How Much Does a Hearth Cost? (Materials, Installations, Etc)

A hearth is essential and mandatory for every solid-fuel-burning fireplace. Fireplaces are already quite costly, and whether you want to install a hearth or looking for a revamp of your old hearth, it’s essential to know how much this may cost you!

The cost of building a hearth for your fireplace can range from a low cost of approximately $50 all the way up to $1000-$2000. Prices depend on the style, material, size, and whether or not you’re outsourcing the job or doing it yourself.

We know that getting all the correct information can be a chore, or you might see an option after the fact that, in hindsight, might have been a better choice for you.

In this article, we cover the basics of a hearth and many of the materials that you could choose from to build your hearth! Read on to figure out what kind of hearth you wish to install in your home.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Hearth?

The price of building a hearth ranges from as little as $50 to $2000 plus. There are a few factors that affect that price; the type of material used, the style and size of the hearth you are building, and whether you are contracting it out or doing it yourself!

The costs of installing a hearth can vary widely depending on the materials, size, and whether or not you’re contracting it out or doing it yourself. Let’s cover the cost of materials and installation of each type of material below and find out what makes the most sense for your project (and your budget!).

Brick Hearth

Let’s start with brick as our starter material since it is the most commonly found material used for fireplace hearths. We see brick being used in a lot of traditionally built homes because of a few factors:

  • Bricks are cheap
  • Easy to install
  • High heat resistance
  • Usable with all forms of fireplaces

These qualities make it stand out as an excellent choice for anyone looking to build a hearth for their new fireplaces.

How much does it cost to get installed?

There are a few things we need to consider for your installation.

Do you want a custom-built hearth or a prefabricated hearth?

Custom-built will cost more, but you will get the exact brick-by-brick design that you want.

The price of materials and installation on both variations ranges from $2500, all the way up to $10000 and beyond for a custom-built fireplace.

As you can see, there is quite a large gap between those two price ranges, and it all comes down to what exactly you want to have in your home.

The cost above includes the full fireplace install, which includes all the components that make up the fireplace like a chimney and the hearth. The costs for these things vary based on what your project entails, like moving from a pre-existing location or a completely new build that needs the chimney built as well.

To find the cost of just building the hearth (if you have an existing fireplace), you will need to:

  • Check local material pricing (for brick in this case).
  • Measure out the square footage you are going to cover.
  • Utilize this calculator to estimate your costs for your project!

Your hearth should extend at least 16″ past the front edge of the fireplace and 8″ beyond the edges of a fireplace, with the average fireplace being 24-30″ wide.

For our example, we will create a 30″ wide fireplace. Common bricks cost between $0.25 – $0.90; we will use $0.50 for our example.

If we wanted a raised box hearth that is stacked one brick high, 46″ x 16″ (Length x Width) with standard bricks (8″ x 2 ¼”. Input the data into the calculator (use the height as your width for a floor).

With the mortar and sand materials included, it estimates a cost of $50 to build a very basic and simple raised box hearth.

Granite Hearth

Granite is a popular material used for hearths for all types of fireplaces because it is:

  • Extremely hard and durable.
  • It comes in many different colors and patterns.
  • It is in the midrange of cost compared to other potential materials.

Granite hearths are generally a custom order item from a place such as easy stone center, giving them the desired dimensions and they will ship it to you. Based on their guidelines, they recommend a granite hearth at least ¾” thick.

A typical custom order through them is approximately $1200.

Ceramic Tile Hearth

Another common choice for fireplace hearths and backdrops are ceramic tiles. A few reasons for being a good option include:

  • Range of inexpensive to expensive tiles.
  • Cheap and simple to install.
  • Decorative options.
  • Heat resistant.

If you’re considering using ceramic tiles (or porcelain which is a slightly more expensive tile), choose ½” thick tiles for your best protection.

Pricing on tiles will change based on your location and the style you are going to purchase. Costing anywhere between $1-$100 sq/ft, the cost can vary greatly.

With a really cheap set of tiles, you can build a hearth for under $50.

