If you recall, last week I found out that my family doesn’t know what a mantle is. I was a little nervous today when I started writing this article for fear that they don’t know what a hearth is either and that my entire childhood was a lie. (Seriously – if you’re not hanging your stockings on a mantle for Santa & sitting by the hearth to wait for him …) Good news: a hearth is exactly what I grew up thinking it was!
A fireplace hearth is what extends out in front of your fireplace. It is made of a non-combustible material and is designed to protect your carpet or flooring from any stray sparks or embers that might fly out from the fire. Because of this, you will only need a hearth if you have a wood burning fireplace. However, many people who have fireplaces fueled by gas or other fuels also choose to have a hearth because of their traditional look. If you prefer a fireplace without a hearth, you will have to opt for one that is not a wood burning fireplace.
In my family, the hearth was primarily used as a lounging area for our dogs & our cat. It appears we are not the only family who had to move the pets out of the way to be able to enjoy the fire ourselves!