Need help on how to fix this fireplace apron

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Old 03-11-20, 02:37 PM
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Need help on how to fix this fireplace apron

I live in an older house with a fireplace that was originally wood and was converted to gas by one of the previous owners of the house.

Whoever put in the gas insert did a real half-ass job installing the gas line, hacked out the floor and busted out some of the apron brick in the process. I'm not sure how they did the repair but it looks like they just put mortar around the bricks, which were all loose when we bought the house. Picture shows what I'm dealing with...I pulled out the loose bricks and broken mortar, all the other bricks seem to be pretty solid. I just put in the wood pieces on the right side under the edge of the flooring because I had a gaping hole there.

So what's the best way to fix this? Do I need to bust out some of the old mortar bed (hesitant to do this because I don't want to crack the rest of the mortar)? It looks like when the previous repair was done they put a thin layer of mortar under the bricks on top of the old mortar, which didn't hold. Any help here is appreciated.


 
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Old 03-11-20, 09:29 PM
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Is the gas line directly under that visible cement or under what looks like a new piece of 2x4 ?
Is that tile on a slab ?
 
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Old 03-11-20, 09:44 PM
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The gas line comes straight up from underneath (this is over the basement), but that little sliver you can see in the boards is where I had to trim it out because there is an elbow there where it comes up to the valve. I could take a picture if it would help.

There is no slab...there is wood under the existing mortar bed.
 
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Old 03-12-20, 12:44 AM
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You have two options, remove the loose mortar base, lightly removing excess grout, and basically reinstalling the tiles on a thin bed of mortar, pretty much like what you currently have. Or, tear up all the tiles, removing the mortar bed and reinstalling a solid CBU base.

It's basically a decision time to patch or replace!
 
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Old 03-12-20, 05:32 AM
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I agree with Marq. If you repair, you'll have what the original owner had. It will look good for several years, but will eventually need replacement.
 
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Old 03-12-20, 08:35 AM
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I really don't want to replace the whole thing, we don't even use the fireplace. Was just trying to fix this because my wife wants a white wash on the fireplace brick.

Oh well, guess I'll attempt another repair and see what happens.
 
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Old 03-14-20, 05:15 AM
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I see what could be a couple issues. First, don't try to support tile partly on the mortar setting bed and partly on wood. It'll never last. Maybe a wood feature strip on top of the wood and then cut back the brick is my first thought if it were mine. Second, don't let the wood floor go tight to the brick. When your wood floor expands and contracts with temperature and humidity, it pushes against the brick, causing the problem you now have. I would run a skilsaw around the whole perimeter of the hearth the full depth of the wood floor to give yourself a minimum of 3/16" gap between the wood and the brick, then caulk that gap. There are some other options, but that may be the simplest.
 
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Old 03-15-20, 08:17 AM
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Well I would be putting new mortar under the brick, that was kinda the whole idea. Also there is currently a gap between the brick and wood floor but it isn't caulked.
 
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