Dining room hearth was buckled and repaired many times before I bought house, had  the floor under jacked up and am now trying to restore the hearth, found wood floor about 4" down under 2 inch layer of cement and 2 inches of sand and rocks, should I use bricks and sand in bottom and then cement to fill before I try to replace with tiles? Thanks any suggestions will be helpful

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If that wood floor is not stable and fast, no flexing, you will continue to have the same problem imho. In our basement our hearth is part of the concrete box structure that includes the ash pit for both the first and second floor fire places. Not sure how they channeled the second floor unit but they did.

Your hearth is typical of most older homes. I have five fireplaces in my house (1890) with the same construction. The wooden slats you see underneath the hearth should be supported by a couple of 2 x 4 or larger. The slats were used to hold the cement until it was hard and structurally sound. The hearth acted as a fire barrier. Depending on your planned future use, you may have some options.
If the current setup (see underneath) is stable, you could chip out or remove enough of the existing cement to.allow installing cement board with a stable and level base. Maybe use leveling cement then add the cement board. Make sure the cement board is below floor grade so that your tile is flush with the floor.
Another option is to remove all the hearth material and build a new platform with 2 x 6 or 2 x 8, fire retardant plywood and cement board. The hearth (not the floor inside the firebox) should not get hot.
I would not add sand and bricks. Very heavy and has no purpose.
You should be able to remove the mantle before starting the work. From the photo I would guess your mantle is secured to the wall by two hooks, one on each side. Just remove any caulk or paint between the plaster wall and side of the mantle. Use a razor blade the same as removing baseboard or trim. Then lift the entire mantle straight up.
Good luck

planning on sealing up and putting a ventless (fake log) gas heater in.

That fireplace looks like it should have gas Coal grate put in rather than Log. That is what I am hoping to do with my own fireplace.


 like this probably


Thank you, I will research, looks like something that would work well:)

Hi...Do you have any experience with these? I am restoring an 1890 Victorian and have found an amazing mantle. I have a blank wall long enough that backs onto the front porch...what do you think it would involve to install a fireplace and this mantle? I also have accumulated a killer collection of original Victorian fireplace tiles..( a woodburner is not possible here structurally) thanks.

I don't have any experience with this, I would suggest putting it out on the forum for help, the people at this website are wonderful, good luck,,  Lucky you to have found tiles and a mantle.

Wonderful looking tiles surrounding the fireplace!!  Is it as narrow as it looks??  (Looks to be 24"?)  I agree that it seems like it originally burned coal...  I would use concrete 'wonderboard' as a base for your fore hearth, it makes a great base for tile work. Does the front edge lap over the tongue-and-grove flooring? 

The opening of the fireplace is almost almost 19 inches.  I have another fireplace in the iving room that is missing 1/2 the tiles from the face and half the tiles from the fore hearth, am thinking I will use the tiles from that for the fore hearth in the dining room, they are close in color but no brown in them. would that be an idea? 


Another nice fireplace!  (Or, it *WILL* be in the end :)

Are the tiles the same on the floor and the wall??  Often wall tiles are lighter weight than what you would want on the floor... Otherwise, your idea of moving the tiles from one fireplace to the other is a good one. Old mortar and grout can be carefully removed, especially if it's loose now.  Clean them well of any chalky mortar or grout.

You may be able to find tiles of this type (or very similar) available. Or look around - the missing tiles may turn up stored in an odd location.  That sort of thing has happened time and time again at my 1864 house...

Wow, thats going to be a beauty! Love the tile, you are lucky to have the real fireplaces to work with.
My tiles are similar to yours, I have several kind and colors but the same glaze. I found all of them on Ebay. What I can't use if the fireplace doesn't pan out will be used to make backsplashes

picture of the front edge gap any sugestions?



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