Recommendation for hearth pad on hardwood floor

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New Member
Jan 17, 2024
I recently purchased a Jotul F600 Fireside Woodburner for our home. We've just installed 3/4" white oak flooring in the room where it will live. It's my understanding that the hearth pad does not require exceptional heat resistance for this model, and I was planning to use a single, large, limestone slab which will be 2 to 3" thick and roughly 4' x 6' to serve as the hearth pad. I'm planning to place this on top of the wood floor and am looking for recommendations for some type of rubberized mat or other protective layer to place underneath to protect the floor. The previous owners had been using a diy tile-on-framed plywood base for their smaller woodstove which was similarly elevated on open legs. This hearth pad was also 2 to 3" thick and sat directly on the old wood floor. Of course it was hollow inside. I'm a noobie so open to any and all suggestions. Thanks!
The manual only requires ember protection so you wouldn’t need any sort of rubberized mat. If your stone is in multiple pieces, it needs to be mortared together.

What are you looking to protect the floor from?

Thank you for the info. I knew I didn't really need heat protection, but I want to protect the new floor from the limestone slab. I was thinking that something fairly water resistant would be ideal to prevent wicking moisture/spills beneath the slab. Additionally, this is a large, somewhat rough slab. It is pretty flat, but won't be perfectly flat/smooth like a cut/manufactured hearthstone. I was hoping someone might have recommendations for a slightly thicker sheet material which would protect the floor and compress beneath the weight of the stove/slab to improve overall contact, distribute the weight more evenly, and reduce the risk of cracking. Thanks again!
I think you are overthinking the moisture / wood floor protection problem. In 20 years, if the hearth is removed, the two sections of floor are not going to look the same with or without the hypothetical water damage. The flooring that is not covered by the hearth will be subject to UV rays and wear and tear.

If someone wants a new hearth, this will cover the discrepancy. If someone wants to remove the hearth, they can refinish the floors as necessary.

On cracking, I'm not familiar enough with limestone to weigh in. Perhaps a control joint should be considered.

There's always horse stall mats, but I think that could be strange.
You could certainly put a piece of sheet metal down. It should protect the wood of the floor from scuffing, but I’m not sure that would help the slab. The slab could be bedded into a compound like tile is.
I use a steel corner hearth pad which we love since it’s thin without a big lip. My wife did not want a pad that sticks up. There is no padding underneath just made to go on top of our oak floor. The pad we have is expensive I think around $600 at the time.
I just have sheet metal. I don’t know how much it cost, but I’m guessing around $30. I didn’t want to trip over a raised lip and setting a rocking chair in front of the stove is nice from time to time. A raised lip would stop the rocking, lol.
There are rubber mats designed for protecting floors from exercise equipment. IIRC, they can be pricey, but they would protect the floor and provide isolation from horizontal movement.

There are also plumbing membranes designed for use in showers. Much thinner, but perhaps less expensive.

I built my hearth pad out of 12x24x1/2 granite tiles and used plywood between the granite and the existing floor. I put a layer of carpet pad under the plywood to further protect the hardwood floor from being scratched and to provide some additional movement isolation.

Any movement in the floor risks cracking the limestone. How is the floor constructed? If it's a concrete slab, then any kind of isolation at all should be good enough. If it's subfloor-over-joists, then you may want 2+ thicknesses of 3/4" plywood to stiffen it, particularly against vertical deflection.

There are tiling isolation membranes, like Schluter Ditra pads or Uzin HS-100 paint-on, that help isolate from horizontal movement. They can't be applied directly to the hardwood, but they can be used between plywood and the limestone.
Could have used a metal sheet but the black iron pad looks awesome in my game room with the black Vista with legs on top. Already a good investment with stove, Excel pipe and labor so wanted to complete the project with a quality pad.