How to Protect Hardwood Flooring Near the Fireplace

Posted on: 11 December 2017


Wood laminate flooring is an ideal and practical option for homeowners who love a natural rustic feel in their home while eliminating the need to invest in an area rug. It provides the warmth and comfort that you get with a carpet, but it is easier to clean, does not stain quickly, and will not cause allergies in the home. However, one of the greatest concerns you should have when installing the flooring is how to protect the area around the fireplace. Wood is susceptible to damage from fire and extreme heat; therefore, the floor near your fireplace requires protection. Here are some options that you should consider and discuss with your flooring contractor during the installation.

Install a hearth extension

A hearth extension is built just outside the fireplace and is meant to protect the surrounding floor from fire damage. It is made of a noncombustible material such as brick, stone, or slate, and is installed on the front and sides of the fireplace. The extension prevents sparks from flying onto the flooring and igniting a fire or causing damage. Talk to your contractor about installing a hearth extension around your fireplace. The extension can be raised above the floor to provide maximum protection and create a natural transition from wood flooring to a brick, stone, or slate surface.

Use wood only

When you have a wood floor, it may be a good idea to burn wood in your fireplace. Other combustible materials such as paper can create a scorching fire whose heat will affect the nearby wooden floors. Too much heat can even damage the hearth extension over time and reduce its ability to protect the floor. As you use wood, make sure that you light the fire correctly as well. Do not use lighter fluid, oil, or even grease to light the fire as they can present pose danger to you and your home.

Don't overfeed the fire

If you are one of the people that like to build a big, metal-melting fire, your home's fireplace isn't the place to pull such stunts. Misusing the fireplace by making very hot or large fires can be dangerous for the hardwood flooring, not to mention the entire home. Sparks can fly onto your floor and other furniture in the room. The fire can also be damaging to the surrounding fixtures. Always ensure that you build a reasonable fire in the home and avoid overfeeding it with combustible material.

Follow these tips to protect wood flooring while using the fireplace in your home. Ask your flooring contractor to install a hearth extension and provide other valuable tips to protect the wood flooring from damage.