Question regarding tiling over a brick fireplace surround and hearth
with respect to fire safety.
We had a 70's fireplace that had a brick wall-to-wall fireplace
surround, and a brick hearth. Going for a more contemporary look we
had our drywall guy drywall over the brick surround up to the edges of
the existing fireplace opening. I believe he used liquid nails or
other similar adhesive to adhere the drywall.
He then adhered what looks to be about a 2" x 2" 90 degree steel
corner around the fireplace opening presumably for durability and fire
safety. It's probably the same steel corners that are used on a
typical drywalled wall corner since he's a drywall guy.
Finally we asked him to put cement backerboard on the fireplace hearth
and around the fireplace opening (at least 16" around it) so we could
tile it. He ended up using easyboard (http://
instead of wonderboard which does not have as good a fire rating. It
has an NFPA Class B fire rating (flamespread 30).
We'll end up installing glass doors with a metal mesh and most likely
an aluminum frame in the opening.
I'm concerned about the combustabilty of both the drywall and
easyboard around the opening. The drywall has a steel corner on it so
I don't think there's any chance of sparks/embers coming in contact
with it, but it will of course get heat from the the fire. The
easyboard surround will have thinset, glass tile and grout on top of
it, but the very edge of it at the opening will probably be in contact
with the fireplace door and the fiberglass insulation that is normally
used to seal/install the door. It's possible it may even be exposed
to the firebox if the door/insulation does not go deeply enough into
Just wanted to get some feedback from the pros on what type of
precautions I should use here. Should I cover the easyboard with
something like a metal strip, cement, fiberglass insulation, etc. to
insulate it from the heat? Should I tear out the easyboard and use
backerboard (hopefully not)?
Thanks for your help.