Update the fireplace surround BEFORE or AFTER insert install?

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New Member
Nov 18, 2022
I have a Vermont castings wood insert in my fireplace and am installing a Harman Accenture next month. I was told that the Accenture is a bit smaller than the VC I have. I also need to update my fireplace surrounds & hearth (see pictures attached) from that ugly shiny black tile to granite slabs but I haven't been able to find anyone that could do it.

Long story but the issue lies in the size of my hearth. My hearth is non standard size (71.5" by 23"). The fireplace people only has slabs up to 20" in depth and I don't think the hardwood underneath is in good shape with that black tile on top. So fireplace people told me to go to a stone people directly but the stone place doesn't install fireplace surround because they'd need to pretreat the area with heat safe glue which they don't do. So now I have to find a general contractor to do it. The masonry company I spoke to wouldn't do a small job like this. So it sounds like it'll take me some time to find someone who could do it.

My questions:
When is the best time to update my fireplace, is it BEFORE or AFTER the new Harman installation? What kind of problems will I run into if I update my fireplace AFTER the install?

How bad should I expect the hardwood be under the tile? The easiest way to do this is by installing the standard slab and hope that the hardwood is good enough. Should I chance it?

Thanks a bunch for the help!

Update the fireplace surround BEFORE or AFTER insert install?