How to install tile behind a wood stove

Written by steve smith
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How to install tile behind a wood stove
Wood stoves require proper clearance. (Image by Dunleavy; Flickr.)

Installing tile behind a wood stove is a fairly simple process. While any type of tile makes a decent background for the stove, certain kinds offer additional benefits. Clay and ceramic tiles suit the installation best, because they resist heat and install as easily as any other tile. Choose a darker colour to match your stove, or pattern the tiles in mosaic. Just make sure to follow proper clearance distances.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Backer board
  • 7.5 cm wood screws
  • Power drill
  • Marker
  • Tile spacers
  • Tile cutter
  • 25 litre bucket
  • Hand trowel
  • Mortar compound
  • Grout
  • Grout spreader
  • Hand float
  • Sponge

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  1. 1

    Measure from the wall to the stove with a tape measure to determine the proper installation distance. If the label on your stove indicates that the stove is "registered," the typical clearance from your tiled wall must be at least 92 cm. If not, the clearance distance must be at least 1.25 metres. Allow an additional 2.5 cm of clearance for the tile.

  2. 2

    Install a 1.25 cm backer board to the wall where the tile will be installed. The backer board must cover the entire installation area. Use the wood screws and a power drill.

  3. 3

    Dry-fit the tiles in place. Mark and cut tiles to fit evenly on the backer board. Include a 3 to 4 mm spacer between tiles when lining them up along the bottom. Mark overlapping tiles with a marker. Score and break enough tiles (with a tile cutter) to line the entire trim area of your installation.

  4. 4

    Mix grout mortar and water in the bucket with the hand trowel until the mix is thick and pudding-like in consistency. Spread a 6.5 mm thick layer over 1 square metre along the bottom of the backer board, using the grout spreadeer. Press your tile into the grout. Insert a spacer next to the tile and press another into place beside it. Continue to tile the backer board in this manner until the backer board is covered.

  5. 5

    Empty the bucket. Mix grout compound and water in the bucket with the hand trowel. Apply a generous layer to the surface of the tile. Wipe a hand float (rubber-edged grout tool) across the tile, spreading grout into the tile gaps.

  6. 6

    Scrape the remaining grout from surface of the tile with the float. Rinse excess grout from the tile with water and a sponge.

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