How to Make a Tile Fireplace Surround Part 1 How to Make a Tile Fireplace Surround Part 1

What You'll Need
Sponge and bucket of water
Vacuum
Ceramic glue
Tile cutter
Ceramic tiles
Tape measure
Steel file

Building a tile fireplace surround is a multi-step process. In part one of this series, you will learn how to prepare the fireplace and materials for the installation of the tile. You will learn to remove damaged tiles, cuts new tiles and prepare the surface to receive the new tiles. This prep work should not take more than a few hours, and you'll be ready to lay down the tiles.

Step 1  - Prepare the Fireplace

Before you can lay the tiles, you need to make sure that you have removed as much dirt as possible from the fireplace. If you have a tile fireplace already in position, and wish to lay new tiles over it, wipe down the existing tiles with a sponge. Then inspect the fireplace for loose parts which have already been constructed, and make sure that none of the parts are loose. Remove anything that is cracked or damaged, or glue it back into position. Take your vacuum, and suck up as much of the dirt from the center and edges of the fireplace as possible, and then wipe down the surfaces with a damp sponge. Leave the fireplace to dry for an hour or so.

Step 2 - Cut the Tiles

While the fireplace is drying, you can begin to cut the tiles for your fireplace surround. Measure the area where you want the tiles to go, and then divide this area by the length of the tiles. You may find that you have a few extra inches of tile, and the best solution is to cut off the excess tile. Mark on the tile where you want the cut to be made, and then use a tile cutter or saw to chop through the tile as quickly as you can.

Step 3 - Prepare the Tiles

To lay the tiles on the fireplace, you will need to properly prepare the tiles. You should place your tiles in a line, and add a little marble sealant to each, taking care not to add too much, as it will fall down onto the table if you use and excessive amount. Smooth a little mortar over the back of each of the tiles, so that you get a slightly ridged surface. This will help your tiles to cling when they are fitted on the fireplace surround.

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