I wish to tile a fireplace pictured below The brickwork has a recessed area directly above the firebox (pictured below) This recessed area measures 28" x 8" x 1-1/2" I wish to tile over the recessed area flush with the rest of the fireplace front. In other words: Remove the recessed area. My thought is to fill this area with a non-combustible material like durock. Not sure what the best material would be, though. Seems to me that it would be easier to use something thicker and lighter.
I was also thinking of making a mold and filling it with a high-performance cement.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.