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Wood stove hearth pads...buy vs. make?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by emt1581, Dec 19, 2010.

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  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I'm always looking to save money, but I'm wondering if making these hearth pads are so easy to make that it's crazy to pay $300+ for them...or is buying the materials, using the tile saw, etc...more trouble than it's worth?

    Any suggestions on the best places to order from if buying is the way to go?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581

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  2. Milton Findley

    Milton Findley Feeling the Heat

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    Good question. I spent over 300 bucks on tile, tools, grout, and substrate for my hearth. Throw in a couple of bags of mortar, two bags of concrete, several dozen bricks, some knee pads, and the wear and tear on my body, plus the wife's body, (she mixed the cement), I would say that if it is possible to get one for $300 bucks, that would be a reasonable way to go.

    On the other hand, I like the results I got, and I feel good about having done it myself and learning as I went.
  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Was that building a hearth PAD or an actual full brick hearth?

    This is the kind I'm talking about...just tile with wood trim.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Hearth-Pad-36-x...595?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb053ef93

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  4. smokinokie

    smokinokie New Member

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    OKC Ok
    Check out "hearth boards" online, I think they may be exactly what you are looking for.

    MUCH cheaper than "hearth pads" and MUCH more subtle looks-wise. Thinner, lighter as well.

    I am a wood stove novice, just bought a wood stove and was exploring floor protection (hearth) options, googling "hearth mats" and "hearth pads" and reading threads on discussion boards and not getting ANYTHING close to what I wanted...a minimalist black, thin, pad sized exactly right per my manufacturer's specs (36x36).

    I could SEE the exact type of hearth I wanted on Jotul's website and a couple of other wood stove manufacturer's websites. I just couldn't FIND such products by searching "hearth pads" and "hearth mats".

    I'm not even sure how but I totally stumbled across "hearth boards" made by Hy-C Company from St. Louis and they are EXACTLY what I was looking for. Steel covered mineral board.

    This company needs to re-name their product or something to catch search terms from novices like me because I was on the verge of giving up and building my own "hearth pad" out of plywood and wonderboard and tile, etc. and I was NOT HAPPY about it.

    Also the experts on this site should direct know-nothings like me to "hearth boards" right away instead of going into all of the mind-numbing details of building your own "hearth pad" and all the R values and K values, etc.

    I called my local stove supplier once I discovered the Hy-C "hearth boards" online and he said that they are PERFECTLY appropriate for my stove (which has a BOTTOM HEAT SHIELD so it doesn't need a ton of R value floor protection).

    WHAT A RELIEF! I am juggling enough projects already without adding the "hearth pad" project!!!
  5. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I would say to build one, this looks more thought out. This also has alot to do with the stove you choose, some stoves only require a non-combustible surface, some require a certain R-value, this can be hard to obtain for a low price.
  6. Milton Findley

    Milton Findley Feeling the Heat

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    I would guess if all you need is a pad, and sufficient protection is provided by it, a bought one is a far better bet than building one and much less work and expense. :)
  7. smokinokie

    smokinokie New Member

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    Actually the Hy-C company calls their product "STOVE BOARD", which makes it virtually IMPOSSIBLE to find for anyone searching the internet for such a product using the 100% entirely appropriate and common-sense term "HEARTH"!

    I am literally going to call the Hy-C company and explain to them what a monumental pain in the ass it is to simply FIND their WONDERFUL alternative to the array of outrageously expensive (and mostly UGLY) "hearth pads" on the market.
  8. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds great for a temporary solution which is exactly what we're looking for until we can build a nice one or have a mason build one to our floor/wall.

    Only things I have to do now is find the "R Value" on Avalon's site for my Arbor...and get it approved by the boss...

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  9. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    http://www.hyccompany.com/index.html

    I can't find the hearth boards on their site. They have something called a stove board but it looks like a carpet...

