What can I use as hearth material when installing a solid fuel stove?
Multifuel and woodburning stoves create lots of heat which is transferred into the cast iron or steel they are constructed from to produce a radiant heat, this means the stoves body and all parts attached to it get extremely hot and will need to stand on a hearth which is constructed from a suitable non combustible material.
The size of hearth required will be determined by the size of appliance which will stand on it, weather it is a recessed or freestanding appliance will also determine the size and the shape of your hearth. The material upon which the hearth is to be lay will determine the thickness of hearth material required.
There are many natural stones available which vary greatly in price and finish. A popular choice for many gas fireplaces is marble but this material is not advised with a woodburning or multifuel stove as it has a tendency to crack when subjected to lots of heat. Granite is a great alternative and is available in many colours and finishes to match décor.
Natural Limestone is also a popular choice especially for surround and hearth packages, however these should not be confused with many man made surrounds which are made to look like limestone but constructed from resin, plaster of Paris or MDF. Natural limestone surrounds also match up well with granite hearths and slate hearths providing a contrast in colours.
York Stone can also be used to create beautiful fire surrounds and stove hearths with carved detail.
Slate is one of the most popular materials used for solid fuel stove installations and can be found in various colours and finishes. Slate is robust and easy to clean and keep in good condition.
Glass hearths give a sleek contemporary finish which is easy to wipe clean. Glass hearths must be constructed from special glass that can take the weight and heat from a stove. Available in either transparent or coloured glass options they can blend in to any room or make a bold statement.
A hearth can be constructed from one large piece or slabbed. Laying a hearth in pieces (slabbed) rather than from one large piece will allow for heat transfer and reduce the risk of the hearth material cracking from the heat of the stove.
If your looking to save money then creating a hearth from less expensive materials such as Indian limestone slabs gives a similar finish to rustic or riven slate at a fraction of the cost. Many DIY stores have an extensive range of non combustible materials cut into slabs for use with patios and paving which you can pick up and use to create your own unique design.
North Wales Stoves Ltd offer a wide range of stoves and suitable hearth materials, visit our HETAS registered showroom and view our live models for inspiration.