regulations for a fireplace

raineygirlAugust 28, 2012

I've noticed that some of my neighbors have had the tile around the fireplace taken up when installing new floors. The wood floors go right up to the fireplace. My question is..do you have to have a hearth for the fireplace or can you just use a hearth rug made for a fireplace? I'm guessing the reason they didn't keep a hearth was due to the cost? I don't know but I am planning on putting down wood laminate and have to decide how I want to have it done where the fireplace is concerned. We have the fireplace that is on a wall where the glass goes around to the other side of the wall. I don't like how these fireplaces are but nothing I can do about it:) Also, this wall is on an angle and I suppose they [neighbors] didn't like how the tile breaks up the floor which makes the room look smaller. It's hard to explain without a picture.

I'm wondering if there is a law or code that says you 'have' to have a hearth for the fireplace and if so, what are the stipulations? I don't use my fireplace that much but I want to do the right thing too. And, for resale as well.

Any suggestions on this? My fireplace opening is not directly on the floor either.

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wags848

I don't know if regulations vary by state, but where we live you must have a hearth if you have a wood burning fireplace. We are in the process of switching to a direct vent, which is a sealed unit, so there is no requirement for a hearth. However, we are putting one in anyway since we think it makes the gas fireplace more realistic looking.

Suggest you call a fireplace store in your area and ask them about the codes. They should know.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:53PM
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christopherh

What kind of fireplace is it? Wood or gas? If it's a woodburning fireplace in my opinion you would be nuts NOT to have a hearth, AND a fireproof rug simply because of flying embers. A gas unit? In my opinion they're just for looks anyway so is a hearth really necessary?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:03AM
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higgins

Yes, there is a building code requirement. Here in IL you can not have anything conbustable within 2Ft. of the fireplace. Some state it's 18". So before you do anything with your floor, call your local building dept and they should be able to tell you what the requirements! Otherwise, when you go to sell, you will be required to correct any changes you may have made!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:33PM
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