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Gerald13
Lowering a hearth

I would like to lower my hearth, which is 3" high, to level with the hardwood floor. The hearth is a slab of concrete with slate tiles bonded to it.

A. Spruce
Re: Lowering a hearth

Not sure what the current codes requirements of hearths are, but they are typically 3" or so higher than the surrounding area AND made of a non-combustible material. Before you change it, make sure that it is within legal requirements, otherwise you might find yourself in an expensive repair down the road when you have to sell the property.

As long as code allows the hearth to be the same height as the surrounding floor, then you'll have to chip up the tile and cement down to a depth that is consistent with the rest of the floor. You'll actually go a bit deeper, since you will have to include your finished surface thickness in what you remove. That is to say, if you go back with slate or tile, then you need to include the thickness of the tile in what you remove so that when the new materials are installed, they are flush with the wood floor.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Lowering a hearth

Gerald,

You
ll fare better by heading on over to the John Bridge Tile Forum. Tell them we sent you

Mastercarpentry
Re: Lowering a hearth
A. Spruce wrote:

Before you change it, make sure that it is within legal requirements, otherwise you might find yourself in an expensive repair down the road when you have to sell the property

You may also find your homeowners insurance refuse a claim and canceling if any newly done work does not meet the codes in effect at the time the work is done.

Flush hearths are permitted in one county here (or were about 4 years ago) but they had to extend 4' in front of and 3' to each side of the fireplace opening. In the rustic high-ceiling large great room where we did this the stone hearth looked great but it doesn't look good in smaller rooms as that's just too much hearth most of the time

Phil

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