Seeking Guidance on Refacing Fireplace Wall
We are remodeling our family room which has a 15' brick wall with a fireplace (with a gas stove insert) approximately in the middle. We would like to tile 12" or so around the fireplace opening (we are thinking slate tile) and have the rest of the wall be covered with drywall. We also intend to put in a floating shelf mantle above the fireplace.
I intend to use furring strips for the drywall-covered areas (leaning towards using 3/4" ply), but do not know what exactly to do with the areas that will be tiled. I could attach the tile directly to the brick with thinset, but with 1/2" sheetrock and 1/4" tile, that will leave about a 1" level difference between the drywall and the tile. If I use backer board for the tiled areas, I can get the difference down to 1/2", but that still seems like it would look funny.
How is a layout like this typically handled? Is it possible for the thinset used on the backer board and the tile to be laid with enough thickness to bring the two surfaces level?