Regs for removed/lowered hearth on fire not in use

18 Feb 2010
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West Lothian
United Kingdom
My question relates to an open fire, installed long ago, probably before there were any building regulations to speak of. House is around 200 years old, but most of the 'original' features are Victorian, from about 1885 when it appears to have undergone some serious renovation.

From the picture you can see the part that I have broken out is a raised concrete hearth, that has been added over the original stone hearth that is level with the floor.

My wife wants to retain the fireplace as a feature, but there are no plans to use it for fires and its is capped at the chimney. The carpet in the picture is being lifted and an engineered wood floor fitted, and her preference is to run this right up to the edge of the tiles that are still in place just in front of the grate.

My question is whether there are any regulations that would prevent this, given that the fire is not in use? I am just wondering if there is anything that might suggest that we have to have a non combustible hearth, in case anyone comes along and tries to use it as a fire in future, if this makes sense, or can I just treat it as decorative.


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If the chimney is capped off, they can't. As it was it wont comply any way so if someone ever wants to install a fire they can get a fire rated not to raise the hearth temp above 100 deg c. In that case the "hearth" need only be a tile 11mm thick from memory.
That was my thinking too, I was just concerned that there might be some sort of regulation that says if it could potentually be used as a fireplace, that it must meet modern requirements for hearth etc, but as you say someone would have to remove the cap and in doing so they would probably be responsible for checking that its fully functional.

My preference would still be to tile the original hearth, so that its level with the new floor, but still functional as a hearth if every required. The original stone hearth is still there at the original floorboards level, so it could be tiled on so its at the same level as the new floor, but I think my wife would prefer the floor to run over the old hearth.

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