How to Make Your Own Hearth for a Combustion Wood Fire

I told you all recently that we are getting a combustion wood fire for our lounge room. Hubby has been wanting one forever, so I finally relented. Lol. It's being installed this Friday and we are all very excited.  When we ordered it a few weeks ago, we were advised we would need a hearth to go under it and the going price was $600. We did some research and knew we could make our own for a lot less than that, and so we did! :)

We knew we would need to get cement fibre sheeting for the base and then cover it with tiles. Best thing was we were able to chose our own tiles and customise our hearth to suit our farmhouse style. 

So we looked around and found a sheet of cement fibre at Bunnings which was 1200x2400mms. We got the shop to score it and crack it in half. Each sheet was 4.5mm in width so we stacked the sheets together to give us 9mm in total. Our tiles were 5mm so all together we would have the regulation 14mm.

Next we purchased a few sample tiles from Bunnings Hardware, but were quick to decide we wanted a checker design of black and white. These are the tiles we chose. One is a white with shades of grey mixed in, and the other is a graphite black. They worked perfectly together.

Next we drew up a diagram of how the tiles would be placed. We had to make sure the hearth was of regulation size. Each tile was 200mm x 200mm so 5x5 gave us a total of 1000mm x 1000mm, plus with our 3mm grout lines we were well above the required 9500mm x 9500mm. I really wanted to cut the front edges so we would be less likely to trip on the corners, but without a tile cutter, we were not sure if that was going to be possible, so it was a maybe. 

Off hubby went to the hardware and got 2 boxes of tiles, allowing a few extra in cause some crack or are damaged in the future. He also used his charm to get a couple of the tiles angle cut. Woohoo! We could have our cut corners. He also got the tile adhesive and plastic applicator, plastic spacers, and a tile file to file down the edges of the cut tiles. Later we went back for a grey tile grout to do in between the tiles, and some wood trim to go round the hearth.

So we put down our cement fibre sheeting and placed our tiles on top.

Then we inserted all the spacers so we would have the exact size of our hearth. 
Then we traced the outline with a lead pencil and took off all the tiles.

We used a blade to score the lines and snap off the excess. 
Then we traced the shape on the other sheet and did the same.

Next we placed a drop cloth underneath and gathered the tiling supplies.

We bought the pre-mixed tile adhesive so it was just a case of scrapping it on evenly, 

then applying the tiles, and inserting the spacers.

First row done.

And repeat.

Go hubby!

And our two little helpers had fun too.

After the last corner tile had been laid we let it dry for 24 hours.

Next came the grouting.  Wiping off the excess was a messy job.

But it came up amazingly.  Again, we let the grout dry for 24 hours too.

The cat approved. ;)

To finish off our hearth we added a wood trim. It was a bit tricky getting all the angels right, 
but we got it eventually. 

Lastly we gave the timber trim a couple of coats of white paint.

The total cost was under $150, and we got a bunch of spare tiles.  So we saved over $450 by making our own. I'm very proud of our hearth. What do you think?

We are all ready for our wood fire to be installed on Friday. Woohoo!

:) Julie

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  1. Love your hearth and can't wait to see the wood fireplace

  2. Look very nice and great work on making your own! Awesome! Can't wait to see it with the fireplace!


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