A fireplace hearth is an extension of the fireplace floor into the room. The hearth also includes the extension of the wall around and above the fireplace. Usually, the hearth is a little elevated from the floor of the room.
Fireplace hearths have a number of purposes. A hearth adds a decorative element to the fireplace. The hearth also prevents ash, sparks and embers from escaping into the room, thus reducing the risk of fire. Additionally, it provides a clearance in the room allowing a safe distance to keep the furniture or stand near the fireplace.
Building a fireplace hearth is simple and does not require a lot of materials. The following steps can help you build a fireplace hearth with ease.
Find out the Standards
Different buildings have different codes for a fireplace hearth. The thickness of the hearth varies from one state to another. Therefore, before constructing the hearth, it is important to find out the correct standards. In addition to that, it is important to ensure that the hearth is constructed safely keeping the standards in mind. Depending upon the building codes, you might need to get the hearth examined by a professional.
Design the Hearth
The next step is to design the hearth based on the standards and the requirements. Now you would need to decide the size of the hearth that you are planning to construct. Additionally, you would need to determine the type and quantity of the materials you would require to build the hearth. Materials like granite, stone, tiles and so on can be used to construct the hearth of the fireplace. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of each material before using them.
Prepare the Area
To prepare the area, you would need to place tar paper on the floor where you will construct the hearth. This paper should be placed past the width of the hearth so that cement does not stick to the floor. Now secure this tar paper with electrical tape.
Apart from this, you can also consider constructing the platform with the help of fiberboard or plywood. Whichever material you choose for the platform, ensure that the structure is built in such a way that makes it strong and sturdy. Fix the frame firmly to the fireplace and the floor with the help of nails.
Add the Cement Blocks
The size of the cement boards you use to build the fireplace hearth will depend upon the dimensions of the platforms that you construct. The same is applicable for cement blocks. You can place the blocks in front of the fireplace. If you are using cement boards, you would need to cut it with the help of a circular saw according to the size of the hearth. You should wear safety goggles while cutting the board.
Fill the Cement Blocks With Concrete
Once the blocks of cement have been placed along the frame constructed, you would need to fill the blocks with concrete. Before filling the blocks, you would need to mix the concrete well. While filling, you would need to push the concrete down inside the blocks in order to make it settle evenly inside the blocks. Now you would need to dry the concrete inside the block. Now you would need to position the blocks properly.
The next step is to spread the mortar along the entire hearth of the fireplace. Many homeowners prefer to add a little tint of color to the hearth. You can make it look rustic by implementing a simple trick. Mix plaster and a color pigment that you prefer. One of the best ways to test the color of the pigment is by placing it on a sample board and allowing it to dry. Once you achieve the desired result, you can smear the plaster on the hearth.
You can consider adding beautiful designs to the hearth by using tools to shape the plaster you have applied. For example, depending on the color of the pigment you use, you can create shapes of bricks.
Apart from that, you can also choose to install ceramic tiles. Before installing, you should measure the tiles and cut them appropriately. Once installed, you would need to grout the tiles carefully.
These steps will help you build a fireplace hearth with ease. While a fireplace adds to the safety, you would also need to focus on cleaning and maintaining the fireplace to increase its efficiency. If you live in Seaford, you can hire a chimney sweep in Seaford for this purpose.
Contributed by: http://www.jamesthesweep.co.uk/