With the popularity of kitchen backsplashes and fireplace tile installations, it’s no surprise that we often get asked the question, “How do I install StoneImpressions in spaces where the tile will be exposed to heat?”
Today, we’re tackling this burning question and outlining all the key information you need to consider for this process.
Keep reading to learn more about this hot topic!
Decorative Natural Stone Tile & Heat
First, let’s review the basics of installing StoneImpressions’ tile in heated areas.
StoneImpressions’ tiles are regularly used in the following spaces that will incur heat:
- Kitchen backsplashes
- Fireplace facades
Within these areas, remember to make sure your tile is not exposed to any open flames or extended high temperatures. We will give you some tips and tricks to ensure a successful install.
With any installation, we always recommend sealing StoneImpressions tile with a high-grade, penetrating sealant when cut and after grouting. And heated spaces are no exception! Sealing your tile after installation and on a regular basis can help protect your tile from heat and preserve the beauty of your tile installation.
Looking for a quick refresher on proper installation, care, and maintenance? Check out our Installation Guide!
Now that we’ve looked at the basics of installing StoneImpressions tiles in heated areas, let’s look at a few specific situations and examples.
Installing StoneImpressions Tile Behind a Stove
First, let’s look at the scenario of installing kitchen backsplash tile behind a stove. For this application, it’s important to understand the type of stove you’re working with.
In most residential spaces, you’ll usually end up working with a gas or electric stove.
- Hook up to a natural gas line
- Use open flames to generate heat
- Heat up as soon as the flame is lit
- Easily reach cooking temperatures
- Let some heat escape during the cooking process (heating source does not directly touch cookware)
- Release some moisture into the air while flames are burning
On the other hand, electric stoves:
- Hook up to a special 220-to-240-volt electrical outlet
- Generate heat from an electric coil
- Take longer to heat up than gas stoves
- Use more energy than gas stoves
- Do not let heat escape during the cooking process (heating source directly touches cookware)
- Produces an even dry heat
Understanding the characteristics of your stove will help you determine what type of ventilation to use. Here, the rule of thumb is to match your ventilation system to the heat output of your stove. A congruous stove-and-vent combination will help divert heat away from your decorative tile backsplash.
Below are two great examples of how to match your stove type with a proper ventilation system.
In the example above, you’ll find our quick-ship Crystal tile pattern installed behind an electric stove. If you look at the vent accompanying the stove you will see that it is angled forward. This angled vent reroutes any excess heat away from the backsplash and matches the output of the electric stove.
Here is another great example of how to harmonize your heat source and ventilation situation.
In this example, you will see our Made to Order Altalena tile installed as the kitchen backsplash behind a gas stove. In this example, two angled vents are used to account for the heat output of the gas stove. This elongated vent helps protect the tile from unnecessary heat exposure!
With any ventilation system, it’s important to regularly clean your vents. This ensures that air circulation is even and keeps the heat from being distributed to just one area of your space. Uneven distribution of heat can cause overheating of the tile, and potential discoloration over time.
Raised Tile Backsplash
Another great way to protect your decorative tile backsplash from heat is to raise the tile feature 6 to 8 inches above the stove or vent (especially if your vent goes directly into the backsplash behind the stove).
Take a look at the installation below to see what we mean.
Here, the Madison tile is featured as a decorative tile mural, which is situated a safe distance above the gas stove and accompanying vent. While it is only a matter of inches, this positioning helps keep the tile safe from the stove’s heat!
If raising the tile feature up is not an option for your design, consider swapping in a different ventilation system or adding extra ventilation to protect your tile from heat.
Any time you are using a commercial or professional grade range we always recommend using an appropriate vent for your tile installation.
Unlike traditional residential stoves, commercial-grade ranges are designed for heavy use (like cooking in a restaurant) and come with a whole lot of heat power. Proper venting will help move excess heat away from your decorative tile backsplash while the range is in use. If you are unsure as to whether or not your range is a commercial-grade range, we recommend reaching out to your range manufacturer.
Venting for Professional Ranges
Because of their heavy-duty heat power, most professional-grade stoves have built-in vents that help re-route hot air given off during cooking. Usually, you will see an angled or a flat backsplash vent.
An angled vent is situated at the back of the commercial range and works by moving heat forward and away from the area behind the range. A flat vent is also situated at the back of the range but, unlike an angled vent, blows air up instead of forward and out.
Below is a great example of how to install a kitchen backsplash behind a commercial-grade range with an angled vent. This installation features the Ventana tile from our Artisan Stone Tile collection.
If you look closely at the images above, you will see an angled vent directly behind the high-powered stove and a large hood vent right above the stove. Here, the angled vent not only creates space between the tile installation and range but also protects those tiles closest to the heavy-duty heat source by diverting the heat out and away from the backsplash and towards the larger, overhead vent.
If your commercial grade range has a flat backsplash vent, we strongly recommend adding in a range riser, or a stainless steel backsplash. Flat vents blow air up, instead of forward and away from the area behind the stove, which may expose the backsplash to higher temperatures if there is nothing else guarding the backsplash.
