Just a few days ago we were discussing fireplace tiles with a customer. After 45 minutes of checking, matching, cross-matching and comparing they settled on their favourite. The brief they gave us was for a rustic wall & floor tile with a terra cotta feel. Anyways just as the total price was ringing up in the till the wife happened to mention (totally out of the blue) just how good the tiles they had carefully selected would look around their new log burner.
I stopped the sale instantly & explained that as beautiful as the tile was it wouldn’t suit the purpose they had in mind. And so we started all over again with the hearth in mind.
Why tile a fireplace in the first place?
It seems more & more of you are investing in a cosy warm hearth, multi-fuel log burner or fireplace. Whilst we might be a little envious of you lucky folk, we are always here to help you find beautiful tiles to suit your needs.
The fireplace is, more often than not, one of the main focal points of your room, selecting the right tiles can really make all the difference.
What is the best choice of tiles for a fireplace?
The main factor which you will need to take into account here is obviously the heat generated by your chosen appliance.
As a rule of thumb we recommend you choose:
- natural stone
- quarry tile
Each of these choices are more robust when it comes to heat fluctuation & are more likely to be heat resistant, withstanding higher heat levels than the likes of ceramic.
Porcelain is a denser material & more likely to have a PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) of 4 or 5. This PEI rating is based on the hardness of a tile’s glaze.
How should you fit tiles around your fireplace?
Most stoves will come with fitting instructions however our basic guideline is to allow for a gap of at least 10cm (preferably 15cm+) to the sides & rear with at least 25cm (preferably 35cm+) above. Not only is this gap or buffer zone required for safety but it will also help to ensure your tiles do not crack.
You will need to make sure you use the correct adhesive to ensure a good job. The last thing you’ll want is for your tiles to come unstuck. Using a good powdered adhesive such as Larsen’s Standard Set is fine. As well as getting your adhesive right you’ll also need to ensure what you are tiling onto is also suitable… you might want to consider a cement board like No More Ply or Hardiebacker.
Perfecting the look for your fireplace is always going to be time-consuming, & really does depend on your ultimate brief. Slate or split face tiles can be absolutely stunning (as can brick slips) but this style of tile really does need to be in the right environment. We can ‘hire’ sample tiles to you which will make your decision making so much easier.
Nothing can beat seeing a sample tile in place rather than simply in the showroom. Come and talk to us about our ranges of suitable fireplace tiles. Both our Norwich & our Attleborough stores have a wide range of fireplace suitable tiles to choose from so come on over to see us & have a chat.