Marble hearth on Karndean/plywood

6 Mar 2008
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United Kingdom
Hi there

My living room currently doesn't have a fireplace (it was built about 5 years chimney breast...although a gas pipe was there for flueless/balanced flue). We have never 'needed' a fireplace, but my wife says it would be a focal point and has finally got her own way(we have ordered a wooden surround, marble hearth/back and an electric fire). I reckon the heater function will get very little use (house is never cold) she mainly wants the flame effect.
Currently my living room floor consists of Karndean mounted on 6mm WPB ply, mounted on wearoc floor. I have read about mounting the hearth and everyone says to bed it on a mortar/plaster mix? Up until now, I was thinking that at most I would have had to cut the karndean around it and sit it loose on the ply.
Seeing as our proposed setup is just a bit fancier than getting a electric I correct in saying that there will be no issues re. heat transfer to floor etc...but it would be more about stability?
Are the marble hearths really that fragile that they need to be packed with mortar?
I even thought about just sticking it free standing on the current floor (like we would have done if we had opted for electric suite)and sticking something like felt or foam trip around base to stop it from damaging the floor (but then there would be a gap I suppose).

As you will be able to tell...if it can be avoided I dont really want to have to start cutting through to wearoc floor and wacking on buckets of mortar if, apart from it being the professional way to do it, if it is not required for building rec/safety purposes in our case.

If anybody has done similar, I would really appreciate advice on how they went about it?

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You should be able to just sit hearth on top of existing floor, thin bead of silicon will keep it in place and allow easy removal in future.

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