The hearth is an important part of the fireplace construction and set up and the hearth can be made of or covered in a number of different materials. Most foundations for fireplaces and hearths are made of poured concrete slabs. You can cover these slabs with slate, tile, stone or just about any other non-flammable material like our most popular glass hearths.
The hearth foundation is often an extension of the base of the fireplace or it is a separate concrete slab that is poured to extend the area put from in front of the fireplace. The reason for the addition of the hearth is twofold- one it helps prevent fires by giving an area for sparks, embers, and logs to fall or roll onto without setting everything round it on fire; and two is gives people a place to sit close to the fireplace in order to enjoy the warmth and comfort of the roaring fire.
Usually the biggest challenge that is seen when it comes to the construction of the hearth is planning ahead enough so the floor of the room is at a level compared to the hearth so the connection of the two transitions cleanly and neatly. Sometimes this is addressed by making the hearth raised, almost like a small ledge of bench that surrounds the fireplace and gives a place to sit and a place to catch embers before they fall down onto the floor. Another option is to have the hearth and floor at basically rue same level and use a small beveled strip of finishing material to seal the seam between the hearth and the floor to give it a clean and neat finished look and feel.
Many different materials can be used to cover the hearth and give a beautiful finished look:
Slate is a wonderful choice and is a very popular material for a fireplace hearth for a number of reasons. It is one of the most durable, it is easy to care for and clean, it resists heat well, and also has a nice clean look to it.
Tiles comes in a number of styles and colors so it is easy to find a look that blends well with the rest of the room and home décor. Tile is also fairly easy to clean and holds heat well without getting too hot.
Marble slabs are becoming more and more popular with modern home constructions that include a fireplace hearth. It is elegant, classy, easy to clean, resists wear and tear, adds value to home, and has many color options.
Concrete is the basic foundation for almost all hearths and it also makes a nice simple finish for a hearth too. It is durable, heat resistant, affordable, and can look nice as a rough or polished finish.
There are other options available for hearths and any fire proof material could be used. To learn more about the options that you have to choose from or for help deciding what the best choice may be, contact us today! We would be glad to help!