Directions on How to Make a Hearth Pad

Written by michelle raphael
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Directions on How to Make a Hearth Pad
Hearth pads protect the floor around your fireplace. (Ancient fireplace image by Sergey Galushko from

When installing a hearth in your home, you need to place a non-flammable layer between the floor and the bottom of the hearth. This allows the heat to distribute and disperse so that nothing catches on fire. You can easily make a hearth pad out of everyday materials, but remember to include certain elements. You can make a decorative top layer of tile, but you need a non-flammable item like cement to diffuse the flammability of the ceramic masonry.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • ¾-inch thick plywood
  • ½-inch thick cement backer board
  • Table saw
  • Power drill
  • Masonry screws
  • Masonry bit
  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Damp cloth
  • Wood trim
  • Hammer
  • Nails

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  1. 1

    Cut a square piece of ¾-inch plywood the size that you want the hearth pad, using a table saw. Cut the ½-inch cement backer board the same size as your plywood square.

  2. 2

    Attach the plywood to the cement backer board with a power drill and masonry screws. Fit your drill with a masonry bit to penetrate the cement.

  3. 3

    Spread a layer of mortar over the cement backer board with a trowel.

  4. 4

    Arrange ceramic tiles over the mortar and press them into place.

  5. 5

    Fill the gaps between the tiles with more mortar and wipe away any excess with a damp cloth. Let the mortar set for 12 hours.

  6. 6

    Wrap the exposed edges of the pad with wood trim. Secure the trim in place by nailing through the trim into the plywood base of the pad with a hammer and nails.

Tips and warnings

  • Use thin tiles to make the hearth pad as light as possible for portability.
  • Make your pad as big as the requirements of your hearth manufacturer.

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