Directions on How to Make a Hearth Pad

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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