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What Cheap Hearths Are Suitable For Multi Fuel Stoves?

June 28, 2012

If your thinking of installing a multi flue stove, then you have probably already considered purchasing a fireplace hearth to form a non combustible base for your stove. There are several points you should be aware of and it is often difficult to find the relevant information.

Facts about hearths for woodburners that you should know:

1.  Marble is not suitable for use with multi flue stoves. Some stove manufacturers adamantly state that their stoves do not get very hot as they are on feet. However, in actual fact it is always prudent to use the correct materials for solid fuel hearths as a crack could appear in due course if you use unsuitable materials. For this reason we would strongly not advise the use of marble for solid fuel applications as it is not suitable.

2. Granite and slate are darker materials and often used for solid fuel hearths. Essentially the hearth must be cut and rejoined to be suitable for solid fuel. This means it should be cut into several sections and stuck back together. The joints are visible, however form a functional part of the hearth and allow the material to expand and contract without the risk of it cracking due to the expansion process. We often get asked if it is possible to manufacture a solid fuel hearth without joints, and although this is technically possible (as it is more work to cut and rejoin it), we would strongly not advise you order a standard hearth if you will be using it with a real solid fuel fire. Although the joints are visible the ability to allow the heat to safely disperse without cracking the hearth is paramount.

3. Stone hearths are suitable for solid fuel, but again need to be made in sections to allow the heat to escape between the joints. Typically stone hearths are manufactured in three or more sections when they are used with solid fuel fireplaces. The back of the hearth should be filled with sand and cement. This process is often referred to as “slabbing” and essentially can be done onsite to lower cost if needed. By filling the hearth, you effectively create a heat soak and increase the resistance against high temperatures. 

Potential cost savings:

It is cheaper to not have a fully slabbed hearth and to order a cut and rejoined hearth instead. When a hearth is filled with sand and cement from the factor, it will make the hearth extremely heavy and difficult to transport. For this reason unless you specifically require the hearth to be filled, then it is advisable to always fill the back of the hearth onsite. It is important to remember that all solid fuel hearths must be bedded on sand and cement eventually, so it would be quite easy to pour additional mixture to fill the back of the hearth where required.