The Quick Guide To Hearth Pads: What You Need To Know

A hearth pad is a protective barrier that goes underneath a freestanding wood stove, pellet stove, gas stove or similar type of heat source. The intention is to shield the floor from the high heat these units produce. They also protect from any sparks, embers, or burning logs that may fall out of the stove. Hearth pads are made primarily from non-combustible materials like tile, brick, stone, metal and concrete and come in a wide variety of colors, designs and custom patterns. Depending on the aesthetic appeal you prefer and the protective requirements of your stove, the choice of hearth pad is yours! Let’s dive in further…


Alright, a gas stove is an incredibly pleasing appliance that will create a cozy retreat without any hassle or cleanup. Plus, it’s a great option for those who love the charm of flickering flames with just the simplicity of a button or switch. Here’s a few key reasons to love gas stoves…


So, What Hearth Pad Is Right For You?

The material and thickness of a hearth pad will depend on the type and design of the stove it will be supporting. As you can imagine, different stoves require different levels of protection. For instance, a wood-burning stove generates more heat and has a higher risk of sparks and embers falling out, so it requires a thicker, more insulating hearth pad than a pellet stove might need.

The exact specifications for your hearth pad will depend on your specific stove, and you should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for hearth construction. Many stove manufacturers provide specific instructions regarding the size and type of hearth pad required for their products. But from there, you get all the say for the design and look of the construction.

Here’s a little peak at how these different hearth pad options can look!







The crackling fire awaits you…

Furthermore, if you visit a trusted retailer near you or – if you’re local – our Aberdeen fireplace shop, you’ll find a large variety of hearth pad designs and the range of materials. Your choice can reflect both the aesthetic appeal of your home as well as satisfy the proper safety requirements of your stove!

With that, let’s get into the right fit for your stove! Here are some general guidelines for the different stoves…

Wood-Burning Stoves – These typically produce a lot of heat and can have embers fall out of the front of the stove. So a thick, non-combustible hearth pad is required. Many regulations specify that the hearth pad for a wood stove should extend at least 18 inches out from the front of the stove and 8 inches from the sides. Materials like brick, thick tile, or stone are often used, and the thickness typically ranges from 1/2 inch to several inches.

Pellet Stoves – These stoves generally produce less heat on the bottom than wood stoves, and the fuel is fed into the burn pot, so there’s less risk of sparks or embers falling out. The hearth pad requirements are usually less strict than those for wood stoves. A common requirement is a non-combustible surface that extends at least 6 inches from the sides of the stove. The thickness is usually less than that required for a wood stove, and materials like metal or tile are often used.

Gas Stoves – These usually produce the least amount of heat on the bottom of the stove and do not have the risk of sparks or embers falling out. Therefore, the requirements for hearth pads are usually the least strict of all the stove types and in many cases, not required. However, a non-combustible surface often can be required, and in that case materials like metal or tile are typically used. The thickness can be quite minimal – sometimes just the thickness of the material itself is sufficient.

It’s also important to note that the use of a hearth pad is not just a good idea, but it’s often legally required as part of local building codes and insurance regulations. These codes and regulations will usually specify the required size, thickness, and type of material for a hearth pad based on the specific type of heating appliance being used.

What if I Don’t Have or Want a Hearth Pad?

If you have a gas stove, most likely it’s not going to be a problem! However, without a hearth pad, the intense heat from a wood stove or similar appliance could potentially cause the flooring underneath it to ignite or become damaged from the heat… 

You would be increasing your risk of fire, potentially damaging your floor, and possibly violating local building codes or your home insurance policy requirements. It’s always a good idea to use a hearth pad when you have a stove, for both safety and compliance reasons. And Frankly, aesthetic reasons… In my opinion, hearth pads make the stove area look complete and they can tie into your home’s design very well!

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Once again, if you’re in western Washington, Chimney Techniques is our Aberdeen fireplace shop that will provide you with the specifications you need for your hearth pad! And of course we have the selection that is sure to match the tone you are looking for in your home. We aim to help you every step of the way to create the perfect centerpiece for your home or getaway!

Hope this helped!

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