Tiling Question

trancegemini_waApril 18, 2010

here is a little sneak peeky at my fireplace project but I have a question I hope someone can help with.

ok, first here is the before shot of my fireplace, my eyes hurt everytime I looked at it and I couldnt stop looking at it hehe

this is where Im at but Im getting close to installing some more pieces

so to my question, the hearth is covered in cement board and the inside of the fireplace has been concreted to bring it up to the right level. there is a little bit of movement in the two joins which I thought I'd use a sealer/binder on (the stuff Im going to use acts as a sealer but also a fairly strong glue). Should I be sealing the whole thing (cement board and concrete) for tiling? or is that just going to stop the tiles from sticking properly?

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WOW Trance. I would ask where you bought the sealer on what they recommend or call a local tile place to ask. there are some sealers that do make the tiles not stick. I would be afraid to give an answer to this. And add in you will also have a heat situation here.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:09AM
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thanks chris, Im stumped on this whether you're even meant to seal concrete and cement board before tiling. There won't be any water here so Im just not sure sealer is needed. eek!

The sealer has some instructions on the can which say to use it as a pre tiling sealer, then when dry apply another coat and lay your tiling bed while it's still tacky. that just sounded so complex and I didnt want that much pressure to get it done before it's no longer tacky.

what sort of adhesive would you use for this shades? I guess a cement based one?

We'll only be using it for a little electric heater. I've put my hand under the heater and around the fireplace last winter to test it and it didnt get very hot anywhere so Im *fairly* hehe, confident (sort of) that heat wont be an issue.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:33AM
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You might want to ask over on the tile forum or bath. Bill is really good about answering any questions.

For me, I wouldn't seal anything. The type of mastic or tile set should work fine for you. Having a porous base would seem to work far better. Even the bricks.

My fireplace is wood burning. The owners covered the front with white (cheap) marble tiles. I didn't even take them off, hated the all white shiney as my norm is a bit rustic. Used unsanded grout and covered the whole thing with it, more like an adobe, then washed it with a stain. It has been on for 4 years and not a crack around anything.

I'm sure someone would have told me this wouldn't work and not do it. Was so easy though, that I would do it again.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:45AM
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thanks emag, I couldnt find a tiling forum and while i was mulling it over I started googling and came across his website. He has quite a bit of info there and doesn't mention anything about sealing cement board underlay so i think you're right, it's probably meant to be porous for the tile adhesive to grip. I'm going to just leave it unsealed and tile over it

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 1:33PM
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I agree that you don't want to use a sealer, but you do still have to deal with the movement between the adjoining hearth stones. Movement will result in cracked grout for sure, and possibly cracked tiles if you tile over an area that can move. You still are going to secure those joints, right? Be sure the area is level, too, or the tiles could break if you step or set something on them.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 4:53PM
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My DH fixed new tile on his LR fireplace up north. Black granite. Inside he cemented to raise it up. I'll ask him if he used a sealer. That fireplace was original to the house built in 1948, and it was and still is wood burning. So is the one in the family room, which he installed himself. So when he comes in (he is out shredding leaves for his garden), I will ask him and get back with you.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 5:40PM
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Maybe you can put some grout or cement under the cement boards so there is no movement. This is a hard one. I know with the tiles I use Nancy is right . There can not be movement.Darn have to scoot.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:08PM
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thanks everyone,

shades it's fairly solid under the tile underlay because I had to make the hearth wider for my side pieces to sit on and the brick hearth was so wonky I had to bring the height up so I packed it with some scrap wood around the bricks and then concreted over the brick area and squished the cement board on top hehe.

nancy yep I'll definitely fix up that bit of movement, it's only very slight so I think if I brush some sealer binder into those joins it will fix it, if it doesnt work I can put a few screws down in to it.

Ml that would be great if you could check with your DH. If I needed to seal it I figured it was best to do it now although I wont be doing any tiling until the end (and who knows when that might be :).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 1:40PM
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I asked my DH about the fireplace tiling. He said, if you put down plywood you should use some kind of sealer since it is so porous. But if it is cement, no need. He did indicate there was some difference of opinion on the subject.

Now, he also said that when you use sticky back vinyl squares, that is a different kind of adhesive, specially made for the stickybacks, and he used that over the plywood area and over the old sheet vinyl which he did not remove.

Sorry it took so long to get back on this. I've been working in the yard, and went to bed right after supper last night. VERY tired.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 9:46AM
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Wow, Trance - another big project. You are such an inspiration. Can't wait to see the 'after' shots. :o)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:35PM
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Thanks ML (and mr ML!) ok it's settled then I wont seal anything since there doesn't seem to be any reason to. It makes perfect sense about the plywood and thanks for the info

Hi Prairie, I've been working on this in bits and pieces for such a long time. It's been such a challenge for me but also a great learning experience along the way. Lots of time spent scratching my head too hehe

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:18AM
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