Flooring in front of hearth needing an extension

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
Hi,

We are planning a kitchen remodel and will probably update the flooring to be consistent throughout the first floor which includes the room with our insert. I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the floor going around the hearth.

Our insert requires 16” with non-combustible floor protection with .5” of material with a k value of .84. I forget the conversion from K to R. Our existing hearth is 8” too short so we use the temporary pad when burning. Works fine but I don’t love it and would like some more permanent solution or something where a temp extender isn’t oversized.

Options:

1. Extend the hearth with another two rows of brick. This isn’t feasible, the room is already narrow and 8” of a raised hearth will steal too much of the room.

2. Put 8” of tile in front of the brick. I’m worried this would look funny and not be at the same level as the rest of the floor or require some transition piece to cover the gap.

3. Remove 2 rows of brick so that the door is close to the drop. I would then use the same hearth extender but it would now go out only go out 16” from the door instead of 24” like today (8” hearth + 16” extender). We would need the flooring to be like and flush to the brick without a quarter round so the extender can be flush. Maybe cut a little into the brick so the new flooring can slide under.

Last thought is whether we do engineered or solid hardwood. LVT and wood look tile out of consideration at this point. Engineered may be better for the kitchen and humidity swings from the stove. Solid may be better if the dogs are tougher on the floor than we want and will let us refinish more if needed.

Any thoughts or ideas I haven’t thought of?

Thanks.

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Last edited:

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
581
SE North Carolina
I was thinking about how to make the extension work for my own install. I had two options I was considering one was a tiled hearth pad that would come down during the winter. I would put a threaded insert or two in the vertical face of the hearth and a secure the tile pad which would be plywood with a single 8x40 tile on top trimmed to look good enough. It would stick up and could be a toe stubber.

Second plan was to cut out current hardwood floors and install the same tile flush with the floor. If needed to make flush I would remove subfloor. I ended not needing to at was able to get the 16” I needed. Downstairs is LVP on slab haven’t come up with a great plan for that yet as we haven’t put in a stove yet.

Something like this maybe Paint it to match the existing brick.

Dixie Clay Thin Brick Singles - Flats (Box of 50) - 7.625 in. x 2.25 in. (7.3 sq. ft.)


Evan
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,092
South Puget Sound, WA
Remove the flooring down to the subfloor for 8". Extend the hearth at floor level with 8" black slate, black grout.

Why is the current hardwood being replaced?
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
Remove the flooring down to the subfloor for 8". Extend the hearth at floor level with 8" black slate, black grout.

Why is the current hardwood being replaced?
Right now we have floating click lock Bamboo over a piece of cement board over plywood. The cement board was cut into particle board underpayment from when the carpet was replaced so the top flooring is level.

If I used a slate tile what would I use underneath? Let’s say we went with 3/4” hardwood. I assume the slate would be 1/4” and provide little if any thermal protection. So the other 1/2” would need to get me a k under 0.84 which I think is an R value of about 1.2 and still be level with 3/4” hardwood. If we did engineered at 1/2” then the extension would almost certainly be above floor level. I’d be worried about the tripping hazard - which is one reason I don’t love the throw down temporary extension I have now. I really would like it to be level.

Thanks.
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
I was thinking about how to make the extension work for my own install. I had two options I was considering one was a tiled hearth pad that would come down during the winter. I would put a threaded insert or two in the vertical face of the hearth and a secure the tile pad which would be plywood with a single 8x40 tile on top trimmed to look good enough. It would stick up and could be a toe stubber.

Second plan was to cut out current hardwood floors and install the same tile flush with the floor. If needed to make flush I would remove subfloor. I ended not needing to at was able to get the 16” I needed. Downstairs is LVP on slab haven’t come up with a great plan for that yet as we haven’t put in a stove yet.

Something like this maybe Paint it to match the existing brick.

Dixie Clay Thin Brick Singles - Flats (Box of 50) - 7.625 in. x 2.25 in. (7.3 sq. ft.)


Evan
The brick might be an option like Begreen suggested for the slate. But the issue is still the thermal protection underneath.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
581
SE North Carolina
Mineral Fiber Board ( Micore 160 ) 1/2" R=1.270. If you go with 3/4” flooring and remove the cement board just under the tiled area then add micro core I think you could come close to getting flush. You could always use flooring transition to cover any height difference your flooring system should have some height reducer/increased pieces available.

Evan
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
Mineral Fiber Board ( Micore 160 ) 1/2" R=1.270. If you go with 3/4” flooring and remove the cement board just under the tiled area then add micro core I think you could come close to getting flush. You could always use flooring transition to cover any height difference your flooring system should have some height reducer/increased pieces available.

Evan
I thought I’ve read on here that you need another stiff layer of cement board on top of Micore. Can it just be one layer then the finished floor?
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
581
SE North Carolina
I thought I’ve read on here that you need another stiff layer of cement board on top of Micore. Can it just be one layer then the finished floor?
I do think it would be ideal. It’s not going to be a really large area and not going to carry lots of weight but you don’t want everything cracking out in year either. I think it come down to how important flush is and what steps and or compromises you want to take. You could screw down a steel plate 1/4” then 1/2” micro core then your about as thin as you could get. I think I missed the pet where you removed the subfloor and replaced with durrock. Easier cheaper would be to install cleats on the sides of the joists to support plywood that would span the joists sitting flush with the top of them. Not how i want my hole floor but it would be Good enough for me for 8-10” I front of the fireplace.

