Here is my new set-up. This took me a veerrry long time to plan, but it's finally done! I built up the back section of the hearth using 2x10s with 3/4 plywood, durarock, then the sandstone you see. The lower part of the hearth is the sandstone right on top of durarock that was glued/screwed to the plywood floor. The face of the step and up the wall is cultured stone- dressed fieldstone. I would love to hear some feedback. Let me know what you think. I know I love it, but then again, I guess I have no choice now!