Constructional hearth needs making good

10 Aug 2007
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United Kingdom
My fireplace has no decorational hearth, just a constructional hearth, flush with the floorboards.
The whole constructional hearth is very weak and crumbly.
Also, the far right side has disintegrated completely and needs making good.

Which material should I use to repair the constructional hearth?
heatproof screed ?
mouldable firebrick ?
or fire cement ? or a combination of all these ?

The top two inches of the hearth is made up of small white tiles. I am guessing these tiles have been layed on top of hardcore. This white tiled surface is crumbly across the whole hearth. Is it best to dig up and remove this material down to the hardcore or should I be more cautious and just repair the missing side?

I don't know if my chimney is blocked up or open. Is there some way of using a lit taper to find this out ?

My marble surround has developed a few small cracks. Should I repair/fill these cracks using grey fire cement or some kind of special resin?

The fireplace is just a decorative feature and is not in use. To save money I don't want to bother buying a decorational hearth. Is this ok?

Instead I'm thinking of laying carpet on top of the constructional hearth right up to the marble surround. I could put some decorative feature in the fireplace e.g. plastic flowers or something !

All advice welcome.
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Reynard - as it's going to be a non-functioning fireplace don't bother with those specialist products. Remove the tiles & any friable material from the hearth. Vacuum all dust away, wet with water, then using sand/cement mix trowel on this screed level with the floorboards (add some cement pigment if you want a colour - we use black pigment to get a dark grey look for hearth repairs).

Use marbel filler for the cracks, some of these can have oil paint added for matching in purposes - of google for your local supplier.

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