Wood stoves are both functional home-heating options and romantic additions to your decor. To enjoy a stove safely, proper installation is required to guard against potentially dangerous fire hazards. Hearth pads serve as a noncombustible surface that protects your floor and reduces the risk that fallen embers will ignite and cause a house fire. Though their purpose is primarily functional, several types of hearth pads allow you the freedom to choose a look that compliments your style and taste.
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Hearth Pad Materials
Hearth pads must be made from noncombustible materials that can support the weight and heat of a wood stove. Ceramic tile pads can be designed in a custom arrangement or purchased prefabricated for relatively low cost. Higher-end natural materials may be more expensive, but they are also long-lasting and complement a variety of decor styles and colour palettes. Natural stones like flagstone, limestone, granite, mica, and slate may be flat-polished for a smooth, high-gloss finish or left with a more natural texture. The hearth-pad material is one of the most significant factors when it comes to pricing, so consider your budget when you are selecting your materials.
Raised and Flush Pads
Hearth pads can be flush with the floor or raised to create a stand for the wood stove. Flush hearth pads are backed with a heat- and water-resistant membrane like concrete board to guard against radiant heat damage to the subfloor material. Raised hearth pads incorporate hollow masonry blocks that circulate air and create a radiant heat barrier between the stove and the floor. A combination raised and flush hearth pad includes a wood stove elevated on masonry bricks and a flush pad beneath the masonry pedestal to protect a larger portion of the floor from embers and ashes.
Though fire safety regulations require that the size of your hearth pad adhere to local codes, the shape of the pad is much more flexible and allows you to choose a style that suits your home decor. Traditional hearth pads are laid out in a rectangle that contours to the shape of a standard box wood stove. A simple variation of the rectangular design is a hearth pad with a shaped front that features a flat front edge with clipped corners. This design is stylish and reduces the tripping risk if your pad is raised. More elaborate shapes like octagons or rounded pads are also options for a custom look.
Corner hearth pads are specifically designed for wood stoves that are positioned in the corner of the room. The pads sit flush against the corner and run along the two adjoining walls to create a cater-cornered hearth pad. The front of the pad may be rounded or feature a more custom-cut flat edge with cropped corners or multiple angles. Because corner stoves also require heat and fire protection for the nearby walls, many corner hearth pads are coordinated with matching wall panels in the same materials for a cohesive unit.
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