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Hearth Pads

Freestanding Wood Stoves and Pellet Stoves are great additions to living spaces and workstations. They provide a great deal of heat and are great showpieces. However, they require adequate protection in the area surrounding the appliance. This is where items such as Hearth Pads and Stove Boards can come in handy.

Hearth pads are a fireplace floor protector made to protect the area under a wood or pellet stove

A Hearth Pad is a protective surface that is placed underneath a freestanding stove/heating appliance or in front of a fireplace. It is usually constructed of a mix of heat and fire-resistant materials such as tile, stone, or other non-combustible materials. In most cases, there is a wood base with heat-resistant materials layered on top of the wood.

The primary purpose of a Hearth Pad and a Stove Board is to protect the area surrounding the heating appliance from the intense heat that it generates. Hearth Pads also protect the floor from flying embers, stray sparks, and smoldering ash that can pop from the fire while in use.

Hearth pads are mainly floor protectors whereas stove boards are wall protectors

Hearth pads and stove boards serve distinct purposes when it comes to protecting your home in the context of wood-burning stoves and heating appliances. While hearth pads are primarily designed to protect the floor in front of the stove, stove boards are intended to protect the walls behind the stove. Here are some key differences between hearth pads and stove boards:

Hearth Pads

  • Floor Protection: The main function of a hearth pad is to safeguard the floor beneath and around the wood-burning stove or heating appliance. It protects against heat, and potential floor damage, and prevents embers or ashes from coming into contact with the flooring.

  • Ember and Ash Containment: Hearth pads are designed to catch and contain any embers, ashes, or debris that may fall from the stove, reducing the risk of fires or damage to the floor.

  • Material and Design: Hearth pads come in various materials, sizes, and designs to complement your home's decor. They are typically made from fire-resistant or non-combustible materials.

Stove Boards

  • Wall Protection: Stove boards are designed to protect the wall behind the wood-burning stove or heating appliance. They serve as a barrier between the stove and the combustible wall surface, reducing the risk of heat damage or fire.

  • Heat Insulation: Stove boards are often equipped with heat insulation properties to help dissipate and minimize the heat transmitted to the wall. This can be especially important when installing stoves close to walls.

  • Material and Design: Stove boards are typically made from materials that have fire-resistant and heat-resistant properties. They are available in various sizes and designs to match the stove's appearance and fit the space behind it.

Hearth Pads and Stove Board kits offer different levels of protection often classified as Type 1 or Type 2

When you start to look through Hearth Pad kits you will see that some are classified as a Type 1 protector whereas others are in the Type 2 category. Type 1 and Type 2 refer to the different levels of protection and the specific requirements related to their use with wood-burning stoves and heating appliances. These designations are primarily used in the context of United States building codes and regulations.

Type 1 Hearth Pads

  • Type 1 hearth pads and stove boards are designed for use with a variety of heating appliances, including wood stoves, pellet stoves, gas stoves, and other solid-fuel appliances.
  • They are required to provide protection against both radiant heat and potential ember and ash dispersion.
  • Type 1 hearth pads and stove boards are typically made from non-combustible materials, such as cement board, metal, tile, or other fire-resistant materials.
  • These hearth pads have more stringent requirements and are expected to provide a higher level of protection due to their broader application.

Type 2 Hearth Pads

  • Type 2 hearth pads and stove boards are specifically designed for use with certain heating appliances, such as free-standing wood stoves, and they are less common than Type 1 hearth pads.
  • They are primarily intended to protect against radiant heat and typically do not have ember and ash containment requirements.
  • Type 2 hearth pads and stove boards may have different material and construction specifications compared to Type 1 hearth pads, as they are tailored to the needs of specific stove types.

The installation manual for your wood-burning or pellet stove will have a section that reviews the clearance requirements and floor and wall protection requirements. This section will list the required Type of Hearth Pad or Stove Board that is required for your installation.

Hearth pads are on sale in a variety of sizes and can even be custom-made to provide an extension to your hearth area

There are a wide array of size options for Hearth Pads and stove boards. There are several factors that will help you decide what size product will work best for your area, including:

  • Stove/Appliance Size - The overall dimensions of your heating appliance will play a significant role in determining the best size of hearth pad you will need. The hearth pad should be large enough to extend beyond the recommended clearance requirements that are specified in your stove/appliance manual.
  • State and Local Building Codes - It is always recommended to check with your local building codes to determine if there are specific size or material requirements in your area. Some state and local building codes will outline minimum and maximum size requirements based on the fuel type and size of your heating appliance or stove.
  • Manufacturer's Recommendations - The manufacturer of your heating appliance will typically provide guidelines for your hearth pad and stove board sizes and clearances in the installation manual. It is crucial to follow these recommendations closely for both safety and warranty compliance.
  • Aesthetic Design - It is also important to consider the overall design and aesthetic of the hearth area and room as well. The hearth pads and stove board products not only need to meet the safety requirements, but they also should fit harmoniously with your overall interior design. The size, color, and style should help make your hearth area the focal point of the home.
  • Room Size - The size of your room and the available space will also influence the choice of hearth pad as well as help dictate the shape that you need.

