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I am planning to remodel my fireplace by putting new tile over an existing brick surround and front hearth, and also building a new mantel and pilasters. What should I do first, the tile or woodwork???:icon_smile:
 

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I wood definitely secure the mantel first, depending on what style you are installing. Might not be to bad aver tile but I had to install mine over existing rock and grind the rock to a flat surface. :thumbdown: This was not something I would ever want to do again. ( See my gallery )
 

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Typically the tile work is done first, this way you can scribe the mantel to it. Most trim guys that build mantels leave the inside of the leg 3/4" short for this very reason and trim with a moulding rather then scribing. The plus is that the grout does not get all over the matels finish. The same can be done for the various types of stone. Scibing looks better then a stone sitting to far from the edge of the mantel...
 

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I renovated our mantel a couple of years ago, and did the tile first. That's especially convenient if you're redoing the hearth too.... I just set the mantel on top of it.
 

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As youngman and knotsciott indicated, the tile should be done first for the reasons both posters above indicated. Often the firebox surround is only three pieces of stone, a head and two legs, which have been pre-cut before the tile man even picks them up. They are also heavy and expensive. The tile man needs room around the outside of the stone to set it.

I often used a beaded scrible molding nailed to the edge of the mantel legs and head panel to return to the stone around the firebox. You just have to plan on how to handle the detail where it meets the plinth (or base and base cap wrap) at the base of the pilasters.

Good luck.
Jimc
 
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