When I had my my bathroom floor tiled with 8x48 “ tiles and put down 3/4” osb subfloor then cement board on that. They said it was overkill but didn’t want any call backs for anything cracking.
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
It’s solid plywood under the cement board now. When we did the floating I was worried about embers falling in the gap from the brick. So we took out enough of the particle board under the carpet to slip a piece of cement board at the same height. Under that is 3/4” plywood. With the new floor we’d be removing the cement board and and particle board. Don’t want to nail hardwood into particle board. It would be more expensive but if the contractor wants to raise everything to stiffen the subfloor that would help, but I wouldn’t do that just to solve the hearth problem.

TBH flooring right up to the brick and keeping the temporary extender is always an option too.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,092
South Puget Sound, WA
My thought is that the 7"? height of the current hearth raises the radiant heat above the floor. If so, the floor level might get away with ember protection only. The manual says it's ok for >8". How high is the hearth? How hot does the current pad get?

PS: The Boston has to be one of the best looking insert made. It sure looks great there.
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
My thought is that the 7"? height of the current hearth raises the radiant heat above the floor. If so, the floor level might get away with ember protection only. The manual says it's ok for >8". How high is the hearth? How hot does the current pad get?

PS: The Boston has to be one of the best looking insert made. It sure looks great there.
I’ve thought about that. The hottest I remember on the extender is around 130F but I’m not sure where that reading came from. Ironically the hottest part may be outside the 16” since the raised brick shades the radiance from the glass. I know there’s a cool zone and then it heats up the further away you go.

It’s been cold here and getting good fires that take off. Next time I’m riding the peak I’ll take some readings.
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
PS: The Boston has to be one of the best looking insert made. It sure looks great there.
Thanks. Our local dealer didn’t have one on the floor but I made them order one for me sight unseen from pics online. We just did the whitewashed brick before the burning season. It really makes it pop there. I keep switching between thinking a black stone vs a white stone vs painted brick tile would look best for the floor with the white brick.
 

Shrewboy

New Member
Oct 15, 2020
44
Eastern Pennsylvania
if you have access to a planer, you may be able to plane down plywood or wooden boards to the exact thickness you need in order to make it fit perfectly flush.

Just an idea for the pile
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,092
South Puget Sound, WA
Even if the hearth extension is raised an inch above the floor level to accommodate insulation, it can be edged with quarter-round to reduce toe stubbing.
 
Dec 14, 2020
138
Lisburn, PA
Hi,

We are planning a kitchen remodel and will probably update the flooring to be consistent throughout the first floor which includes the room with our insert. I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the floor going around the hearth.

Our insert requires 16” with non-combustible floor protection with .5” of material with a k value of .84. I forget the conversion from K to R. Our existing hearth is 8” too short so we use the temporary pad when burning. Works fine but I don’t love it and would like some more permanent solution or something where a temp extender isn’t oversized.

Options:

1. Extend the hearth with another two rows of brick. This isn’t feasible, the room is already narrow and 8” of a raised hearth will steal too much of the room.

2. Put 8” of tile in front of the brick. I’m worried this would look funny and not be at the same level as the rest of the floor or require some transition piece to cover the gap.

3. Remove 2 rows of brick so that the door is close to the drop. I would then use the same hearth extender but it would now go out only go out 16” from the door instead of 24” like today (8” hearth + 16” extender). We would need the flooring to be like and flush to the brick without a quarter round so the extender can be flush. Maybe cut a little into the brick so the new flooring can slide under.

Last thought is whether we do engineered or solid hardwood. LVT and wood look tile out of consideration at this point. Engineered may be better for the kitchen and humidity swings from the stove. Solid may be better if the dogs are tougher on the floor than we want and will let us refinish more if needed.

Any thoughts or ideas I haven’t thought of?

Thanks.

View attachment 272712
 
Dec 14, 2020
138
Lisburn, PA
IMHO wood of any type is a poor choice for a kitchen. Daily use and spills are not going to hurt, but when the plumbing leaks, or the dishwasher overflows or the water line to the refrigerator springs a leak the damage is diffcult to repair because stuff happens.

On the hearth, it is easy to lower the subfloor as much as you need to get your hearth flooring to be flush with the rest of the flooring. Any hard tile on wonderboard will give you the .5 inch of noncombustible.
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
My thought is that the 7"? height of the current hearth raises the radiant heat above the floor. If so, the floor level might get away with ember protection only. The manual says it's ok for >8". How high is the hearth? How hot does the current pad get?

PS: The Boston has to be one of the best looking insert made. It sure looks great there.
I’ve been watching the temp on the floor over the last few days. During the normal course of a fire 16” out is in the 100F to 120F zone. Once when I had one take off on me (gates of Hell secondaries and strong primaries) it was 140F. But that would have been for about half hour to an hour before it settled in at a lower temp.

Do you think that’s too hot for a floor with a basic ember protection hearth rug in front? The drop off from the hearth is about 4.5” to the floor and the glass of the door is 10” from the drop off. I think I could live with flooring right up to the brick with a thin rug instead of the thick pad I have now.
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
372
Massachusetts
Looks like we will be going with 3/4 inch hardwood. Contractor suggested putting a slab of granite down even with the floor out to the ends of the hearth. I’ll have to ask how thick the granite would be - whether it would be 3/4 inch tick or leave some room for Micore or reducing the subfloor below.

If the insert were 3 inches higher I would just need ember protection so I suspect that a solid slab of granite starting 8 inches out would be okay even though granite may not have the k value.