In this situation, a range riser can provide your decorative tile backsplash with the extra protection it needs. Range risers act as an additional backsplash or layer of protection for your tile. They extend directly from the back of the range and work to create a thermal barrier for your tile installation.
If you plan on installing StoneImpressions tile behind a commercial grade stove, we recommend using a range riser, or a stainless steel backsplash. These components will help protect your tile from any extreme heat coming off the commercial-grade range.
Below is a wonderful example of how to incorporate a stainless steel range riser into your installation to further protect your decorative tile. This stunning kitchen also features our quick-ship Ventana tile!
In the above example, you can see a 6-inch stainless steel backsplash that juts up directly behind the back burners of the stove and a vent hood directly above the stove. With this setup, the flat vent and hood will help circulate hot air, while the range riser will safeguard the Ventana tile backsplash from any excess heat coming off the high-powered range.
Today, many stoves come with a self-cleaning mode. In this mode, the oven is set to an extremely high temperature for several hours in order to burn away any spills, food particles, or stains. While this function is incredibly convenient, when using this feature you need to take precautions to protect the decorative tile installed behind your stove. Exposing the decorative tile to these extreme temperatures for an oven cleaning cycle can cause unwanted damage to your tile installation.
Installing StoneImpressions Tile on a Fireplace Façade
Now that we’ve covered installing tiles behind stoves, let’s turn our attention to another hot spot: the fireplace.
If you’re looking to install decorative tile around your fireplace façade, it’s important to consider the following questions:
- Is there a high potential for the tile to be exposed to sustained high heat?
- Will the fireplace be frequently used?
- Is this fireplace the primary source of heat for the home?
- Is there a lack of proper ventilation that reroutes heat away from the tile?
- Is there a lack of proper insulation to prevent heat loss or leakage?
Considering these questions can help you determine if your fireplace is right for a decorative tile façade. And, these questions will help you to put measures in place (like insulation and ventilation) that will preserve your tile should you choose to install it in this fashion.
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it might be time to reconsider your design plan. Please contact one of our representatives to discuss the details of your situation and determine if decorative tile is right for the front of your fireplace.
Let’s take a look at a few fireplaces that are well-suited for a decorative tile façade to illustrate the above considerations.
In the above example, you’ll see our Sanza tile featured as a fireplace façade in this light and airy Southern California living area by Stone and Ceramic Surfaces Inc. Because this home is situated in a temperate climate, it’s unlikely that this fireplace will be used frequently or for long periods of time. And, this fireplace also has added measures of protection that will keep the decorative tile facade safe. For example, this design features an enclosed glass gas fireplace with a chimney venting system that allows the heat to escape without funneling into the room.
With any fireplace, you always want to make sure there is a place for heat to escape and that is it properly venting. The façade should never be too hot to touch!
Below is another great decorative fireplace tile example, featuring our quick-ship Mulholland tile in a Texan home.
Here, the decorative tile fireplace is situated in a historic home in Austin, Texas. The fireplace will not serve as the primary heat source for the home, and therefore the decorative tile will not be exposed to high heat for long periods of time. And, this fireplace was updated to ensure that it draws properly and all heat is drafting up into the chimney, giving the tile an added element of heat protection.
In the above installation, you’ll notice that the tile is also installed on the fireplace hearth or the area right in front of the fireplace. If you’re looking to apply decorative tile in this fashion, it’s important to consider how and when you will use this space. For example, if your hearth is a high-traffic area of your home or subject to objects that will scratch the surface of the tile (like a metal log poker or ash bucket), we would advise swapping in plain, natural stone tile on the hearth, in place of decorative tile.
This 110-volt electric fireplace, which incorporates our Made to Order Aurum tile, adds a beautiful statement feature to the room while keeping the decorative tile safe.
In the example above, the electric fireplace features a protective glass pane. This glass will never get hot to the touch, meaning it safeguards children, pets, and the surrounding decorative tile from the heat coming off the electric fireplace. With proper insulation and adequate ventilation, this tile installation will stay safe from unwanted heat.
Electric fireplaces are also convenient because you can adjust the heat settings and thermostat to create the perfect climate in the room and prevent the façade from getting too hot.
Finally, let’s take a look at this innovative example, below, which features our quick-ship Ella tile.
Sometimes less is more! Here, the Ella tile is used as a decorative fireplace trim, rather than a full-fledged fireplace façade. This strategic usage creates ample space between the heat source and tile. This application not only looks fantastic but also helps to protect the tile from any heat this burning fireplace may give off.
We hope that answered some of your burning questions regarding how to install natural stone tile in heated spaces.
Looking for other helpful, how-to information regarding natural stone tile? Keep reading to solidify your stone knowledge with the following articles:
- How to Clean Natural Stone Tiles
- How to Pick the Perfect Backsplash Grout Color
- How to Use Tile Rugs
Or, take a break from reading and explore our Gallery to get installation inspiration for your next home project. Remember, if you find a tile fit for your interior, use our Showroom Locator to find an approved StoneImpressions distributor in your area!