For Bill Vincent
Sorry to take up another non-kitchen post...
But here's the picture of the fireplace we were talking about. One from straight on and one showing the brick going inside the box...
any ideas as to best layout? It's about 49 5/8 wide across at top and 7.5" on either side of the fireplace. It's 10.5 inches vertically in the center from the mantle to the opening, and another 39 inches total from the mantle to the floor on the sides.
As you can probably see, there's a few paint drips from the mantle being painted but the brick has never been painted.
Did I understand you correctly that it should be skim coated to even out the mortar lines and left to dry? For some reason I thought I could just get away with putting thinset thicker in those places while tiling.
When I've seen this done on television or online, they usually build a support board and start above the fireplace and then return to do the rest once that first row has set. Is that what you would recommend?