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Replacing tile surround on wood-burning fireplace

I'm removing the existing floor tiles on the fireplace surround and installing ledgestone. We just bought this house, and it looks like the previous owners have not used the fireplace in a very long time. It looks like the previous owners partially covered up the opening to the firebox with some of the tile. From what I can tell, they used cement board and thinset mortar to install a row of tiles covering about 6" of the top of the firebox opening. I wish to keep the same size opening, but I wanted to make sure that using cement board, thinset mortar and the tile is acceptable. I am worried the heat from a fire would make those tiles very hot, so I thought I'd throw this out to the community before buying any materials and ripping up the existing tile. Any help/insights would be VERY much appreciated!

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Posted 2013-12-29T23:58:28+0000  by Neub Neub
 

The proper way to build the hearth is exactly the way it was done previously. Cement board, thinset and tiles. 

 

The surrounding walls are another story...They need a protective heat shield layer.  

 

Heat sield.png

Posted 2013-12-30T19:54:53+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL
Just to ensure I understand you correctly, it is ok for the cement board to be partially exposed to the inside of the fireplace?
Posted 2013-12-31T18:38:06+0000  by Neub

    i dont see a problem with the tile or cement bd. getting to hot, just dont let anyone get burnt.

Posted 2013-12-31T20:29:38+0000  by Laurence1a
 
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