Yes you can, but it is easier to trowel thinset over the brick after which tile right over that. Here's how to do so.
Protect the hearth with a drop fabric and take away the mantel and other things that is attached to the stone. Go over the entire location with a wire brush to dislodge any loose mortar, after that scrub off the soot with a rag wet in white vinegar. Allow bricks dried out for a day or two, after that mix-up a batch of white, latex-modified thinset concrete to your persistence of mayonnaise. Distribute the thinset within the brick with a flat, straight—not notched—trowel and force it into all grout joints. If bones continue to be noticeable after the first layer cures, skim on another coat to complete any depressions. If you do it appropriate, you'll get a surface that's because flat as backerboard but with no seams. The very next day, lay out a unique sleep of latex-modified thinset combed out with a notched trowel, and set your tiles into that. Don't use mastic; it can not make the temperature.
Here's a trick i take advantage of whenever tiling around fireplaces. The line of tiles straight over the firebox is visually the most crucial, so it must certanly be positively right. Nail a straight 1x board horizontally over the fireplace, good the surface of the firebox, and make use of its top edge as a shelf as you put the tiles. The board in addition prevents the tiles from sliding before the adhesive treatments. Progress up from the board first, then, when the thinset hardens, to take wax off and work down the sides for the fireplace.
Joe Ferrante could be the tile contractor who may have set up the flooring and wall space of many This Old home