Question: I had a Mendota Seabrook Gas Insert installed and it really puts out the heat. We also had new light carpeting installed. Brick flooring extends out 8" from the insert then the carpet starts. After the fact we have realized that we really should have had 16" of non-combustible material in front of the fireplace. We don't use the fireplace for extended periods of time and only when someone is present. My main concern is the heat damaging the carpet. Would a hearth rug protect the carpet? Are some better than others? Answer: If the manual for the insert calls for 16" of non-combustibles, then the carpet is not enough. You'll need to use something more substantial like a piece of slate or bluestone, a prefab hearth pad, or more brick extension.