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Can You Put Stone Over Tile Fireplace? (How To)

The best place on earth is your home. It is a place where you can relax and just be yourself. Your home décor is where you can express your personality; that is why sometimes you need to change and update your home’s appearance.

If you are thinking about updating your fireplace and wondering whether you will need to remove the old tile façade before installing your brand-new stone look, you will be glad to hear that removing the tile is unnecessary.

Yes, you can put a stone over a previously tiled fireplace. If you prepare the tiles correctly, the new stone layer will be able to adhere and stay put for years to come.

Fireplace with stones

Refacing a fireplace still is a big job, even though you won’t have to remove existing tiles. For one, it will need to be thoroughly cleaned with half a cup of oxygen bleach per gallon of water to remove dirt and soot.

The surface of the tiles will need to be sanded with a belt sander and the dust removed. Now, put a coat of thin-set mortar onto the sanded tiles and rake it with a hand rake to provide a better gripping surface. Let the layer of thin set mortar dry well.

Once you have a hardened mortar surface over your old tiles,  you can mix another batch of thin-set mortar and apply it to the back of the stone tiles. Press into place. Apply grout to stone tiles and allow to set for 48 hours. Once you clean your tiles after applying grout, you can enjoy your brand-new fireplace.

Should You Put Stone Over Tile Fireplace?

Fireplace with stones

If you desire to change your old, tiled fireplace but have no idea whether you should do it, there are a couple of advantages to consider when changing from a tiled to a stone fireplace surround.

If you are wondering whether you should put a stone over a tiled fireplace, you will be pleased to know that modern techniques and finishes allow for a far easier transition from tile to stone façade. So, there is no reason why not.

To convince you that surrounding your fireplace with stone is a better option than tile, here are a couple of advantages a stone surround has over a tile one.

The fireplace is the focal point of a room, and you want it to look good. A stone over the fireplace creates a cozy, rustic feel much nicer than tile. Stone has excellent heat and scratch resistance, resulting in a longer-lasting surface that needs fewer repairs and adds exceptional value to your home.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Stone Over Tile Fireplace?

Tools for stones

When applying the stone veneer to the tiled fireplace, you will need to gather all your tools and materials. You will need to have something for mixing the mortar, like a large 5-gallon bucket, a mortar whisk, a trowel to apply the mortar to the wall, and a grinder saw that can cut through stone tiles to make sure they fit. When applying the tiles, you will need a spirit level to ensure that all the stone rows are straight. And, of course, you will need grout to finish the project.

The tools you will need to put a stone over a tiled fireplace will be similar to tiling tools, like the trowel; tile saw, bucket, and whisk to mix the mortar.

Some of the tools are easy to buy at your local tile store, and they are affordable. But you will need a couple of power tools, like the power saw and the mortar mixer, which may be quite pricey. If you don’t intend to do any further renovations other than the fireplace, you may want to hire those from tool-hiring companies to save money on purchasing your own.

What Preparations Do You Need To Put Stone Over Tile Fireplace?

Fireplace with stones

Adding a stone veneer to your fireplace won’t get done without making a little mess. You need to prepare the surfaces to make sure that the stone is able to bond to the tile underneath. Ceramic tiles have a smooth finish that will not adhere well to mortar and therefore needs to be removed before placing the stone can begin.

When putting a stone over the tiled fireplace, ensure that existing tiles are well prepared. You will need to sand them to remove the slick porcelain finish. This top layer is too smooth for the mortar to bond.

It is a good idea to pre-cut your corner tiles and mix only a little bit of mortar at a time because the mortar sets within 30 minutes, and once it gets too thick, you cannot use it. Having enough pre-cut tiles to cover the surface of the prepared mortar will help you work quickly to avoid wasting material and money.

How To Put Stone Over Tile Fireplace

confused man standing

Placing the stone tiles over the old ones can be quite satisfying, but it needs to be done precisely. You will start at the bottom of the fireplace and stack each row of stone tiles upon the lower row. The tiles need to fit quite tightly next to each other to prevent unnecessary movement and the formation of gaps between the stone.

How you will put the stone over the tile fireplace will need to be precise. It would be best if you started working from the bottom of the fireplace upwards. You also need to consider how the stone will join at the corners.

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on December 23, 2022.

Once you have a good surface to bond the mortar of the new tiles, you can proceed with placement. Bear in mind that some stone tiles may not be perfectly cut, and you may need to smooth them out to ensure they fit well. Try to leave as few gaps as possible to ensure a lasting result. If the tiles are too far apart, they may shift and spoil the look of your fireplace.