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D725A 10-26-2012 07:17 AM

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Didn't see all these answers until now, thanks. We went with Ramset low velocity powder fasteners and Loctite PL400 adhesive, worked very well. We are now ready for tiling and have bought Acryl Pro ceramic tile adhesive. Tiles will be on the hearth--over new cement underfloor, and on front wall over the brick, wrapping around about 4 inches into the firebox on left and right sides. Acryl Pro claims it has a heat resistance of more than 10lbs per tile (meeting A136.1 Section but I have no idea what temperatures that indicates. Some sites recommend thin-set instead of adhesive in these situations. I'd be most concerned about the hearth and areas slightly inside the firebox, though neither should be exposed to very very high temperatures. (See photo)

PS Acryl Pro people advised me not to use any pre-mixed adhesive or grout but to use their Flex Bond thin set mortar.

D725A 10-27-2012 09:23 PM

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We went with the Flex Bond Thinset. Contractor put an initial coat on around the firebox and leveled off the hearth with sand mix; and I guess we'll have to wait until after the hurricane to continue. Meanwhile I've been going to tile stores to find possible trim tile for a border on the hearth tiles and around the firebox. May use a wood molding instead around the hearth since the tile is expected to be above the wood floor. Trying to keep this simple. see latest photo. (Flex Bond is polymer modified so it doesn't need an added bonding agent.)

D725A 12-17-2012 11:59 AM

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Update. we're all done except for some sanding, caulking and priming/painting. We're happy with the results. It's always good to have a few sets of eyes on projects as its ongoing so that you don't rush through proofing if everything is level and plumb. We had to do a few corrections on the vertical pilasters--always a challenge when the house is old and the fireplace itself is not fully level. We're glad we designed this ourselves and did not have to pay a fortune for materials or large fabricated mantels. We kept the old wood mantel on top. I'll send one more photo out when the painting's done. We also have to seal the grout/tile. We're not sure if we should fully sponge it first--it was cleaned once the day after grouting-- then seal or vice versa. We were advised to seal first, but that would seem to lock in any film or dust.

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