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Spanish Tile Fireplace: Ideas & Installation Guide

Spanish Tile for Your Fireplace

Spanish Tile Fireplace: Ideas & Installation Guide

Spanish tiles have been around for a long time and their charm is still alive and well today. These tiles can be found gracing the exteriors and interiors, especially fireplaces, of homes all over the world.

The fireplace will always be the focal point of whatever room it is in. With the fireplace being the focal point for your room, it should be considered a tool to add a cool factor to your home rather than just a source of heat.

Fireplace tiles are an important component of many fireplaces. This is because they help to create a welcoming and attractive hearth. Using quality fireplace tile helps in the maintenance of the fireplace as well as the protection of your floors, walls, and home as a whole.

What are Spanish Tiles?

The name “Spanish tile” is used to refer to a wide variety of tiles with classic Spanish and Mexican designs. Spanish tiles are so popular among many buyers and they just request them based on their appearance, without specifying the material, dimensions, or color.

ProTip Takeaway: Spanish tiles have a unique feature which is that they’re all handmade. So if you’re thinking about using Spanish tile in your fireplace, this is one thing you need to keep in mind.

Characteristics of Spanish Tile for Your Fireplace

Raw materials. Spanish tiles are made using clay and ceramics which means that homeowners have more choices in terms of fireplace tile durability, strength, and lifetime following installation.

Tile design. Classic Spanish and Mexican designs are often characterized by a lot of colors and shapes. These tiles are available in different shades of red, blue, and yellow. They also have unique abstract petals expanding outward. You will also find tiles with geometric patterns reminiscent of Spain’s and Mexico’s baroque churches.

It’s widely used. Due to their design, Spanish tiles provide vibrant color and a unique mood when placed on a fireplace or anywhere else in the house. For walls and floors, more beautiful and intricately patterned tiles can be used. The placement of Spanish tiles in the center of the living room floor or on an accent wall can sometimes give a room personality. (Floristics, 2008)

ProTip Takeaway: Patio floors and garden walks can also benefit from Spanish tiles.

Advantages of Using Spanish Tile for Your Fireplace

Fireplace tile is now being used in a variety of finishes, designs, and materials to cover even the chimney. Ceramic Spanish tile can be used in different places in the home and also provide a variety of uses and benefits. Spanish tiles were traditionally used as wainscoting.


They’re still popular for full-wall coverings today and they’re also fantastic for use in any home. They can be used in fireplaces, backsplashes, worktops, showers, and bath accents. They can also be used in swimming pools, fountains, windows as well as stair risers, and floor accent tiles.

Spanish tiles offer more versatility and value than any other material, in addition to their wide range of uses. Spanish tiles are known for having the most vibrant colors and a broad array of designs. They’re a high-end tile with a delicate cut that results in very clean corners and straight sides with no rough edges or chips. 

They never need to be waxed, polished, or buffed. Their color is permanent and abrasion-resistant. Ceramic tile allows you to create whatever design element you want because there are so many colors, patterns, and tile sizes to pick from. (Wescover, 2020)

Best Spanish Tile Size for a Fireplace

The fireplace surround, the region right below the mantle that surrounds the fireplace box, is an area where tile is placed. The tile is usually placed with 12 inches of space around the edges. For a Spanish tile fireplace, 12×12 tiles are commonly used.

If the fireplace area to be covered is larger than 12 inches, then the right size tile should be picked to fill in the space with the fewest number of cut tiles. There are other tile sizes that can be used such as 13×13, 16×16, 18×18, 20×20, and 24×24.

In most cases, there isn’t enough space surrounding a fireplace to construct a really complex pattern. Straight, diagonal, staggered, and brick joint tile patterns are the most popular around a fireplace. (Tile of Spain, 2021)

Where to Place Spanish Tiles on a Fireplace

Above the mantle. Spanish tiles can be installed above the mantle. The height at which the tile is laid is entirely up to you. The tile can sometimes be put all the way to the ceiling, giving the illusion of higher and taller space.