With Hearth Pads and Stove board products, it is important that they not only provide proper protection for the area beneath and around your heating appliance, but they should also match your home's decor so as not to make the room feel overcrowded.

Hearth Pads and Stove boards come in a variety of styles and include tile, slate, steel, corner pads, and more

After you have determined the proper size hearth pad you need to protect your area, next is to take the design choices in mind and choose the style that fits your home's decor. Northline Express features corner Hearth Pads, square shapes, and some with angle cuts to give more style. There are also a variety of colors and materials. Most hearth pads will have a tile pattern.

Check out the full line of Hearth Pads and Stove Boards.

HY-C is one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality Stove Boards

HY-C has been protecting homes and families since 1947 with home improvement products including, UL1618 certified stove boards, log racks, chimney covers, furnaces, and more. They manufacture 85% of their products in the United States so that they can provide customers with what they need when they need it. HY-C is passionate and committed to high performance and is dedicated to providing safe and sustainable living products to improve your life and the life of your home.

HY-C is a proud partner of Northline Express. Check out the full line of HY-C Stove Boards

FAQ - Hearth Pads - Stove Boards - Fireplace Hearth Pads

Do I need a hearth pad for a gas stove?

Hearth Pads aren't only required for wood and pellet stoves, some gas stoves require the use of hearth pads and stove boards. This will depend on the specific model and manufacturer of your gas stove appliance as well as the heat output. The best recommendation will be to look at the installation manual for the gas stove appliance and it will outline whether or not a hearth pad is required. If your manual is not available, then check with your state and local building codes.

Even if it is not required, you can still add a hearth pad for extra protection as well as to make the hearth area more appealing.

How to install a hearth pad?

The first step is to check your installation manuals as well as your state and local building codes to make sure you are following all safety and clearance requirements. Then you will want to determine the placement of the hearth pad. After that, you will want to prepare the floor, by making sure that is clean and free of all debris. Then you will want to make sure that the floor is level. If needed, you can use shims to help level the hearth pad. After placing the hearth pad down you will want to secure the hearth pad. Some Hearth Pads can simply be set on the floor, whereas others may need to be anchored in place. Some require fire-resistant adhesive to be used. Then all that's left is to verify the hearth pad is secured in place, level, and properly aligned with the stove. Now you are ready to install your wood/pellet/gas stove as outlined by the heating appliance manufacturer's instructions.

Be advised that most Hearth Pads are extremely heavy. They should be lifted, maneuvered, and installed by a licensed and insured professional.

What are the R-value requirements of a hearth pad?

The R-value measures the thermal resistance of a material. The primary purpose of the R-value is to indicate how effective a material is at insulating against heat transfer. Materials with high R-values can help reduce heat loss from the stove and improve energy efficiency in your home.

R-value requirements for hearth pads are not typically specified in building codes or regulations because the primary purpose of a hearth pad is fire protection and safety, rather than thermal insulation. The R-value is a measure of a material's thermal resistance and is more relevant for insulation in walls, floors, or roofs.

What can be used as a hearth pad?

Hearth pads are designed to provide fire protection and safety for the area around a wood-burning stove, fireplace, or other heating appliance. It is important to make sure that the hearth pad is made from non-combustible or fire-resistant materials so that it can withstand the high temperatures that can be produced by your appliance. The hearth pad also serves as a floor protector from falling sparks, flying embers, or stray ash that can pop out of the firebox.

Some of the most common materials used in crafting Hearth pads and stove boards include:

  • Tiles such as Ceramic, Porcelain, or natural stone
  • Cement Board
  • Stone Slabs such as Granite, soapstone, or slate
  • Metal sheets
  • Hearth Rugs
  • Fire Resistant Boards

Where to buy a hearth pad?

Northline Express offers a wide variety of hearth pad and stove board options. All of our products are shipped directly to your home. Due to their size and weight, Hearth Pads are generally shipped on a pallet via a freight carrier.

Check out our full line of Hearth Pads and Stove Boards.

Where can I go to learn more about Hearth Pads and other Fire-related projects?

Northline Express offers a Resource Center that features a wide variety of how-to articles to help you with your home heating projects. Here are a few articles that are available: