A wide variety of modern tiles are available for tiling a fireplace to create a unique accent to any décor. Creative tile design is limit only by imagination. Traditional tiles, cement tiles, wood-look tiles and a creative combination of colors, textures and shapes open the doors to decorating vision.
Ceramic tile has been a standard on fireplace surrounds and hearths for hundreds of years and today’s decorative tile options make it more popular than ever. Ceramic tile withstands heat well and is durable as a choice for tiling a fireplace.
TIP FROM A PRO — Be aware of all local building codes. There are federal codes that regulate the installation of tile on a fireplace and both state and local codes may apply as well.
Choices for Tiling a Fireplace
Most wall tile is suitable for around a fireplace. Consider the following choices:
- Ceramic tile – withstands heat well, available in many colors, textures and sizes
- Porcelain – also a good choice, stands up to high temperatures and provides a different look from most other options
- Wood-look tile – available in porcelain and ceramic for a unique accent
- Glass tile – offers a stunning appearance that reflects light for a contemporary flair
- Metallic tile – can be decorative and rustic
- Stone and brick tile – large sizes for a classic look, often actually made from porcelain
TIP FROM A PRO — Always double-check to be sure the tile you choose is approved for high temperature
applications. Consider choosing from tile recommended as a backsplash because most of these are designed for installation around stoves and other areas of intense heat. Consider using slightly thicker tiles, too.
There are three distinct parts of a fireplace and two of them are candidates for creative tile design. The thirds is definitely off limits for tile. The firebox, where the actual fire is must be lined with special materials so tile is never an option inside.
The remaining areas around the fireplace – the surround and hearth – are ideal for installing decorative, functional tile.
- The fireplace surround – the front-facing portion of the fireplace that’s most visible. Tile here needs to be durable enough to stand up to heat as well as presenting a visual statement.
- The hearth – the section below and in front of the firebox it’s a horizontal surface. The hearth may be raised above the floor slightly or several inches. If the surrounding room is carpeted or has wood floors, tile is an ideal option for a hearth to protect the area from sparks, embers and debris.
Remodel with Creative Tile Designs
The addition of tile around an existing fireplace can change the character of a room immediately. No matter the choice of tile, a new installation can take the ordinary to extraordinary. Applying new tile over existing tile is an excellent way of tiling a fireplace during a remodeling project. And it’s easier than you may think, there are a few basic steps:
- Remove any chipped or cracked tiles
- Rough the surface of the existing tile with sandpaper and a cleaning agent
- Apply a bonding agent to promote adhesion of the new tile
- Make sure your new tile will fit the space
- Thoroughly mix your thinset adhesive
- Lay your first row of tiles at the bottom of the fireplace and make sure the first row is level
- Always work from the middle outward, don’t start on one side and work across
- After appropriate drying time – usually at least 24 hours – apply the prescribed grout, removing any excess with a wet sponge so none is left on the tile
Remodeling a room that includes a fireplace doesn’t require drastic demolition project under the right conditions. You don’t have to tear out all the old materials, add backer board and rebuild from scratch in many cases. A tile installation professional is the best source of guidance when it comes to finding the right materials and installation techniques.
Look to Pros for Cement Tile Advice
For professional consultations, innovative tile designs, installation and selection, contact Molony Tile, a source for unique, durable and elegant tile solutions.
Call or email Molony Tile, 608-268-8453 to combine creative tile design and a wide select of tile choices for tiling a fireplace in your Madison home.