A common question that homeowners have when choosing to floor is what type is best around a fireplace. Some, however, don’t even think about the flooring being near a fireplace, especially if they are purchasing in the summertime.
It is wise to take it into consideration because although fireplaces are awesome for relaxing and warming up, they can also present problems for the flooring around them.
Being aware of the dangers of fireplaces and flooring choices may save your life and the life of those you love.
Dangers Flooring Near Fireplaces Pose
Everyone knows to keep flammable items away from the fireplace, but the type of flooring that’s around it often never crosses their minds.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, every 87 seconds, a house fire breaks out. Of those, over 21% are caused by fireplaces. Logs can roll out, sparks may fly, and other scenarios are all possible when a fire is roaring inside.
When shopping for flooring, the fact that it will be around the fireplace should be one of the first considerations. It’s much better to plan in foresight than to look back with regret in hindsight.
Damage a Fireplace Can Cause to Your Flooring
When embers pop out of a fireplace, they can scar your flooring. Furthermore, they can catch it on fire. And if a log rolls out, you can be in real trouble.
Here are some tips to help you to avoid damage to your flooring:
A heath extension is a device placed outside the fireplace that extends the safety net in order to keep logs and sparks from escaping onto your floor. They are usually made of brick, slate, or stone which are non-combustible.
Grate or Cover
Another way to protect your flooring is to incorporate a non-flammable cover or grate which will keep sparks and hot logs from falling onto your flooring. It is imperative that this device have openings to allow smoke to filter through it.
Don’t overstuff your fireplace. Doing so will increase the chance that a log will roll out onto your floor or that sparks will fly.
Be sure to position your logs and any kindling into the fireplace in a safe manner so it isn’t likely to escape.
Best Choices for Flooring Near Fireplaces
The type of fireplace you have will help determine what type of flooring is suitable to have around it.
Some fireplaces are safer and less exposed than others. For instance, if you have a fire pit or completely open fireplace, you’ll want to have flooring that can’t burn such as ceramic tile or cement flooring.
If your fireplace is open but contained, such as models that are screened in, you don’t have to be so cautious but still want to be safe.
The safest choices for flooring that is by a fireplace include:
Slate: Slate is not flammable and therefore is an excellent choice for flooring around a fireplace. It’s available in a wide variety of colors and textures but, it is expensive. On the good side, it will practically last forever.
Solid Hardwood: Although wood is flammable, there are treatments that are often used on wood flooring that help prevent them from catching fire. Rich, dark shades of hardwood flooring are aesthetically pleasing when contrasted against a fireplace, making hardwood a popular option with homeowners who have a fireplace.
The harder the wood, the better option it is because softer woods tend to nick, scratch, and scar more easily. Learn more at www.ChestnutFlooring.ca Choosing a wood with a rustic finish is ideal since the area around a fireplace is prone to be a high-traffic one with logs being toted in and family gathered around to enjoy the warmth.
Laminate: Laminate flooring is made to look like wood flooring, but is derived from a synthetic, man-made, material. It is quite durable and can withstand the traffic and abuse that being near a fireplace brings. It is also able to tolerate the heat that is associated with a fireplace. Maintenance and cleaning is super simple on laminate flooring. If some of the flooring does get scarred, laminate is cheap to replace, but generally calls for redoing the entire floor since it is typically rolled on in a sheet.
Tile: Tile is hard and most are flame resistant. There is a myriad of types, shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from when it comes to tile. Some tile is made to look like other materials such as granite or slate but is available with a lower price tag. One bonus with tile flooring is that if it is chipped due to fireplace equipment or because damaged in any other way, single tiles can be replaced rather than having to redo the entire floor area.
Marble: Marble is an excellent choice of flooring for rooms with a fireplace. It is very durable and lasts for decades, sometimes for centuries. It is expensive to purchase and expensive to lay though.
Concrete: Concrete is a substance made of cement. Concrete floors have become a popular trend in the past decade. They can be stained, painted, or left in their raw state. Concrete flooring is not flammable so it’s a nice option for rooms with fireplaces.
Carpet: It is possible to have carpet in a room that contains a fireplace, but not optimal. You will want to be sure the carpet is flame-retardant if you go that way. You will also want to purchase a hearth rug to put over the area that is most likely to suffer sparks and the danger of rolling logs. Darker colors of carpet work best since fireplaces are prone to soot and debris. Our personal favorite is definitely solid oak flooring as it’s great for high-traffic areas and can be sanded down and re-finished multiple times.
Warming Up to Practicality
If you have a fireplace, you simply must take that into consideration when choosing the flooring that will be around it. Think of all the things that go on around the fireplace such as sparks flying, high traffic, and potential fire dangers. Be practical when you pick your flooring and you’ll be able to enjoy your fireplace…and your flooring.