The hearth. The Spanish tile can also be laid on the hearth if the fireplace has one. You can choose to tile the hearth to match the nearby floor covering. By doing this, you will protect the floor from the flying sparks that can come about when real wood is burned in the fireplace.

ProTip Takeaway: Hearths can also be designed to be sat on, like a raised box. The face and seat area of the hearth can be tiled or built of a different material.

A corner fireplace. If you have a corner fireplace you can also use Spanish tile to create a great focal point. If the tiles are all the same color, using porcelain or glass tiles is an excellent choice. Doing this will make the transitions from corner to edge look as natural as possible. (Gradanite Tile, 2021)

How to Tile a Fireplace

Tiling a fireplace can be done by a professional to save time and energy. However, if you would like to take on the project as a DIY the result can be something for you to be proud of. This is a how-to instruction for placing Spanish tile on a fireplace to add a little drama and intrigue to your hearth.

What you’ll need:





Cordless drill

Mixing paddle


Tape measure


Utility knife

Snap cutter or wet saw

Notched and margin trowels

Grout float









Fiberglass tape



Nails or screws


STEP 1: layout your project

  • Measure the dimensions of the tiled surface and transfer them to graph paper using a 1/4-inch. Feel free to experiment with a variety of designs until you find one that you like.
  • Draw the pattern to scale, taking into account the tile’s real size, including grout joints. If the dimensions result in unappealing narrow pieces around any of the edges, consider using a wider grout joint or a larger tile.

Step 2: Cut and install the backer board

  • You will then have to cut the backer board to match the dimensions of the surfaces.
  • To install the backer board, use the thin-set mortar and self-tapping masonry screws.
  • Using fiberglass tape and joint compound repair and finish any joints in the backer board.

STEP 3: Arrange the tiles

  • Lay out the tile pattern on the floor using your dimensional drawing as a guide. 
  • Place the spacers between the tiles to ensure the pattern fits the installation.

STEP 4: Fit And Trim

  • Mark the outlines of any insets on the field tile with a china marker.
  • Cut the field tiles and place them in the design to see how they fit.
  • To make the pattern fit while still leaving enough room for grout joints, you may need to cut the field tiles.
  • Before you pick up the tiles, number them to show their location.

STEP 5: Prepare the Opening Edge

  • Use trim tiles or bullnose tiles to set the opening’s edges.
  • Ensure you use a batten to keep them straight.
  • Set field tiles and after the mortar has hardened, round the edges with a rubbing stone if bullnose is not available for the tile you’ve chosen.

STEP 6: Attach the Mortar

  • You will require to spread and comb mortar for the field tiles.
  • Then with a metal straightedge, align the bottom edges of the tiles.
  • Support the tiles with 8d finishing nails hammered into the backer board.
  • Repeat the process for the remaining rows, making sure to adjust the insets as you go.
  • Complete the installation of the tiles by grouting them.

Spanish tile for fireplace

If you’re planning to tile a fireplace, think about how much area you’ll have to work with and how many full pieces you’ll be able to fit in. It will be easier to find the proper tile if you do this ahead of time.

If the DIY Spanish tile fireplace installation is too much, you can always get a professional to get the work done perfectly.

Choose Smart Remodeling LLC for Your Spanish Tile Fireplace Installation

If you’re looking for the greatest fireplace renovation, upgrade, and remodeling services in Houston and its environs, we’re the company to call. Our qualified professionals will exceed your expectations with their work. We specialize in full-service kitchen upgrades, outdoor remodeling, bathroom renovation, and whole-home remodeling, and we’re the best in the business.

We’ve received top-tier ratings from Houz and BBB for our high-quality, detail-oriented, and dependable services.

Are You Ready to discover Spanish tile fireplace options?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to learn more about all of your Spanish tile fireplace options. We can assist you in selecting a tile type, design, color scheme, and other factors. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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