What Type of Tile Should Go in Front of a Fireplace?

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Upgrading an existing fireplace or adding a new fireplace to your home comes with many decisions. One aspect you'll want to consider is the type of tile that should go in front of your fireplace as the hearth. The best tiles to use in front of a fireplace are heat-resistant materials that can withstand high temperatures, like ceramic, porcelain, marble, and granite.

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What Is a Fireplace Hearth?

The fireplace hearth and hearth extension are the floor areas within and directly outside a fireplace. The hearth and hearth extension should be made using heat-tolerant materials, like ceramic or stone, to prevent sparks that land outside your fireplace from igniting.

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The thickness of the hearth and its extension are also important in preventing fires in homes. Hearth extensions should be at least 2 inches thick and extend 8 to 12 inches beyond the sides of a fireplace depending on the size of the fireplace.

The Best Tile for a Fireplace Hearth

Choosing the perfect tile for your fireplace hearth means finding both safe and stylish materials. Luckily, there are many tile choices to decorate your fireplace hearth and make it pop in your home.

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Ceramic

Ceramic has been a top choice for fireplace hearths for hundreds of years due to its versatility and reliable heat resistance. Ceramic is made by mixing clay with various minerals and water and firing it in a kiln. Ceramic is used to make tiles, bricks, plates, and everyday household essentials, like toilets. It's also easily cleaned using a mixture of hot water, a half cup of vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap.

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Porcelain

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are often confused due to being made similarly, but there's a difference between the two. While they're both made using clay, porcelain is made from refined clay and is fired at a higher temperature, making it more durable than ceramic. Porcelain is not only a popular choice for fireplace hearths but it can also be used on countertops and walls and comes in a variety of styles and colors. It's also reasonably easy to clean with a multipurpose cleaning spray or simply with soap and water.

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Marble

Marble floors and counters add a touch of sophistication to any room, and there's good news: Marble can be used for your fireplace hearth. Marble is a natural stone with high heat tolerance. Marble comes in light and dark colors that feature a variety of thin to thick vein designs. One downside to marble is that it stains easily, so it's important to clean it regularly with warm water and soap. After you clean it, make sure to dry the surface with a soft cloth to avoid water stains.

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Granite

Granite is one of the most commonly found stones on earth. It's made from Earth's cooling magma and milled into slabs that are used for flooring, countertops, and more. Granite holds up well against high temperatures and is pretty scratch-resistant, making it a long-lasting option for your fireplace hearth. It also comes in many colors and designs to give your space a natural and refined look. When cleaning granite, avoid acidic cleaners, like vinegar, and instead use a mild soap and hot water mixture to clean up spills and dirt.

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