If considering porcelain tiles (which have proven to be slightly more durable), expect at least a 30%+ price increase from the ceramic tile costs.

Slate Hearth

This is another natural stone that is similar to granite, giving a rustic appearance to your fireplace. Slate, unlike granite, is prone to staining and requires more maintenance to upkeep its appearance. A slate hearth is a good choice that has similar things positives to a granite slab:

  • Heat resistant and durable.
  • No one piece has the same look.
  • In the mid-range for price.

Just like the granite stone hearths above, it is recommended to get a ¾” or thicker slab cut for you. On the easy stone center site, they have more information on the different designs and styles that you can get your slab custom cut into.

The average cost for a slate hearth is approximately $1200.

Quarry Tile Hearth

If you want a tiled look around your fireplace, quarry tiles give a great natural look and have many different color options for you to pick from. As with the ceramic and porcelain tiles, they represent the same qualities in terms of a hearth material:

  • Range of inexpensive to expensive tiles.
  • Cheap and simple to install.
  • Decorative options.
  • Heat resistant.

You may have to inquire about quarry tiles at your local hardware store; they may not be as common to find as ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Like the Ceramic example above, if you find cheaper tiles to use for your project. Building your hearth could be as cheap as $50.

Stone Hearth

A stone hearth is comparable to its natural stone cousins, granite and slate, having several different color options and giving a natural look to your fireplace. Having the same qualities as its counterparts, it is also a great choice!

  • Extremely hard and durable.
  • It comes in several different colors.
  • It is in the midrange of cost compared to other potential materials.

From the same company as before, the cost for an average-sized fireplace is approximately $1200.

Marble Hearth

What comes to mind when you think of marble? Those solid white speckled countertops that you see in kitchens? The common color scheme we see is called White Carrara and can make your fireplace stand out with such a bright color.

Of course, there are other marble colors to pick from, and again, since marble is a stone, it is very hard and heat resistant, making it a good choice for a fireplace hearth.

  • Heat resistant and durable
  • Fireplace will stand out with the marble texturing
  • In the mid to higher range price.

Marble slabs are comparable in price to the granite slab we priced above. For a common-sized fireplace, a marble hearth will run you approximately $1500.

Concrete Hearth

The last material we are going to cover is concrete. It is a hard, heat-resistant material that is simple to mix and pour yourself! If you aren’t looking for a fancy or stylish hearth, then concrete may be your best option for both cost and safety.

  • Concrete materials are easily accessible.
  • Anyone can build their own hearth.
  • It is cost-effective.

A concrete hearth is not a large project by any means, and between building the frame and purchasing your supplies to create, mix and spread the concrete, it will cost you less than $100 to build a very reliable hearth for your fireplace!

What Is A Fireplace Hearth?

A hearth is the flooring underneath the fireplace. It usually consists of stone, brick, or any other non-combustible material and extends a minimum of 16 inches outwards. IIt’smain purpose is to catch falling embers or sparks to prevent them from igniting a large fire within your home.

The hearth was an instrumental home feature in the homes of the past, where meals were cooked, the house was warmed, and different types of materials were processed.

Hearths are made of non-combustible materials that sit in front of your fireplace while also extending out to the sides. We just covered all the popular materials as well as their associated costs, but there are many different styles and sizes and designs that you can go with!

What Is A Fireplace Hearth Used For?

The hearth plays several important roles in any home that has a fireplace installed such as:

  • Protecting the floor in front of the fireplace.
  • Being a holding space for any fireplace accessories.
  • Used as a decoration piece.
  • Making your fireplace legal by following the local fire code.

These are the most common functions that a modern hearth has in our homes today. Of course, there are other ways that others have utilized their hearths, but the most important role it serves now is keeping your home safe.

What Is The Most Cost-Effective Hearth?

The most cost-effective material to build a hearth with is standard brick and mortar. For your average-sized fireplace, it will cost you less than $50 to purchase the supplies. Additionally, you need to pay for someone to build it or build it yourself.

The concrete hearth and tiled hearths are also excellent choices if you are on a tight budget and want to ensure the safety of your home.

