The constructional hearth is the patch of fireproof material (either a concrete, stone or tiled surface) in every wooden floored house that should finish flush with the floorboards in front of where the fire is to be fitted. If this has been removed for some reason and you are fitting a fireplace to burn solid fuel (coal or logs) it must be adequately replaced before starting to fit the fireplace.
The constructional hearth is there to stop the joists of the floor extending beneath the fireplace. If they did, then they would dry like tinder and any small ember finding its way down to them from the fireplace would cause a much larger fire than you ever intended. A constructional hearth will usually consist of fireproof material at least 6 inch deep, around 48 inch wide and extending out approximately 18 inch .
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