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Cement board over drywall fireplace

An old fireplace can be an eyesore. Homes with outdated brick fireplaces can be brought up-to-date with a new tile fireplace surround. Before the tile can be placed, cement board must be installed.

The cement board creates a sturdy surface for the tile installation. Most fireplace surrounds can be covered in large pieces of cement board. However, if you use several small pieces of cement board you must cover the seams.

Place fiberglass mesh tape across the seams and cover the tape with thinset mortar.

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You'll then have a sturdy and level surface on which to install new tile. Measure the fireplace surround with a measuring tape. Use these measurements to mark where the cement board must be cut.

Create these marks with a pencil. Cut the cement board pieces to size.

cement board over drywall fireplace

Place a straight edge along the areas of the cement board that must be cut. Run a utility knife along the straight edge to score the cement board. Finish cutting the cement board to size by snapping the board from the side that's not scored.

The board should break cleanly when snapped. Spread thinset mortar over the fireplace surround with a notched trowel. Press the cut pieces of cement board over the mortar. Hammer the nails into the brick mortar joints where possible. Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.Login or Sign Up.

Search in titles only Search in Home Improvements only Search. Forums What's New? Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Help. Member List Mark Forums Read. Fireplace surround-plywood or Durock cement board?

Posts Latest Activity. Page of 1. Filtered by:. Previous template Next. Howdy, I've got a small reno to do that includes framing in, tile and millwork for a gas fireplace. Tiles are 11" X 11". Thanx, Stan. Tags: None. Thread Continues Below Re: Fireplace surround-plywood or Durock cement board? The fireplace manual should specify how far around it you need fire-resistent typically cement board or steel board, typically it is only for the top. I'd use at least a foot of cement board to be safe if you can't find the spec.

Comment Post Cancel. I have done many in plywood you may need mesh over it but read the fireplace manual and the adhesive manual they will tell all. Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become whiskey Okey dokey. Thanx Mo and Jerome. Thanx Rusty! All rights reserved.

Yes No. OK Cancel.Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in Cement board has an inner core made of cement and a paper layer on either side that makes it resemble drywall. The sturdy, moisture-resistant board is applied to surfaces as the base for ceramic and natural stone tile.

You can install cement board to virtually any surface, including a brick fireplace. However, to secure it to the brick surface, a wooden framework is required to provide support for the heavy cement board.

Measure the vertical height of the brick fireplace using a tape measure. Cut 1-inch by 3-inch wood furring strips to the same length using a hand saw or a power saw. Place one of the furring strips vertically on the left edge of the brick fireplace. Mark the brick every 12 inches down the furring strip, and then make corresponding marks on top of the furring strip.

Set the strip aside. Don hearing protection and safety glasses. Turn the wood furring strip over, and apply construction adhesive over the entire length, using a zigzag pattern.

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Press it against the wall in the same location as before, and hold it for 10 to 15 seconds. Install additional furring strips along the entire width of the brick fireplace, spacing them every 12 inches.

Proper Installation for Fireplace Tile Cement Board

If inch-interval spacing is not feasible, space the furring strips at equal distances across the width. When you reach the opening of the firebox, reduce the height of the strips so they cover only the brick portion and not the firebox opening.

Wait 24 hours to allow the construction adhesive to set up firmly.

Cutting and Installing Cement Board

Place a sheet of cement board on a table, and measure it vertically to determine whether it is taller than the height of the fireplace. If needed, trim it down using a utility knife. You will position the cement board vertically when you secure it to the fireplace furring strips. Place the cement board up to the brick fireplace, and insert stainless steel screws along the location of the furring strips, using a power drill.

Space each screw at 8- to inch intervals. Install all of the remaining cement board sheets in the same manner. When you reach the opening for the firebox, cut the vertical height of the cement board shorter to fit only the upper brick area. Do not cover the opening of the firebox.Hardiebacker is a brand name for a line of fiber cement boards used in construction projects.

Fiber cement is a versatile backing material that works well in a number of different applications, including some projects involving fireplaces. This material has strong moisture-resistance capabilities and is also heat resistant, making it an ideal liner for projects around your fireplace. You can use Hardiebacker board around your fireplace. However, there is a key difference between "around" and "on. It cannot be replaced and should not be covered up with more flammable materials.

However, using fiber cement board like Hardieboard is acceptable in locations including the mantel and fireplace surround. The Hardiebacker board is made with a quarter-inch thickness so that it can serve as fireplace facing.

It can be used as part of a hour-long fire wall, which is a wall that can resist a fire for up to an hour when properly constructed.

Hardiebacker board is generally noncombustible, and the heat produced from the fireplace will not damage it. Hardiebacker board is not designed to take the place of stone, drywall or other materials used near or on your fireplace.

Instead, it was designed to be a subfloor or backing material for another material installed on top of it. Around a fireplace, you can use Hardiebacker board to prepare an area for tile installation, either stone or ceramic.

When fitting Hardiebacker board, cut the fit very carefully, using high-powered shears or carbide-tipped scoring knives to make proper cuts. To improve structural integrity, do not align the cement board with any plywood joists.

