When most of us picture a fireplace in our mind, we rarely
think about the fireplace hearth itself. It typically seems
that the mantle, surrounding areas and fireplace accessories
steal the show. The fact of the matter is, the fireplace hearth
is the most important part of the fireplace, outside of the
design options that need to be taken into consideration. Even
within such a functional part of the fireplace, there are also
some design options to take into consideration as well.
One of the reasons why a fireplace hearth is really limited
as far as what you are able to do with it, design wise, is
because it is necessary for you to meet strict building codes
within this area of the fireplace in many cases.
It is not simply enough to use something that is decorative;
you need to have a fireproof material that often means that it
is manufactured. Fireplace bricks are available and you can
certainly get some that are more ornate than others but even
so, if you use your fireplace on a regular basis, it is
typically going to end up looking like almost any other hearth
One option that you do have, as far as the fireplace hearth
is concerned is that you can get a decorative back for within
the hearth itself. These are typically cast-iron and they come
in a wide variety of sizes. Some are quite ornate in their
design while others are simplistic. You simply slip these
behind the fireplace grate in order to add a unique look to the
inside of your fireplace.
It is possible for you to have a fire burning with one of
these decorative backs in place but many people only install
them if they don't tend to use their fireplace at all, other
than for a conversation piece.
If your fireplace hearth is black by design and you're
simply looking for a way to restore it to its original look,
some simple fire resistant spray paint will do the trick. The
only thing that you really need to be careful about in this
particular case is that the overspray from the paint does not
drift out into the room and damage your furniture.
Make sure that the flue is closed and spray in short bursts
instead of continually spraying. This will help to keep any of
the overspray to a minimum and most of it will fall within the