When choosing a fireplace surround to finish your fireplace, the first place you should check is the installation manual. The fireplace installation manual has many useful information on what materials you should, and shouldn’t finish your fireplace with. Specially clearances around the fireplace for combustibles, including how high your mantle should be installed above your fireplace.
The installation manual will not tell you more important stuff, such as how the cut of tile can effect your fireplace.
As your fireplace burns, it heats up the surround and finishing area around it. When choosing materials, such as tile, granite, or marbles, it’s best to make sure there’s adequate grout area.
Choosing a finish such as one slab of marble (or similar stone) the heat will definitely move the tile a bit. This may result in broken tile, marble or quartz fireplace surrounds.
If you cut your tile into pieces (even larger pieces) your fireplace should be fine.
We encountered a customer, which we installed their linear fireplace, but the fireplace surround was done by another small contractor. The customer chose a large single slab of granite fireplace surrounds to be installed around his fireplace. However the slab was replaced several times, before we realised when the granite was not the problem, but actually how it was installed was the problem. Since there was an unevenness of the floor to hide, the small contractor decided to hide the unevenness of the floor by leaving about 1/4 of an inch exposed. When heat got this part it cracked the granite as it touched the flooring.
The safest way of avoiding these problems without sacrificing your wants is to opt for a fireplace with a large opening. The bigger the distance between the fireplace burner and the slab of tile, the better.