I'm putting in a new hearth. I haven't purchased my new stove yet. Currently I use a pre-EPA beast of a stove. Heavy steel plate. We built the hearth with 2x6 treated lumber (in basement on cement) covered by 3/8 wafer board (I put in several cross pieces of 2x6 for support). I have some thin backer board, I think it is 1/4 inch. I will then lay down mortar and full size bricks (2"). How is that for R value protection? Also, do you guys coat your bricks with anything? Do you find they scratch easily when moving stove?