To maintain the fire-resistance of the wall you are working on, use fire caulk that is designed to provide similar protection to the board itself.

Can You Use Hardibacker on a Fireplace? Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Share this article. Tyler Lacoma. Show Comments.Forgot your Password? We welcome your comments and suggestions. All information is provided "AS IS. All rights reserved. You may freely link to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use.

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We just had 2 direct vent gas fireplaces installed.

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Right now the fireplaces are sitting on boxes that the installers created and I am going to do the framing and finishing. The finishing will either be some sort of tile marble or granite I'm guessing or stack-stone, I haven't quite decided yet. The framing for the build-outs is easy enough, but I don't know if I should be using drywall or cement board. Cement board would provide a more sturdy backing, but other than that I can't really think of any benefits to cement board to justify the increased cost.

Any ideas or thoughts? View Public Profile. Find all posts by jadeddog.

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Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts.Cured cement is not damaged by water. I have never installed this product before, and wonder if it is really worth it. It seems hard to work with and I'm tempted to just use a water-resistant drywall. Is cement backer board really worth the trouble? What tips can you share to make the job go easier and faster?

Jackie L. Some are cement-based, some are gypsum-based and others have a mix of ingredients. The cement-backer-board products can be a little tough to work with during the installation process, but in my opinion, they pay you back in spades for the effort. I am not against new technology when it comes to building products. There are countless examples of where a new product is much better than existing products.

Plywood and oriented strand board OSB are excellent examples of this.

cement board over drywall fireplace

Before plywood and OSB, carpenters used to deal with smaller pieces of wood that were not as dimensionally stable as plywood and OSB.

Plywood and OSB also makes very good use of wood as a natural resource. But when it comes to tile and what it should be applied to, I feel that cement might be the standard to a large degree. You can immerse a piece of cement board in water for an indefinite amount of time, and it will never fall apart.

Green board is a gypsum product. There are tens of thousands of ceramic-tile installations all over the world that are hundreds of years old that are still in great shape.

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Almost all of these are installed directly over concrete or some cement-based material. Many older homes still standing in the USA have ceramic tile firmly attached to cement stucco that was applied over wire mesh by true craftsmen.

cement board over drywall fireplace

All that being said, there are indeed other high-performance backer boards for ceramic tile. This past summer I decided to test a newer one in my daughter's bathroom. It has a rough fiberglass face and a waterproof gypsum core.

It was easier to cut than cement backer board, but the installation of the product to the wood studs was the same as far as I was concerned. If you want a gorgeous ceramic-tile job, you need to be sure the backer board is in the same plane and the walls are perfectly plumb. In the old days, the tile setters installing the wet cement stucco took the time to get the stucco perfectly plumb and flat, even if the wall studs were crooked, bowed or bent.

With modern cement backer board, you must get the framed walls perfectly plumb and flat. Since the cement backer board is thin and a uniform thickness, when you attach it to the studs, it simply conforms to the shape of the stud wall.

How to Attach Cement Boards to Brick Fireplaces

This means twisted, out-of-plumb frame walls will lead to twisted, out-of-plumb ceramic tile.Cement backer board is an inexpensive, convenient building material that makes tiling, flooring, and countertop projects go faster and look better in the end.

Most importantly, cement backer board contributes to a longer-lasting, more durable tile installation, with no chance of backing board rot and a reduced chance of rot with the underlying wall studs or floor joists. Also called a cementitious backer unit or CBU, backer board is made of cement, water, silica, limestone flour, and fibers such as Kevlar or fiberglass for strength.

Because cement backer board is porous, thinsetgrout, and mortar adhere well to it.

cement board over drywall fireplace

Backer boards can be nailed or screwed into studs or cinderblock, brick mortar, or concrete. Boards can be easily cut with a hand saw, circular saw, jigsaw, or multi-tool. Unlike wood-based materials such as plywood or products that contain some wood such as drywall, cement board lacks organic matter, making it resistant to mold, rot, shrinkage, or decomposition. To understand the value of cement backer board, consider another pre-fabricated wall unit: drywall.

For years, interior walls were finished with wood strips lath laid over wall studs. Plasterers then troweled on plaster and waited weeks for it to fully dry. InUnited States Gypsum developed the idea of doing all of that drying in a factory, thus the name drywall. All of that plaster and the structural qualities of the lath were pressed and dried ahead of time in a factory, in the form of sheets called Sackett Wall Board. Think of cement backer board as a tile-appropriate equivalent of wallboard.

Instead of workers floating massive beds of mortar on the job site, mortar beds are created in a factory and milled into thin standardized sizes.

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Due to cement board's strengthening additives, these sheets are far stronger and more dimensionally stable than site-built mortar beds.

Most significant, though, is the reduction of on-site drying time, as cement backer board is dried in the factory. Ceramic or porcelain tile, with its seams and numerous avenues for moisture infiltration, can eventually lead to its base material contacting with water. Once this happens, the studs can begin to dampen. Mold, mildew, and rot result. In short, tile and grout are not inherently waterproof. Wood is not an acceptable material to use for places with constant water usage such as showers and bathtubs.

Regular drywall is not appropriate.

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