How to Replace Tile Around a Fireplace

Updated July 20, 2017

Over time our tastes change or the materials we use for projects within our household will show their age and we will want to make changes. One area where this will frequently occur is around our fireplaces. The soot from the smoke and ash will show on the tiling around a fireplace and, over time, the tile will need to be replaced. Being able to do this replacement yourself will save you money in not having to hire a tile contractor.

Use a hammer and stone chisel to chip all old tile off of the fireplace. If you have access to one, an electric hammer will greatly decrease the time it takes to complete this section of the project. When chipping tile, sweep up your debris and put it in trash bins regularly. Empty trash bins frequently as well, because tile and thin-set debris is heavy.

Use a notched trowel to spread thin-set mortar onto the fireplace, make sure that the notches are even. Use a notched trowel to spread thin-set mortar onto the back of a tile, ensure that the notches are even. Press the first tile firmly into place along the bottom of the fireplace wall.

Repeat Step 2 for every additional tile. Place tile spacers between every tile to create even grout lines throughout the surface area. When tiles that need to be set are not full-sized tiles, measure the size of the space for the tile and mark a tile correspondingly. Use a wet saw to cut the tile to size and set the tile in place by following the instructions in Step 2. Continue setting tiles and cutting tiles when necessary until the entire surface area is filled.

Things You'll Need

  • Stone chisel
  • Hammer
  • Electric hammer (optional)
  • Notched trowel
  • Premixed thin-set mortar
  • Tile
  • Trash bins
  • Level
  • Wet tile saw
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About the Author

Travis Martinson has recently turned his writing from hobby to career and is working hard to make that career flourish. He has written articles through for various clients. He graduated from Whitworth College in 1998 and since then has worked as a social worker and as a finish carpenter on remodeling projects, working on everything from plumbing and electricity to cabinetry and drywall.