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Tile surround falling off fireplace - need expert advice ASAP

Posted by susanb_tx (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 9, 10 at 17:52

Help, please! We had our fireplace built 4 years ago. Its a 36" direct vent (rear vent) gas Majestic Vermont Castings fireplace. We used a marble tile for the mantel, surround and hearth (which is flush). The pilot light stays lit all the time. The remote switch which was installed on the mantel seems to always be a little more than warm when the fireplace is operating. Is that normal?

FYI - the tiles immediately surrounding the fireplace extend out 3"; then 3" out from that is another frame (same tiles)- kindof a stepped contemporary design. The mantel extends out 6" from the outer frame or 11.5" from the wall.

The other day, I found two of the underneath tiles from the mantel crashed on the floor and I noticed that the side tiles have pulled away and are very loose - as the grout or mortar has completely come loose. Today another tile fell off the front of the mantel. The part of the surround closest to the fireplace doesn't really seem to have issues - its the second surround (the next 3" area) that is crumbling. And that whole surround does get pretty warm. I'm afraid the whole fireplace is going to fall apart.

The fireplace people installed the fireplace. The electrician installed the gas outlet and the remote switch, etc. Our floor installers installed the surround. Who do we need to call? Would it be sufficient for us to just reinstall the tiles (and if so, what do we use - does it have to be specifically heat resistant?) or will this continue to happen? Does the heat loosen the grout and/or mortar? I've never heard of this. We stopped using the fireplace this week because it seems that the heat is what did it. And although we're in Houston, its 20 degrees.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tile surround falling off fireplace - need expert advice ASAP

What surface were the marble tiles attached to (some surfaces are unacceptable for tiling)?

What type of thinset was used?

Properly installed tiles should never pop off.


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RE: Tile surround falling off fireplace - need expert advice ASAP

exact same thing has happend to us!!! I suspect tiles were not properly applied (wrong adhesive?) and that the heat dried out the stuff the tiler used.....I am surifng the net to try and find some answers.....have you learned anything about how tiles should be installed to withstand extreme heat from gas fireplace?


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