Fireplace cladding is a versatile material that is used to give a stylish, original and aesthetic look to the hearth.

It is important to remember that for finishing there are many options among building materials. Before choosing, you need to decide on the parameters of the tile, for the full functioning of the fireplace and the high-quality texture of the appearance of the product.

In this article, you will find detailed information on all existing types of finishing tiles and, based on the information received, make an informed decision.

Characteristic features of the material

Fireplace tiles must be able to withstand high temperatures, which places the highest demands on finish and quality. The following conditions must be met:

  • environmental friendliness, lack of odors or safe emissions during heating and evaporation;
  • heat resistance, it is important to comply with the temperature regime up to 10000C, it is desirable to use a tile made using at least 2 firings;
  • thermal conductivity and heat capacity, indicators that serve as the main characteristics of the coating, since it is necessary to transfer heat from the furnace into space and keep the heat as long as possible;
  • resistance to moisture, water absorption should be minimal, no more than 3%. On the outer package, this indicator is indicated by the symbol E and the water absorption figure is indicated next to it;
  • coating thickness and rigidity, this indicator reflects the degree of deformation of the tile;
  • thermal expansion should be no more than 8%;
  • porosity of the material, resistance to mechanical damage, a small number of pores reflects the strength and durability of the material;
  • burnout resistance;
  • resistance to temperature extremes;
  • antistatic, does not attract dust;
  • outward attraction.

Recommendations for choosing tiles for facing fireplaces

With the help of visual assessment, a reliable analysis of the quality of the material can be carried out. Professionals advise paying attention to the following characteristics related to:

  • The thickness of the tile and its elements.

It is necessary to have the same indicators. Tiles for facing the fireplace are on average 6-8 mm.

  • Correspondence of geometric shapes. Before purchasing, check for identity — for this, attach the tiles to each other with the front and inside sides.

It is necessary that they fit tightly and do not leave a gap. Any irregularities create visual defects. If the inner or outer sides do not match, this will affect the quality of the cladding, as it may lie unevenly on the surface.

Note: According to experts, 120 by 120 mm is considered the best size for a tile; with large dimensions, the strength of the tile decreases.

  • The color scheme and shades, the picture should ideally match in all respects.

Advice. When purchasing facing tiles, take 20% more. This stock will be used for trimming material and replacing if necessary.

  • The presence of cracks and chips, if the edges of the tile crumble, it means that it is very fragile.

It is important to track cracks from the wrong side, if any — it means that when exposed to temperature, it can burst from the front.

Memo marking symbols


On the outer carton or on the inside of the tile, there is always a marking that characterizes the main parameters. The following designations are used for different types:

  • T — means heat-resistant tiles;

if the number one or two is written on the icon in the form of a flame, then this number means the number of firings. The higher the indicator, the better the tile.

  • The letter E with a number shows the percentage of water absorption;
  • The letter A or B indicates the way the tiles are made. A — reflects the use of computer technology and high-precision dimensions.
  • The PEI mark reflects wear resistance, it is characterized by a degree from I to V, all varieties are used for facing fireplaces.
  • The EN 122 value in options A to D indicates the susceptibility to chemical attack.

Attention! Only if you have special quality certificates for tiles, you can confidently use it, trusting the declared parameters and characteristics of the manufacturer.

Why line the fireplace?

  • to increase the heat capacity and return heat into space;
  • to reduce the time for warming up the room;
  • decorative decoration of the structure;
  • To simplify maintenance of the structure. For example, tiles are easier to clean than plastered surfaces.
  • Psychological factors. By replacing heating appliances with a stylish fireplace, the owners bring the beauty and comfort of a home to the general atmosphere.

What is the best tile to use?

When choosing a tile for facing the fireplace, consider its functional and practical qualities of use. Their classification is related to:

  • Appointment, distinguish:
    • designs of fast injection of the desired temperature;
    • a fireplace stove that maintains the desired temperature;
    • fireplaces with hobs.
  • External wall heating temperature
    • moderate, within 100 0С;
    • increased from 100 to 120 0С;
    • high over 120 0С.
  • Materials for making fireplaces
    • brick;
    • stone;
    • concrete;
    • metal.
  • Firebox shape
    • closed;
    • semi-open;
    • open.
  • Fuel used
    • hard;
    • gaseous;
    • decorative interior items.
  • Ways to supply heat to space:
    • channel with direct radiation;
    • channel with radiation + convective air heating.
  • By types of radiation;
    • unilateral;
    • bilateral;
    • tripartite.

In a conventional wood-burning fireplace with an open fuel chamber, one-way heat is released. Such radiation comes from the side walls and the rear inner surface of the fireplace.

The surface heating temperature is a determining factor when choosing a material; when purchasing a tile, it must be taken into account first of all.

Varieties of heat-resistant tiles


Finishing the fireplace with tiles can be made of artificial or natural material.

Natural products include marble, jasper granite.

Artificial tiles include tiles made from natural raw materials with the addition of the necessary components. It has various sizes and is subject to firing. It is these products that have the necessary fire resistance.

