Fireplaces add warmth and value to your home. A fireplace hearth protects the floor from the fire’s heat and is also an important design element. It helps draw the eye, making the fireplace a room’s focal point. Hearths come in many styles and can fit any decor. They can be flush with the floor or raised. A brick hearth is more at home in a traditional decorating scheme, while a glass tile hearth complements a more modern home. Whatever your vision of the perfect hearth may be, chances are you can find the design to meet it.
Stone is one of the most commonly used fireplace materials, and stone hearths come in a variety of types.
Fieldstone, literally stone that is collected from farmer’s fields can be arranged in many ways. It can be fit together like a puzzle on the floor, stacked and topped with concrete in a raised hearth design, and smoothed and polished for a more sophisticated look. As a product of nature, fieldstone comes in different muted colours and can be arranged on a hearth so that the stones' hues complement each other.
Slate is another choice for a fireplace hearth. It can be designed to reflect most decors depending on how it is shaped and positioned. A modern look is achieved by precisely cutting and fitting smoothed slate tiles in uniform shapes before applying them to the fireplace hearth and surround. A more rustic mood is achieved with a rougher textured slate that is randomly placed.
River stone is also commonly seen in fireplace design. These rounded stones combine to form a rustic fireplace most often with a raised hearth topped with fieldstone. The river rocks can be randomly placed or organised to form rows.
Cultured stone is not produced in nature but is popular as a less expensive alternative to natural stone in fireplace building and can be installed to mimic true stone.
When you think of a brick hearth, you most likely picture traditional red brick, but that’s not the only brick design available. Brick recycled from old buildings gives your hearth an aged look that can’t be achieved with new brick. Brick can be painted with specially formulated paint like Brick-Anew to blend in with your decor or to give your room a pop of colour.
Tile is a popular choice in fireplace design. Tile comes in all colours, shapes and materials. If you’re looking for a Southwestern feel, try a terra cotta design. If your decorating style runs to a contemporary look, try facing your hearth with small, square glass tiles. A marble tile hearth puts you in mind of a European villa, while hand painted tiles interspersed with plain ones give your hearth a Victorian feel.