Tile woes...need help, Bill Vincent!
OK...it's not actually a bathroom issue. But it is tile. Recently I had to have a flue pipe installed through an old unused fireplace. (House built in 1907, this was an old gas fireplace on the second floor which hadn't been used in decades and no longer could be used in any case.)
In the course of getting the work done, a piece of metal trimwork was taken off, revealing that about a quarter of the tiles in the surround ...all of them down one side, were essentially just hanging on with a bit of grout and gravity. A sheet of them was completely detached from the wall behind it. So, I carefully took them down, scraped off the grout and prepared to stick back up with a little thinset. Then I realized that even a little thinset was going to make them stick out further than those which remained well adhered, because they had originally been applied directly to a layer of mortar on the brick fireplace. There's no way I'm going to be able to chip off any amount of that 100 year old mortar to allow a new bed of mastic or thinset.
So...can I glue the tiles back on somehow? with like superglue or the like? Obviously I couldn't in a wet environment and maybe not even if the fireplace were used. But given that it's absolutely dry and totally decorative, could I?
If not, do I have to rip out ALL the old tiles and reset them? I don't see how I can do that without damaging some and I'd hate to lose these lovely old tiles.