The most common types include:

  • terracotta tiles;
  • majolica;
  • tiles;
  • clinker tiles;
  • tiles;
  • fireclay tiles;
  • porcelain stoneware;
  • marble;
  • artificial stones.

Terracotta tiles

It is made from a composition of clays of various structures by pressing and firing. The appearance is similar to brick or natural stone, its surface is embossed and rough.

Used indoors or for outdoor fireplaces. Also often used for baths and saunas.

It is characterized by the following indicators:

  • impact resistance and durability;
  • resistance to temperature changes;
  • fire resistance, it is made at a firing temperature of 11000FROM;
  • moisture resistance;
  • good adhesion to any base;
  • high heat transfer, which is associated with the texture of the surface, and the characteristics of thermal expansion correspond to stove bricks.

The photo shows different types of terracotta tiles.



Tiles are made from clay by firing and coating with a heat-resistant decorative glaze. The characteristic of the material coincides with terracotta tiles, only in majolica there is a picturesque pattern on the surface. The finishing of each tile is done by hand, which creates a high price and, accordingly, high quality of the material.

In the photographs you can see the variety and ornaments typical of majolica.

The tile has high thermal stability, but at the same time it is susceptible to sudden changes in temperature. Nowadays, tiles are produced that have the main characteristics for high-quality finishing of the fireplace, this information should be looked for on the manufacturer’s packaging.

The tile is not recommended for use in rooms where the temperature can drop to negative values.

When facing with tiles, ordinary clay-cement mortars are not used; heat-resistant mastic or glue is used for this.

Clinker tiles


It is made by adding several varieties of clays and additional additives to fireclay powder, giving the desired color to the finished product. The material is fired and not glazed.

There are many color schemes: from light to dark brown tones.

Clinker tiles for a fireplace have a high density compared to terracotta or majolica, which gives it high waterproofing qualities and frost resistance. Thus, tiles are used both indoors and outdoors, where there are sharp changes in temperature.

Attention! Do not use clinker slabs for decorating oven bricks, this is due to the different coefficients of thermal expansion of these materials.


Finishing with tiles has been known since ancient times, in our time it often finds its connoisseurs. Glazed tiles are used for finishing fireplaces, and unglazed tiles are fixed inside structures.

They are box-shaped, smooth or embossed tiles covered with glaze. Production is carried out by hand, and each tile is decorated individually. This causes their high cost. Some elements are assembled into a beautiful single pattern.

They have high heat transfer rates due to the sides on the back of the tile.

The material is characterized by the following advantages:

  • heat resistance;
  • high heat transfer;
  • increased durability;
  • environmental friendliness;
  • Huge range and choice of colors.

This heat-resistant tile can be used in rooms where there is no permanent heating. Another advantage is the lowering of high surface temperatures — you can safely touch the tiles at any temperature.

The only drawback of tiles is the high cost of the material. Although craftsmen at home can make such tiles on their own.

Chamotte tiles

It is made from refractory clays with the addition of stone flour, which enhances the strength of the material. The firing temperature reaches 13000FROM.

The advantages include:

  • resistance to sudden temperature changes;
  • absolute fire resistance;
  • does not crack;
  • withstands long-term deforming loads;
  • not subject to abrasion;
  • has a low slip coefficient;
  • not exposed to aggressive acidic and alkaline environments, solvents or petroleum products;
  • the thickness of the material is much greater than that of a tile.

Manufacturers produce single or double fireclay tiles. When finishing, it does not need to be additionally isolated from the surface or combined with natural stone.


Porcelain slabs

An eco-friendly material that is made from a mixture of sand with several types of clay and the addition of granite or marble chips. Metal salts and oxides are used as dyes.

  • The material is characterized by high density and non-porous surface structure.
  • Retains original pattern even in direct sunlight.
  • High resistance to sudden temperature changes.
  • The thickness of the parts varies from 8 to 12 millimeters.

The appearance of porcelain stoneware can be similar to all of the above types of coating and natural stone.

When facing, heat-resistant glue is used, and if the fireplace is located on the street, then frost-resistant glue is used.

marble slabs

A natural material that has beautiful textures and is suitable for luxurious interiors. Before cladding, it is necessary to make an individual order to the designer for cutting all the elements of decorative trim.

Fireplaces decorated with marble have interesting qualities:

  • exquisite appearance and unique finishes;
  • plates quickly accumulate heat and transfer it to space for a long time.

The uniqueness and uniqueness of the shades of colors and patterns of veins creates the magnificence of each building.

artificial stones

Recently, more and more often they began to decorate fireplaces with artificial stones. This is due to the fact that natural materials are constantly growing in price, and artificial ones have become available thanks to the latest technologies and high quality material.

A variety of sizes and textures of stone during finishing hide any irregularities in the structure. Making fireplaces in this way has the following advantages:

  • simplicity and convenience of material processing;
  • ease of installation and quick finishing;
  • a huge number of different textures and shapes that imitate natural stones;
  • low cost compared to natural materials;
  • you can embody any fantasies and create designer patterns.

Having become acquainted with the main varieties of tiles for facing the fireplace, you can make an informed choice and bring to the interior not only beauty, but also a reliable, durable and practical surface of the front of the fireplace.


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