Hearth of a Fireplace: What it is and Why it Matters

Fireplaces have become staples in homes as they are warm, comforting, and create a glowing atmosphere in front rooms.

They can be as modern or as traditional as people want, but the fireplace must match the room it will be placed in, otherwise, it will look disconnected.

What Is The Hearth Of A Fireplace

There is a lot that people don’t know about fireplaces, but they are still very popular. 

Knowing what the different parts of your fireplace are called can help you quickly get it repaired if there is a problem.

If you are unsure of the right name for the part of your fireplace that you need repairing, you might end up with the wrong thing. If you are unsure what the hearth of a fireplace is, you can find out more below!

This article will inform you about what the hearth of a fireplace is and why it is an important part of your fireplace. Find out more about hearths here!

What Is A Fireplace Hearth?

The hearth of a fireplace is the material at the base of the fireplace that is slightly extended into the room.

Hearths must be made from materials that do not burn as they are exposed to high temperatures, so they are made from durable materials that are non-combustible. 

There are lots of different hearths to choose from as they come in a wide range of sizes, designs, and styles. Choosing a hearth allows you to have a unique say in the design of your fireplace and have it designed how you envisioned.

Choosing the right hearth helps to integrate your fireplace in with the color scheme and other features in your living room. 

wood burning fireplace with stone fire surround. Hearth in front in slab concrete with tiled floor and blue rug. Blue sofa to one side and windows either side of the fireplace.

What Does A Fireplace Hearth Do?

As the fireplace hearth extends out into the room slightly, you might be unsure of what it is used for. The hearth of a fireplace does have a purpose, but what is it?

Keeping People Away From The Fire

The hearth of a fireplace keeps people away from the fire when it is lit as people do not walk over it.

If you have children or pets, you will need to make sure that they do not try to play on the hearth, but it is made out of a hard material that is unappealing to sit on.

You will still need to monitor children and pets around the fireplace to make sure that they are safe. 

Protects Your Floor

The floor that is directly in front of the fireplace would be exposed to high heat and potentially ash and embers if it wasn’t covered by a hearth.

Without the hearth to protect it, the floor would become damaged. As the hearth is made from materials that do not burn, it can withstand the heat and protect the floor. 

Brings The Room Together

Having a fireplace on the floor without a hearth would look out of place and disconnected from the room, especially as there would be space in front of the fireplace.

The hearth creates warmth in the room and extends out to bring the room and the fireplace together. 

Types Of Hearths

Types Of Hearths

There are different types of hearths for fireplaces, but what are they? It is all down to the height of the fire to determine what type of hearth will best suit your fireplace. 

No Hearth

When a fireplace is inserted into the wall, there is no need for a hearth. The fireplace will be built-in, so you will not see a hearth as it is not touching the ground. 

Raised Fireplace

If the fireplace is slightly raised off the floor, the hearth will only be a few inches off the floor. This will protect the floor in front and the hearth will be in proportion to the rest of the fireplace. 

Flush Hearth

A flush hearth is when the hearth is at an even level with the opening of the fireplace. This can mean that the hearth can be several feet high and greatly extended off the floor. 

Raised Hearth

A raised hearth has a height above the opening of the fireplace, making the fireplace look like it is lower than it is. The hearth is tall and very extended off the floor to create this illusion. 

Common Materials Used For Hearths

Hearths need to be made from non-combustible materials as this protects the floor and prevents the hearth from becoming burned or damaged.

As it is a requirement that they are made from durable materials, what materials are hearths most commonly made from?


Slate is a popular material to use for hearths as there are lots of advantages to using it. You can choose to have a different colored slate for your hearth to match your room, bringing your fireplace and your room together.

Slate hearths are suitable to use for a gas or electric fireplace as wood-burning fireplaces have temperatures too high for slate to withstand.  


Granite can be more expensive than other materials for hearths, but it is very durable and safe to use.

You can get granite hearths that match the room of the house that the fireplace is in to make sure that it is connected to the room, and it is also available in different patterns. 


Limestone is a suitable material to use for both electric and gas fireplaces, but it can crack when it is exposed to high temperatures. Therefore, limestone is not suitable for wood-burning fireplaces as it will need to be replaced often. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, hearths are very important for fireplaces as they help to protect the floor in front of the fireplace from being exposed to too much heat.

They come in a variety of different designs, colors, patterns, materials, and heights to complement your fireplace and to make sure that they are stylish and protective. 

Hearths are made from different durable materials, but they can crack under extreme heat from wood-burning fireplaces. Therefore, materials like slate and limestone should only be used for gas and electric fireplace hearths. 

Stevie Morris