Although it's acceptable to refer to your fireplace interchangeably as your hearth, the two differ significantly. In fact, a hearth is just one part of the larger fireplace.
Commonly referred to as a hearth, a fireplace is an opening at the base of a chimney in which you burn a controlled fire. You may add fireplaces to the interior or exterior of your home.
The floor on which you build fires is known as a hearth. The hearth often extends 1 to 4 feet outside of the fireplace opening. Hearths may set above, below or level with the floor in your home. Some hearths may even provide a bench-like seat in front of the fireplace or create a small ledge on which to display trophies and trinkets.
Hearths and other fireplace parts are commonly made from stone, brick or block because these materials resist cracking under heat and are not flammable. Poured-concrete hearths and concrete-block fireplaces can be covered with fire-resistant slate, tile or stone veneers. Outdoor fireplaces may have gravel or dirt hearths instead of brick, block or stone.
- Photo Credit David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images
What Is a Hearth on a Fireplace?
The word "hearth" derives from the Old English word for home or vital center, and in earlier times, the hearth indeed served...
How to Tell the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Heartburn
If you've ever finished a meal and began to experience chest pain, you might have found yourself wondering if it were simply...
Fireplace Hearth Stone Ideas
The hearth in front of the fireplace must be made with a noncombustible material to protect the area from igniting. For a...