). It's
fine where it's stuck to (presumably) wall board. The first time I fired it
up, with the gas logs in it, the tiles popped off as it cooled. There is
obviously a thermal expansion problem between the steel fireplace and the tile
(actually tumbled marble, I think). I was planning on putting natural stone
(some sort of quartz) back up there.
Haven't yet but it's a good idea. I hate wasting their (fireplace store) time
since it's unlikely they'll get a sale from this.
On Jul 22, 4:13 pm, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Yes, but if they give you good information, you can tell other folks
how good they are and maybe they will have more sales, so unless they
are busy, not likely this time of year, they should be willing to help
On 7/23/2012 4:16 PM, email@example.com wrote:
metal isn't a proper substrate for tile. the metal flexes and changes
size when heated and cooling, so almost nothing solid will stick tiles
to it. something flexible like high temp silicone might. mastic will
melt. you'll have to provide a proper substrate (brick, block, cement
board, etc) for this application.
Agreed. Of course I didn't know what was under the tile until I fired it up.
My idea was to use Hardiebacker to cover the wall and metal fireplace, then
tile (stone, actually) over that. Hardiebacker is rated for use on fireplaces
but I'd need to have about 1" exposed on the back side (towards the fire) to
get the tile to come out right.
On Jul 23, 6:40 pm, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
I used 5/8 sheetrock around my fireplace, a Preway prebuilt Heatolator
fireplace. I used 4 inch square tiles on the entire front except on
the metal front edge right around the glass doors, the black painted
metal shows about 1.5 inches around the glass doors and then the tile
begins. Send me you r e-mail and I'll send you a picture of what it
looks like. Nothing fancy, but it is 15 years old and nothing ever
happpened, and we have had many many fies in it over that time.
On Mon, 23 Jul 2012 17:54:37 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) email@example.com"
There is only about 2-1/2 on the sides between the firebox and the mantle
supports and there is at least 4" of metal above the firebox. There is no
glass on the front (though that's another idea - have to think about it) to
hide the metal, just a chain fire-screen. I think the exposed metal would
The fireplace in this house is quite similar but has what looks like marble
around the firebox; one large piece under the mantle and three smaller pieces
on the sides and bottom. This would work, too, since there would be support
for the bottom edge of the marble (from above). I wonder what the cost of
that much marble (or whatever) would be?
My email address isn't hidden well. Your ideas are really appreciated.
On 7/23/2012 6:39 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
a cheap source of marble/granite is kitchen sink cutouts. i get stacks
of them from counter manufacturers for free, as they have to pay to send
them to the dump. it's pretty easy to cut with a normal diamond tile
saw, or i've even used a 5" diamond blade in a HF side grinder. you'd
have to also polish the edges, unless you're going for rustic, or had
access to the proper polishing tools.
if you have enough glued to the wall, you can just overhang a little bit
over the metal without anything, or any adhesive, behind it.
I have a couple of wet saws so cutting it up is no problem. Countertops are a
little on the thick side, though. It would make a pretty heavy wall.
I could probably even pay a kitchen place to finish them. The problem I see
is getting them to match. The cost is intriguing, though.
The metal across the top is at least 4" wide (that's what I can see now and
there is more above the second course). That's why I wanted to cover it with
Hardiebacker, so there would be some support for the "tiles" over metal.
On 7/24/2012 5:05 PM, email@example.com wrote:
they make countertop overlays, which are pretty thin, but lots harder to
find scraps of. you might contact someone near you that does this and
wait for larger pieces of scrap to come available. he'd usually toss
most of the extra because it likely won't match his next job.
if the bottom of the stone is resting on something, the weight bearing
won't matter to the wall as long as the adhesive holds. it's a sheer
rather than pulling force.
last time i looked about 5 years ago, it was $1/running inch for
polishing a simple flat edge for 2mm granite. if you want a profile, it
might be more.
i had to diamond hone the tops/sides of some concrete countertops that i
made, so i bought the tooling to do this. i've seen people buy the
tooling, use once, and sell on ebay cheaply. if you need a link to the
tooling let me know.
if you have access to a air powered needle scaler, you can make a rough
edge on the stone and won't have to polish it.
i'd want at least a 3x section attached to the wall, so for a 4"
unsupported overhang, i'd want at least 12" attached to the wall. that's
a pretty wide tile, although a 12x12 or 12x24" tile would work.
Yeah, there are some pretty big kitchen and bath places around here (like any
big city, I suppose). We've been wanting to go in and look around (some time
soon we're going to rebuild the master bathroom). Maybe I'll wander in and
ask about scraps. As you hint, here, though. One job has to have enough
scraps to do the whole thing. The fireplace front is 4' x 4', so that's a lot
The edges would rest on the stone on the side (about 3" on each side) but the
middle wouldn't be supported at all.
That would certainly run the bill up. I really don't want to spend *that*
much because we are going to sell the house sometime soon.
Another good idea. I'll have to weigh the alternatives.
I'm not familiar with that tool, but it sounds interesting. Ar, ar, arr.
There is about 20" above the fireplace to the mantle (by 48" wide) but tiles
that large might look odd.
On Saturday, July 21, 2012 4:26:16 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I cannot speak to your specific case but Hardibacker is often used to face off wood burning inserts. We installed a Buckmaster in our new home a few years ago and a dealer gave us shop sketches and some verbal instructions for facing. Basically it amounted to cutting the backer board to the shape we wanted tiled; and screwing it to the face of the stove with stainless steel self tapping screws. BUT - The sketch and instructions were specific to the Buckmaster and ensured the screws did not penetrate directly into the open fire box. They were confined to edge flanges, an area around the upper blower-fed heat vent and a lip near the door. The backer board and tile did leave a 1-1/2" to 2" strip of black metal visible around the door. I also used some plated tile edging to dress the edges of the board. There was NO adhesive of any kind between the metal face and the backer board
Again - this is an approved installation for a high efficiency wood burning insert that was approved by the dealer, with a couple of modifications from a factory suggestion. I would strongly suggest you contact the manufacturer or a local rep to get their suggestion. Some installers have been known to try to adhere backer board to the metal face with high temp adhesive and no fasteners. Some people have had the entire tile face, with backer, fall into the living room. That can be an unpleasant surprise when some of the debris might be close to 500 degrees.
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