How To Layout Fireplace Tile

In response to a viewer question, we are zooming in one more level with fireplace design and looking at the best way to layout the finishing tile and position the grout lines. This is more critical with larger format tiles as the grout line locations can have a major impact on the completed visual effect of the fireplace detailing.

The basic rule of thumb is you want to maximize the use of full tiles. If your tile size is 12 X 24 inches, then you want to use as many full tiles as possible, keeping the number of cuts and grout lines to a minimum. If possible, try to avoid having a “sliver” or short-cut row of tile anywhere in your layout. If you do have a short-cut row, try shifting the entire tile layout up or down to distribute the difference between the top and bottom of the composition. And finally, you may need to center the tile layout on the fire box as opposed to lining the tiles up with the outside edge of the unit as this sometimes makes a narrower row of tile in the center, which can look like a mistake.

Today’s Slides:

  • BradW

    Good segment. I would add that you can sometimes chose a different tile size or adjust the position of the fireplace. I think that the thing to understand is that a good result does not happen automatically – you have to think ahead. And showers are even more complicated with niche openings, location of faucets and controls, multiple tile sizes and thicknesses, and different grout combinations.