Fireplace hearth height

During a renovation inspection I encountered a fireplace with a hearth that sits 14 inches above a vinyl plank floor. I understand the need for a hearth extension, but do I need to take the height of the fireplace into consideration? Thanks for any info you can offer.

The hearth should have an extendible noncombustible area below the fireplace opening. Height of the opening should not matter along if it corresponds to the length and width of what is beneath that is consider a hearth of acceptable material.

This is not acceptable for a wood burning system.


Hey Thomas, Thanks for the info. I couldn’t find anything regarding the height of the fireplace. I guess that’s why… it doesn’t matter.


I agree with @tglaze. A hot ember doesn’t care about falling a bit further to find something flammable.


The higher the fireplace off the floor, the further out the hearth should be.


The I codes in the US do not mention the height of the firebox. The size of the hearth is determined by the opening size of the firebox. The larger the opening the bigger the hearth. As Thomas stated this condition is not acceptable for a wood burning fireplace. The hearth shall be of non-combustible material.

this is what happens when people watch too much HGTV…



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That fireplace has no hearth extension and one is needed. The height of the hearth above the floor does not affect the extension size.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond. I ended up pointing out the missing hearth extension in the report.