With winter on its way, you may be considering replacing or updating your fireplace, including the hearth. The hearth is simply the floor of a fireplace made from heat resistant materials like brick or stone.
As hearths are made from such durable materials, they’re not something you’ll be buying regularly – which means you might not know where to start. Here’s our simple guide to picking the perfect hearth.
1. Do I need a hearth?
A fire should sit on a hearth so that it’s surrounded by a surface made from non-combustible materials. Open fires, log and coal burners need a hearth, however most modern freestanding stoves don’t but check with your retailer.
2. What size hearth do I need?
Different retailers might say slightly different sizes but the average recommended are:
- 150mm at each side and to the rear of the stove/fireplace.
- 300mm-500mm from the front of the stove/fireplace, depending on the size.
3. What material should I pick?
Non-combustible, hard-wearing materials are a must. Natural stones – slate, granite, marble, limestone, along with ceramic or quarry tiles and brick. Slate and granite work best. They are heat resistant, if a bit of coal or burning log falls on to them, they won’t be easily scratched or stained. They come in many different finishes for modern or rustic looks.
3. Tiles, 1 piece, 2 pieces?
When you’re ordering a stone hearth, you may be asked if you want one piece or two. This is to prevent the stone from getting too hot and buckling. However, with stoves, one piece of stone cut in to a t-shape and slotted in to the recess won’t buckle. For open fires which are closer to the stone, two pieces are recommended.
4. How thick?
A minimum of 20mm thickness is recommended for the hardest materials like slate and granite. For slightly softer stones, marble and limestone, we recommend 30mm. Hearths can be flush to the floor or built on an upstand.
5. Colours and design options?
Most stone fabricators, including Coulon Stone have a stock of incredible off-cuts that make perfect hearths. It means you might be able to find a unique, statement hearth, for cheaper than you think, as well as all your traditional blacks, greys, whites and beiges. Head to your local stone fabricator to get some ideas before settling on something.
For more inspiration or assistance visit our website www.coulonstone.com or pop into our Stokenchurch Showroom.