Just because you are being frugal with your build doesn’t mean they can’t have a nice look as well. Changing the style of brick or tile will minorly change the price, giving you several different styles and options to pick from that will easily be under $150.

The other reason why we think brick is the most cost-effective hearth is the time saved building it. There is little you need to do outside of mixing and spreading the mortar to place your bricks in the style that you need!

What Kind Of Hearths Are There?

There are four main kinds of fireplace hearth classifications out there: no hearth, a raised box, a flush hearth, and a raised hearth.

A hearth is classified by its height compared to the fireplace, giving us four different options you build and customize in your home!

If you are trying to figure out what kind of hearth you have right now, here are the four different styles:

  1. No Hearth: you just have a hole-in-the-wall fireplace; there is just a firebox built into the wall.
  1. Raised Box: the hearth sits slightly off the ground but below the lip of the firebox.
  1. Flush hearth: the hearth is even or flush with the firebox and is several inches to feet off the ground
  1. Raised hearth: a raised hearth sits above the firebox several inches or even feet

The different styles are very easy to distinguish from one another. If you’re hiring someone to build your hearth, it’s important to let them know what style you want.

Running your preferred choice by the specialist is also a great way of ensuring your hearth adheres to the building codes set in place for your type of fireplace.

Do I Need A Hearth For My Fireplace?

A hearth is required for solid fuel-burning fireplaces such as a wood-burning fireplace. It is also required on gas fireplaces with a glass front.

Not ALL fireplaces require a hearth to be within the fire code.

Many gas fireplaces and all electric fireplaces do not need a hearth, but often have one for it to look similar to their wood-burning cousins. At this point, it’s mainly an aesthetic decision.

If you are uncertain if you need to have a hearth for your fireplace you should check your local fire code and with the manufacturer of the fireplace you are going to be installing.

Should You Build Your Own Hearth?

Depending on the type of material you are looking to use, your experience with working with these types of material, and the desired look you want to create; either DIY if you want to cut costs or hire a professional that will ensure the best result for you.

Building a hearth yourself isn’t all that difficult. IIt’ssimply a large rectangular shape. However, a hearth needs to adhere to some building guidelines. If you DIY this project, make sure you absolutely meet every single one of these guidelines.

You should check your local building codes for the exact guidelines and measurements, but here is a general overview:

A hearth should extend at least 16 inches in front of the fireplace, as well as 8 inches beyond every opening of the fireplace.

These dimensions increase to 20 inches in front and 12 inches beyond every opening if the fireplace opening is 6 square feet or more.

What Do You Build Hearths Out Of?

A fireplace hearth can be built out of several types of materials with the most common being built out of brick. Other options include granite, ceramic tiles, slate, quarry tiles, stone, marble, and concrete.

There are quite a few types of material that you can use to build your hearth and typically only one material is used. The material you end up choosing will most likely reflect the aesthetic that you are hoping to achieve vs the cost to install for your fireplace.

In the end, a hearth can be made out of any non-combustible material. Most stone types will work just fine.

These are the most common materials used in hearths:

  • Brick
  • Granite
  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Slate
  • Quarry Tiles
  • Stone
  • Marble
  • Concrete

Of the eight on the list, brick is the most common material used in homes today. It isn’t as expensive as some on the list and is generally easy to source for your project!

Do Different Types Of Fireplaces Need Different Hearths?

Wood-burning fireplaces always require a hearth. This hearth needs to consist of multiple pieces slabbed together. This allows the material to expand as it warms up. Most gas and electric fireplaces will not require a hearth.

Gas fireplaces don’t typically require a hearth. Gas burns extremely clean and leaves no flying embers or sparks, making a hearth obsolete.

Electric fireplaces don’t even have an actual flame, so there’s no need for a hearth. The main purpose of a hearth is to catch falling and flying embers, but since there’s no flame, no ember will fall or fly.

Dan Westfield

Hi everyone! My name is Dan and I currently have two fireplaces, a wood-burning and a gas one. I cannot live without them and love to share my passion with you all!

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