Installing new tile around Gas Fireplace - Have Question

thomaskuhnAugust 19, 2011

I am currently working on removing the tile from around this Heatilator brand gas fireplace. Here is a before photo:

I have started removing the old tile using a multi-tool to cut the drywall out. Those things work great! Well, after getting a few chunks out, I can start to see what I will have to do.

I noticed that the drywall behind the tile did not really sit flush with the face of the fireplace but cantilevered inwards towards the opening of the fireplace. The tile was cemented on so that it sits parallel to the wall. The remaining gap was filled with some mortar. Here is an angled photo:

So here is the big question. The new tile/stone I want to put up is this...

As the photo shows, it can flex along its seams. I need to figure out the best way to approach this. The Heatilator guide says that I can put Non combustible material on the metal sections of the fireplace including "High Temp Sealant" such as RTV103 or Rutland Appliance Mortar. #63 or equivalent.

I as thinking cement board to cover over the box, but that might not sit flush. Shoud I just use a fire resistant mortar and put on a thick application?

Does anyone know good way to handle this situation?

Should I post in the fireplace forum?

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What's the issue? Is it that the new drywall and then tile will tilt and not be straight?

I would cut some long thin sections of wood to put at the bottom of the drywall (The 2x4 directly next to the metal) to shim the drywall flat. Then the tile will be flat.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 3:59PM
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After removing the rest of the material and floor tiles, I noticed that the fireplace front is not parallel to the wall. This is one reason that I might have some tile issues. I m going to post a separate post in the fireplace forum to see if anyone has the answer to my crooked fireplace issue.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 4:23PM
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Jusr as an update, here are the pics and issues that I have posted on the fireplace forum...

I am currently doing a new tile job around my gas heatilator fireplace and was having some re-tiling questions were posted in the remodel forum (Link at the end of this post).

What I found just now is that the fireplace front face is not square with the drywall and framing around it. This photo might show what I am talking about - the fireplace is "leaning" backwards:

This pic sort of shows the slant but not really:

Underneath the fireplace, I found that the firebox is resting on 4 cinder blocks. But on the front of the firebox, there is a 1/2 thick piece of wood running across between the cinder blocks and the firebox as seem here:

AS far as I read in the manual, there should not even be any wood touching that surface. There is not wood on the back cinder blocks as seen here:

Can I remove this board? I do not see any other places where the firebox is attached to the frame. I am hoping that is I can remove this (or shim up the back somehow) I can get the front face flush with the new drywall or concrete board I will be putting in to put the new tile on.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 8:56AM
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As a related question, Assuming that the fireplace is flush...

should I run the tiles directly onto the fireplace surface (assuming the fireplace is flush with finished wall)? Or should I use backer board over the fireplace (assuming the fireplace is flush with the studs) and tile over that, or I would have more of a lip to deal with but could carefully tile those one by one as they wrap around the backer board edge.

Like so:

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 9:27AM
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Well, despite a lack of feedback, here are the updates...

I ended up removing the wood shim and eventually moved the fireplace back a 1/2" (This was tough due to the back vent being the sticking point for backwards travel). Once done, I used some 1/4" aluminum plate and some 16ga steel to make new shims. Everything in a LOT more in shape now than before. I will be getting some concrete board to replace the drywall I took out(Option 2). This will go all the way to the fireplace opening. Tiling afterwards. Pics soon.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 7:13PM
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It was a bit of a pain, with one foot wound and one twisted ankle, but it is finally done. 18" travertine tile on the floor and the stacked stone from Lowe's.

No Flash

With Flash

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 11:16AM
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nice job - even nicer knowing it's now done right.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 3:40PM
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That looks amazing. You were so determined to get it right and it paid off! Congrats.

I'd like to use a similar tile around my fireplace. Do you remember what it was? I'm not finding it on the lowe's site.

Many thanks! Dina

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 9:03PM
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Another illustration of why I hate fixing po "improvements".

Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle.

Nice job.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 10:26AM
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