The Constructional Hearth is an area of fireproof material (usually concrete) in a wooden floored house that should be flush with the floorboards around where the fire is to be fitted.
If this has been removed for some reason and you are intending to burn solid fuel such as coal or logs it must be adequately replaced before starting to fit the Fireplace.
The constructional hearth is there to prevent the floorboard joists extending beneath the fire and catching fire.
A constructional hearth will usually consist of fireproof material at least 6 inch deep, around 48 inch wide and extending out approximately 18 inch.
On top of this constructional hearth sits the decorative or superimposed hearth which can be made from stone, slate or ceramic tiles.
We can supply decorative Hearths in a variety of styles and materials for gas or solid fuel use.
Individual Hearth Tiles Individual Hearth Tiles are available in various finishes and shapes.
A Standard Size Hearth is 54 inch x 15 inch x2 inch thick with or without a kick (a tongue extending back) but all other sizes are available.
Flat back Hearths are for use when the fireplace opening is level or just in front of the brickwork of the chimney.
Kicks or tongues accomodate fireplaces openings that step back behind the wall line of the chimney breast.
A back hearth is an outsized kick for where the chimney breast has been opened up to take a stove of firebasket. They can be attached to the front hearth or be a separate piece depending on the size and shape.
A cut out is required when the fireplace system is fixed in the floor and is forward of the chimney e.g. Baxi Burnall underfloor and similar systems.
Boxed and Lipped
Boxed and lipped is the standard format for slate, limestone and marble hearths. The top of the hearth overhangs by 0.5 inches (1cm) at the front and either side.
Boxed flush slate, limestone and marble hearths have the vertical returns of the hearth are the same size as the top piece (this costs £10 more than the boxed and lipped price).
There are strict regulations governing the size of a fireplace hearth.
For a Gas Fire the hearth must be a raised plinth 2 inches
thick that extends at least 15 inches in front of the fire opening.
Solid Fuel Fireplaces
With an open fire it is recommended that the hearth be 18 inches deep. If there is a fixed fender then there is no defined limit.
For firebaskets with an open fire the hearth is recommended to be 18 inches in front of the fire as with all solid fuel fires. If there is a fixed fender then there is no defined limit.
We can supply separate back hearths for use with fire baskets.
Solid Fuel Stove
The hearth should extend 12" in front of any open access to the fire in the stove.
We can supply separate back hearths for use with stoves
Once the regulations are complied with the size and shape of your hearth is down to aesthetics.
If you have exposed floorboards then the hearth should fully cover the constructional hearth to avoid seeing the concrete.
If your fireplace has a mantel then the hearth size will vary depending on whether the mantel stands on the hearth or the hearth sits between the mantel legs