regulations for a fireplace
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.