How To Build A DIY Hearth Pad [Free Plans]

  • Hearth pads are essential safety elements for wood stoves
  • You’ll want to figure out whether you need ember protection,  thermal protection or both- your stove’s manual will list the requirements (click here to learn more)
  • That doesn’t mean they can’t be DIY’d into gorgeous statement pieces that match your home’s decor
  • Jump down to some hearth pad ideas or a full tutorial on how to make your own

The heat from a fireplace can cause damage to your floor if its materials are combustible.

Hearth pads are heat-resistant materials placed under the furnace to shield the floor area and even the rear wall around your stove from heat damage or even put the floor on fire.

The non-combustible material is known as a hearth. one can use a hearth pad in cases where a full hearth cannot fit.

It is referred to as a portable hearth that sits on an unprotected floor to prevent heat damage. A heath pad should be able to withstand the weight of the stove.

It can be bought together with the furnace or made separately and then put under the stove before installation.

Hearth Pad Ideas

Glass hearth pad

A glass hearth pad looks great with modern or contemporary style decor.

Mosaic style

A mosaic-style DIY hearth pad can add a decorative element to your fireplace, while a simpler design may be more practical and functional. It is important to carefully consider the layout and design of your hearth pad, as well as any specific building requirements or regulations in your area.


A stone hearth pad is a great way to add both beauty and function to your wood-burning stove.

If you are looking for a more decorative option, consider using mosaic tiles to create a beautiful design. You can find stone mosaic tiles at most home improvement stores. Just be sure to select a product that is rated for use with fireplaces and stoves.

Emerald tiling

An emerald tile hearth pad is another option that can add a splash of color to your fireplace. This design works well with both traditional and modern styles, and it can be easily customized to suit your unique aesthetic preferences.

How to make a DIY hearth pad

Required materials

There are a variety of non-combustible materials that the builder can use to create a hearth pad.

The type of fire you have determines the material you will use to make a suitable heath pad.

It can be made of different materials to match your preferences. Some of the most common materials are; steel, granite, slate, stone, microfiber, concrete tile, marble, ceramic, or brick. When using these materials, ensure they are glued or stuck to a continuous heat-resistant surface like cement.

Hearth pad shapes

A hearth pad can be made in a variety of shapes.

  1. Rectangle
  2. Octagon
  3. Triangle (often used for corner installation)
  4. Square
  5. Circular (for installation in the middle of a room)

You can use your desired shape while following the instructions indicated on the stove’s certification label.

How thick does a hearth pad need to be?

There is a required standard that a hearth pad needs to meet. The minimum thickness needs to be 3/8″ or 8mm. In some cases, the non-combustible material used to build the hearth pad determines its thickness.

Depending on the fireplace or stove type, specific safety measures have to be implemented when building a hearth pad. It can be designed for aesthetic purposes. This article will guide you on the simple but detailed steps to build your desired hearth pad.


  • Drill
  • Thin-set mortar
  • 8-10 penny nails
  • Caulk
  • Tiles
  • Handsaw
  • ½ inch cement backer board
  • Tile spacers
  • Grout
  • ¾ plywood
  • Two galvanized backer board screws
  • Tile nippers
  • Damp rag
  • Eye protection
  • Notched trowel


  1. Read the user manual to find out specific requirements for sizing.
  2. Put the stove on top of the ½ inch cement backer board. Take measurements of the dimensions of the backer board extending 16 more inches from the stove on all sides. The addition of extra measurements makes sure the furnace is at the center. A more oversized hearth creates space for storing wood and makes it easy to reload the firebox.
  3. Draw the shape of choice on the cement backer board and the plywood. The plywood sits on the floor and thus acts as the backing for the cement backer board. The hearth can be of your desired shape or a shape that matches your needs and specification.
  4. Cut the exact dimensions out of a ¾ inch plywood with a hand saw. For the cement backer board, cut it using a utility knife.
  5. Put the cement backer board on the plywood and join them using 8- 10 Penny nails.
  6. Dry set the tiles at the top of the hearth pad to find the tiles’ design from the front edge. Using a tile cutter, cut the tiles to size.
  7. Apply a 1/8 inch layer of mortar or cement onto the cement board using a trowel. Spread starting at the front part and place the tiles gently, one tile at a time. Create furrows in the cement or mortar using the edge notched edge of the trowel.
  8. Place the tiles gently on the wet mortar or cement, creating your desired pattern. Do this until you remain with tiles that need to be reshaped or resized. Leave adequate room for the grout by using spacers between the tiles.
  9. Put on eye protection to protect your eyes from tile particles. Using tile nippers, cut the tiles that do not fit your design into your desired shape or size.
  10. Apply mortar or cement at the back of these tiles, then gently press the tile into position.
  11. Remove the spacers between the tiles and allow the pad to dry for at least 24 hours for the mortar or cement to set well.
  12. Spread grout to the joints between the tiles with a rubber grout float. Grout the hearth pad at a 45- degree angle. Do not hold your grout tool on the floor or edge tile at this angle.
  13. Remove excess grout with a utility sponge and a spatula. Clean the left grout residue after 30 minutes with a damp rag.
  14. After the grout dries, spread a clear liquid sealer to the grout.
  15. Fill the last joints using Caulk. Ideally, the builder can use a wet finger to smooth the caulk line.
  16. Using a nail, join a 1-by- 3 MDF board as a trim around the hearth pad. Put the hearth pad on plywood and nail it on the plywood using 8 penny nails.
  17. Place your stove on your hearth pad after allowing it to dry for three days.

Note: Use a user manual and local building rules to know specific requirements for its hearth to provide enough thermal protection. If you are using cement, ensure it has a low K factor .this lowers the amount of heat conducted by the hearth pad.

The area of the stove will determine the size of the hearth pad. Always use a heat-resistant material to make a hearth to prevent heat damage on the floor. It is vital to place the hearth pad on a continuous surface. The hearth owner can use a hearth pad for decoration purposes.


Q: How do I know if I need a hearth pad?

A: A hearth pad is not always necessary, but it is recommended for any wood-burning stove. The pad serves as a protective barrier between the stove and the floor, and it can also enhance the look of your fireplace.

Q: What materials do I need to make a hearth pad?

A: To create your own DIY hearth pad, you will typically need cement backer board, plywood, tile and grout, caulk, nails or screws, a tile cutter or nippers, spacers, a grout float, and an optional trim piece.

Q: What is the best material to use?

A: There is no single “best” material for diy hearth pads, as different materials offer different benefits and may be better suited to certain types of stoves or fireplace designs. Common options include ceramic tile, stone, brick, and glass.

Q: What are some tips for building a diy hearth pad?

A: Here are a few tips to keep in mind when building your diy hearth pad:

– Make sure you select a tile or other material that is rated for use with fireplaces and stoves.

– Use spacers to keep your tiles evenly spaced and ensure a level surface.

– Plan out your design ahead of time, taking into account the dimensions of your fireplace and any other features that need to be accommodated.

– Consider using mortar or grout for extra durability and protection against heat damage.

– If you are working on a large DIY hearth pad, consider enlisting the help of a friend or family member to make the project easier.

Q: How thick does it need to be?

The thickness of DIY hearth pads can vary depending on your individual preferences and the type of stove or fireplace you are using. In general, a DIY hearth pad should be at least 1-2 inches thick in order to provide sufficient protection from heat damage and other hazards.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


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