    -Emt1581
  10. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    It might look like a rug but it is the board referred to above, it truly is a temporary solution. I see them in they field, they bend and flex under the weight of the stove, then they de-laminate and buckle under foot, making a very nice sound when stepped on! The $200-$300 for a real board might the best money you ever spend.
  11. sandie

    sandie Feeling the Heat

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    stove boards are used IN FRONT of the wood stove but under electric stoves but not under the wood stove. read the descriptions.
  12. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    We purchased an American Panel hearth pad from our Lopi dealer. They're not cheap (I think we gave $399), but I am NOT handy at all with ANY sort of construction or home improvements. So, I had to spend a little more. However, it gives some guy or gal at American Panel a job, and we've been more than happy with the product.

    http://www.americanpanelhearth.com/
  13. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    What about this one??

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Stove-Board-Hea...210?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a616a4762

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  14. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Same brand we bought, this one is ours. http://www.americanpanelhearth.com/Product Line/images/4189sm Rustic Quartz Standard.jpg I wasn't looking to build anything and this was a fast solution. Plus the company is located in Michigan.
  15. smokinokie

    smokinokie New Member

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    OKC Ok
    The Hy-C site is somewhat confusing...they make stove boards AND hearth extenders. Both products look identical. Only the stove boards are "Ul listed".

    I found a site selling these that had a photo of a woodstove sitting directly in the center of the "stove board" with another stove board on the wall behind it.

    I have no idea if these Hy-C stove boards are quality or not but my local stove dealer knew all about them and said one would work fine with my stove and that I did not have to buy a $600 hearth pad.
  16. RoseRedHoofbeats

    RoseRedHoofbeats Feeling the Heat

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    BS you have to spend $300 to make a hearthpad!

    Unless you have a truly insane R value requirement for your stove, or you are just dying to make a full-size eight foot square corner hearth for your stove, you can make a cheap hearth pad. I spent about $30 for the Micore (granted, this isn't available everywhere, but it's common enough- call local drywall supply places and see if they can order you one sheet), $60 for the tile, $20 for the tile hardibacker, $10 for the cement, $10 for the grout. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Hearth pad. The end. This sucker has an R value of 3.71, which should be enough for pretty much ANY stove out there. And it looks nice, too.

    ~Rose
  17. dwaynecornhauler

    dwaynecornhauler Member

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    Build one for $100 in materials, just sold my temp hearth for $55.
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As Webby said it might depend on what the R value requirements for the hearth are . . . and how one designs the hearth . . . in terms of size, height and what they choose for the finish material. In my case I did my hearth for less than $100 -- one sheet of plywood, one 1/2 inch sheet of Durock, some cement board screws, thin-set, grout, grout and stone sealant and a couple boxes of slate (I had two free boxes already). I pretty much already had the trowel I needed and borrowed a tile saw from a co-worker.

    For me it truly was cheaper to build myself . . . and I had the satisfaction of knowing I did it . . . and knowing it was built with a higher R value than required.
  19. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    First one I bought, second I built. Much happier with the one we built - yes it took a lot more work, but it is larger - thicker too (we opted to build it up tall so no more stubbed toes). The new one also fits the space much better - after all it is a custom fit for the space down to the tiles lined up to go under the stove where I wanted them. I also spent less on the new one than we did on the first - despite splurging on oak edging.

    Now one thing that could have thrown the cost factor out the window is if we had bought our tile from a tile store. They were FAR too proud of their tiles. We ended up going to HD or Lowes (I forget which) and finding some that looked good for FAR less than the cheapest at the tile stores. Shopping around for these things pays off.... If you get hung up on some particular fancy tile then you can easily spend a fortune (especially if your skill with cutting tiles is anywhere near as bad as mine and you toss 1/3 of the tiles in the scrap pile).
  20. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    I bought both of mine. Time constraints were the number 1 reason. I had lots of projects going on at the same time. The one I got for my bigger stove has the grout cracking already and I will have to re-grout it this spring. Looking back it would have been nice to build them.
  21. argus66

    argus66 Feeling the Heat

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    i made one at my dads and bought one that i have here at my house. they are bith good. the made one came out great plus its about 6 inches off the ground but the one i bought matches brick wall i have behind the stove perfectly. both seem to cost about the same in the long run just building one takes some time and thought.
  22. Scotty0844

    Scotty0844 Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern Shore,Maryland
    After looking around for like 2 weeks for a pad that we both liked and not finding one, we decided to build our own. We put out no more than $250 in materials and we both got exactly what we wanted. I got a hearth that doubles the recommended R value and she got a hearth that matches the color scheme perfectly.

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