Tiling my fireplace hearth

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Old 08-01-15, 10:57 AM
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Tiling my fireplace hearth

I have an old house and want to update the hearth on my fireplace. it is coal-burning and not functional, so I don't plan to ever use it. I removed the old concrete and tile from the hearth, and poured new concrete into it. I thought it would dry nice and smooth, but it is sidewalk concrete and it is pretty rough and has pits and rough areas all over it. What should I put over this? Should I lay down backer board and then tile? Or can I put down mortar and just put the tile down directly over the concrete? Do I pour a self-leveling compound over it first?I'm not sure how smooth and flat the surface under the tile has to be when you're using thinset. In the picture,. a piece of tile is sitting down on the left hand side. Thanks for any help.Name:  Capture.jpg
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Old 08-02-15, 05:10 AM
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If the tiles rock, it will frustrate you during installation. You can chip away the high pebbles in the concrete to see if it helps. If you use a self leveling compound, be sure to follow directions and use a SLC primer first to assure good adhesion. You won't need much to smooth it out. It does not require any extreme thickness only to fill the gaps and low spots.

If you desire, you can try floating thinset with a 1/2"x1/2" trowel. This will work, but also takes some skill. I'm concerned that the edges of the tile will expose the thinset because of the thickness of the install and look less than desirable.
 
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Old 08-02-15, 05:50 AM
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I'm concerned that the edges of the tile will expose the thinset because of the thickness of the install and look less than desirable.
Couldn't you take shoe mold, stain it to match the wood floor and install it sideways to dress up the edge of the tiles so the thin set won't show ??
 
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Old 08-16-15, 08:39 AM
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Thanks so much for the replies. Yes, the install will be about 3/4" above the level of the floor, so I plan to install show mold around the sides of everything to cover it up. There are not too many raised edges on the concrete, it's just not very smooth. I guess I will try to pour a little bit of self leveling compound down first to smooth over the rough surface of the concrete? Maybe just 1/4" high. Then put the thinset and tiles over that.
 
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