A fireplace hearth is a fire-resistant area placed around a fire. It is important when ordering a fireplace and hearth to know what type of appliance is going to be used. A hearth material and construction suitable for a gas fire may not be suitable for a solid fuel fire
We can supply Hearths in a variety of styles and materials for gas or solid fuel use. If your fireplace is purely for decorative use then you can have any kind of hearth you like.
The Constructional Hearth is a flat area of fireproof material (usually concrete) in a wooden floored house that should finish flush with the floorboards around where the fire is to be fitted.
On top of this constructional hearth sits the Decorative Hearth which is what is usually referred to as a Hearth. This hearth is usually made from stone, slate or ceramic tiles.
Unslabbed Granite Hearths are not suitable for use with solid fuel as the intense heat generated may cause cracking
Slabbing is the method of filling the underneath of the hearth with reinforced concrete. This provides a stable base for the tiles or stone and the steel reinforcements help spread the heat more evenly so that the slate or granite is not subject to heat stresses which might cause it to crack.
Our Slabbed Tiled Hearths are available in a range of colours in high quality glazed ceramics - suitable for all types of fuel including gas and solid fuels. These Hearths are available in flat back and in tongued back models.
Glazed Fireplace Tiles are high quality double-fired tiles available in 4 inch or 6 inch sizes in the following colours
Burgundy, Victorian Blue, Basalt Black, Ivory, Victorian Brown, Teapot Brown, Victorian Green, Steele Green, Midnight Blue and two Mottled tiles
Individual Hearth Tiles are available in various finishes and shapes.
Tiles can be cut to make herringbone patterned or cross bonded Hearths
Quarry Tiles are a robust unglazed tile that is hard wearing
Our quarry tile Hearths are available in black, terracotta and offwhite and can be made with or without a border
In Edwardian times the fenders would commonly sit over a hearth flush with the floor and cover the gap between it and the floorboards.
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.
Floor Level Gas Fires
With living flame gas fires, the hearth needs to ensure that it is difficult for someone to lay a carpet right up to the fire.
To this end the regulations (bs5871) insist upon either a 50mm (2 inch) raised hearth or fixed fender.
The depth and width of the hearth or fender can vary with each particular
gas fire, but 300mm depth (12 inches) in front of a standard (16 inch)
fire and 750mm width (30 inches) would be a good guide as a minimum.
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.
Mantels and Hearths
If your fireplace has a mantel then the hearth size can vary.
The mantel can stand on the hearth or the hearth can sit between the mantel legs or the mantel can have "cut outs".