We Have Tile!

By Jeff | Jan. 12, 2013

We cannot be more excited to be done with this fireplace renovation. Unfortunately, it’s still got a ways to go, but at least the (hopefully) hard part is done! When we last shared our updates, we had just finished laying the hearth tile. After a short break, we got back to tackling the vertical portion of the fireplace.

The first step was to ensure that the tiles were going to be level, so we cut a piece of wood and screwed it in the wall with wood to masonry screws. Not only would this give us a line to keep the tiles level, but it would also prevent them from slipping down before the thin-set cured.


Be sure when you’re using masonry screws to pre-drill using a masonry bit so the screw can work. We didn’t have just the right bit so we had some issues getting the wood attached, but since it was only going to be temporary, we weren’t too concerned.

Before we put up any of the tiles, we laid them out on the floor and cut them to size so they would fit. This let us change the design and see how everything would look before we made anything permanent.

Starting Tile

Laying the tiles on the wall wasn’t much easier than doing laying it on the hearth. Even though we had smoothed everything over (which was a big help), the surface we were tiling to still wasn’t perfectly flat. At this point we were very ready to be done with the project, but we were already too far into it to stop.

Partial Tile

The next day, the wooden bar came out easily and we were able to finally finish laying the tile. Once it cured, we sealed it, and once that dried, we put in the grout. I think that we may have made the grout mixture a little too watery so it didn’t fill in completely and we’ll have to put a little more in to seal up the holes.


We had to make a few minor adjustments to some of the tiles so they fit perfectly. Meanwhile, we’ve been preparing what we could for the wooden mantel, but that update will have to wait a few days.