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I want to re-tile our fireplace. It is an old home built in 1935. I am able to find lots of information online on how to tile a brick fireplace but nothing on re-tiling. I assume I just take a hammer and break away the tile that is there and try and get back to the (I'm assuming) original brick. Are there any additional things i need to be concerned with? Are there an online guides available?

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2 Answers 2

In addition to MarkD's answer, also remember that if fireplace will be used for a fire (as opposed to purely decorative or an electric insert), you must get a tile designed for a fireplace. Wall or floor tiles will just crack or bust the first time they are exposed to a fire.

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You need to be very careful when removing the tile, as you don't want to break the substrate. Taking a large hammer to the tiles is a great way to break the brick that is behind the existing tile.

My recommendation would be to get a tile chisel, and use that to break/pry up the existing tiles. You'll likely be left with a very uneven surface. Using the chisel, take off as many of the high points as possible. However, even with lots of attention, you'll likely still have a pretty rough/uneven surface. To take care of this, use some leveling mortar- apply the mortar in a thin layer, making sure to leave as smooth a surface as you can get with the trowel. The point being to raise the surface to be flush with the highest points left after you chisel out the tiles. Let it cure. After it is dry, use some medium grit sandpaper to make the surface smooth.

Now you have a nice, flat, smooth surface to tile over. Use a good wall tile adhesive, and tile away.

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