If you've recently bought a wood-burning stove, you'll need a hearth pad to place underneath your stove to protect your floors from the heat the stove creates. Made from a number of heat-resistant substances, hearth pads come in a variety of styles, sizes and colors, so you should be able to find one that fits perfectly with your décor and your space.
Buy a Pad
One of the simplest and most common options is to buy a hearth pad from a manufacturer. You can purchase a prefabricated hearth pad in a standard size, like 36 inches by 36 inches or 40 inches by 40 inches, made from a fire-resistant material such as natural stone, granite or tile, and typically edged in wood or metal. Some manufacturers also sell hearth pads in non-standard sizes. Or if you're looking for something truly unusual, find a hearth-pad maker who will custom-build your hearth pad and maybe even a matching hearth wall for you.
Hire a Contractor
If you prefer to shop locally and don't want to worry about the cost of shipping a hearth pad, hire a local contractor to build your hearth pad to your specifications. You can match the pad to your decor on the spot, instead of relying on someone else's eye. Hearth pad construction requires a short platform, usually made from wood and concrete, covered in a heat-resistant material, like ceramic tile, natural stone slabs, granite or some forms of plaster. Be sure to pick a contractor who has experience with state regulations regarding hearth pads, building, pouring concrete and laying tile.
Build It Yourself
If you or someone in your family is the handy type, you can build your own hearth pad. Building your own hearth pad probably will take more time and effort than buying a hearth pad or hiring a contractor to build one, but you will be able to get exactly what you want. Create a design or pattern using multiple heat-resistant tiles, cut tiles in a variety of shapes to make a unique design, or edge your hearth in a non-standard trim, like pieces of old barn siding, for a look you couldn't get anywhere else. However, before you start designing and building the hearth pad of your dreams, check local and state regulations on the required hearth pad size for your wood-burning stove.
- Photo Credit wood burning stove image by Paula Gent from Fotolia.com
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