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how to build a hearth


I have a wood circulator stove and need a 54x54 hearth for underneath it. I dont have any pref for tiles just need to know how to build it.


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Posted 2013-12-06T20:12:39+0000  by white13t white13t

Hi white13t,


Thank you for your question and welcome to our community. 


As long as you have the required distance from the wall and the required reinforcement, if any is needed, your next step would be to install the ½ inch durock /cement board if you are installing your base over a plywood floor.  Once your cement board has been installed and you have counter sunk your fasteners, fill these holes with a silicone caulking.  Now, you can use any ceramic tile you like (Or whatever style your wife likes!).

                           Durock-Cement Board.jpg

Once your cement board has been installed, you can use any ceramic tile you like (Or whatever style your wife likes!).  Once you have made your tile choice, you can used the pre-mixed thin set or the standard 25 lb bag of thin set. 


Thin set-pre mixed.jpgThin set-Veras Bond.jpg



The purpose of the durock is to provide insulation from the heat emitted by your wood stove.  You could add the same tile to the wall surrounding the stove to increase the reflective heat of your stove.



Before you begin to put down thin set and lay down your tile, do a sample fit first with your tile and spacers.  This will give you an idea of where the tile cuts will need to be.  If you are going to make changes, now is the time to do it.  If you sample fit first and make your needed cuts, you will not have to stop and make your cuts after you have applied the thin set.


Once you are satisfied with the initial setup, your next step will be to mix your thin set and use a notched trowel to add your thin set over the cement board.  Only do a small section, just enough to add 2-3 tiles.  Be sure to use the spacers in between the tiles.  Once you have completed your first row and have added your spacers, lay down more thin set and start on the second row and repeat the same steps until you are done.


                     Notched Trowl for Thin Set.jpgSpacers 1 half inch.jpg



Allow the thin set to dry for the specified period of time.  Once the thin set has dried, it is time to add the grout.  Using a float tool,  apply the grout at a 45° angle to the space between the tile.


                                 Float tool for grouting tile.jpg

Once the grout has dried, apply a grout sealer and allow it to dry.  Now you are ready to set your stove up.  


Be sure to take pictures of your project and share them with the rest of the community in our Project Library under "I Did This".


Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Posted 2013-12-07T00:25:54+0000  by Rick_HD_OC



I'm curious why you suggest filling the screw holes with silicone caulk.



Posted 2013-12-07T21:25:43+0000  by Adam444

Hi Adam, 


It fills in the holes, is commonly available and will act as a moisture barrier.  I prefer filling in the holes before adding the thin set.  


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Posted 2013-12-10T17:12:28+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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