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Fireplace Hearths

A fireplace hearth is an essential component of any stove installation.

Why? The hearth forms the non-combustible surface that protects the fabric of the building from the heat of the appliance.

Believe it or not, choosing the hearth can be a headache and it often proves just as difficult as deciding which stove to have. Fear not, our helpful staff at fire BY DESIGN will be able to assist you to create that perfect fireplace setting.

Hearth building regulations

A hearth, however, is not purely a decorative accessory. Building regulations state that the superimposed hearth must project a minimum of 150mm to the side and 225mm in front of a closed appliance. Be aware that this rule is not exhaustive - many stove manufacturers specify their own requirements.

The boundary of a hearth must be visually apparent. This is to provide a warning to the building occupants and to discourage combustible floor finishes from being laid too close to the appliance. How can this be achieved? One way is to provide a change in level.

Besides their practical function, hearths create an opportunity to enhance the setting of your new stove. With a vast selection of materials now available, you'll be sure to find something to suit your tastes and compliment the décor of your home.

Generally speaking, when choosing your hearth there are 3 simple steps:

1. Choosing the hearth material

The mind boggles these days at the vast array of natural and man-made products suitable for hearth applications.

Below is a short list of popular choices available to view in our showroom.

Purbeck Stone

Purbeck limestone is hard wearing and durable, making it ideal for hearth applications. There are a number of different beds each of which have their own character with variations in colour and fossil content.


Slate has been used for solid fuel applications for 100’s of years. Available in various finishes, slate is a versatile product suitable for both traditional and contemporary settings.

Portland Stone

As the name suggests, Portland Stone is quarried locally on the isle of Portland. It is distinguished by its creamy colour and the fossilised shells it contains. Its versatility makes it a popular hearth choice as it can be cut easily and shaped into various sizes and designs.


Granite is a natural stone product. You can therefore expect great variances in colour, veining and pattern. This makes each piece unique. Famed for its durability, we would argue that granite is the best hearth product available.


Toughened glass floor plates are predominantly 12mm in thickness. They are often fitted over the existing floor coverings and therefore can be a simple and cost effective hearth option. With its low profile and clean lines, glass provides the perfect setting to a contemporary stove installation.

Reclaimed products

Reclaimed stone, tiles or bricks are the ideal choice for a number of applications. They are perfect whether you are looking to create that authentic, cottage style inglenook fireplace or if you simply need to extend an existing hearth.


New or old brick hearths have become popular in many settings, including cottage charm and industrial looks. The various brick types available have allowed there to be many options to create the desired vision.
Once you have decided on the hearth material, the choices don’t stop there. For many of the natural stone products, you will also need to consider: the thickness (20mm, 30mm, 40mm or 50mm); and the finish (polished, fine honed, riven or antiqued).

2. Shape & Size

With modern day technology, hearths can be precision cut on CNC machines to just about any size and shape imaginable. Below are images of the standard shapes we currently offer. If, however, you require something a little more bespoke, we can work with you to design a hearth to suit your specific requirements.


















Natural stone hearths are often available in various surface finishes, including honed, polished or riven. Changes in the chosen textured finish of your stone can dramatically alter the overall look and feel of the fireplace.






Our supply, survey and installation service covers the following areas: Bournemouth, Christchurch, Dorchester, Poole, Romsey, Salisbury, Southampton, Wimborne and Winchester and other areas in Dorset in Hampshire. Site surveys outside a 30 mile radius of Wimborne will incure a charge a £25 which is deductable should you accept our quotation. We are also pleased to invite enquiries from further afield.