Good Questions: How to Build a Fire(place hearth)?

2005_1_3_question mark.jpgHello AT,

I have a fireplace in my small (300SF) studio in New York City. I’m a shareholder of this co-op unit. I believe the fireplace is non-compliant with NYC Building Code, as it lacks a proper hearth.

gmail[1].jpgI would like to find an article or a book that would detail the work I need to do, because I have not enjoyed the use of the fireplace, and it’s one of the big reasons I chose the place… Or if I could find someone to do it, I’d be happy to work alongside them and learn.

I am considering poured concrete, stone, or tile as a fireproof material, laid flush with the floor level, so as not to break up the
valuable floor space… This will require some demo of the exisitng
floor, and perhaps framing out the new hearth with some new flooring…

We would simply go for a raised hearth topped in slate. Normally, you would put the hearth into the floor (and you could do this by cutting down into it) but your fireplace opening is high, so we would just raise the hearth entirely and do less work. (We also think it would look better).

We would frame out the hearth, cover it in Dura Rock or some similarly coded fireproof sheet rock and then tile it with slate. Bug Gardy again!(Thanks, Paull!) MGR (FYI question goes on below….)

I should also say this is not the original floor… The original floor and hearth are underneath this new floor. Yes, I dream of looking and seeing if the original should be restored…

Cheap is the name of the game. Gardy Boyer took a look but has not called to give me an estimate… I guess I’m small potatoes. I have begun trying the stone suppliers suggested on your site this week.

I really do love this place. I should send you pics of the rest of it.

Thank you,


P.S. I would like to find where exactly in the NYC Building Code the proper dimensions would be detailed… Any idea? I tried online already… VERY dense stuff that deals with all kinds of fireproofing but finding my particular information has proved difficult so far.
Or shoud l I just look in Architectural Graphic Standards?