Bioethanol fireplaces use a real fire to deliver the heat output and fireplace experience, and this can mean that the fireplace body gets hot during operation.
Other types of fireplaces and stoves that also use a real fire typically require a suitable non-combustible platform on which to place the appliance, also known as a hearth. These other types can include wood burning fireplaces and stoves, pellet stoves and gas fireplaces.
Bioethanol fireplaces typically do not need to be placed on a hearth. Many models of bioethanol fireplace can be placed freestanding within a room or mounted on a wall. However, insert types typically need to be placed within an open fireplace, which may already have a hearth.
Our own bioethanol fireplace is the insert type and so we’re required by our fireplace manufacturer to use it within an existing fireplace or chimney breast.
While this open fireplace has a suitable hearth for other forms of fireplaces such as wood burning fires and stoves, this hearth isn’t necessarily required for our bioethanol fireplace. Our bioethanol fire is required to be placed in this open fireplace for other safety reasons.
Many other types of bioethanol fireplace typically don’t need to be placed within an open fireplace or placed on any other form of hearth.
We discuss in more detail below why bioethanol fireplaces typically don’t require the need for a hearth.
Do Bioethanol Fireplaces Need A Hearth?
Bioethanol fireplaces typically do not need to be used with a hearth.
This is because the body of a bioethanol fireplace doesn’t get hot enough to warrant the need for a suitably thick non-combustible floor, such as a hearth, to be used with one.
For example, our bioethanol fireplace has the fire concentrated at the top of the unit.
The fireplace is made up of two main components: the main body and the fuel box.
The fuel box is where the bioethanol fuel is stored and the flames are produced.
It’s a sealed container and sits within the outer main body of the fireplace.
This fuel box gets much hotter than the main body of the fireplace. Furthermore, there are rubber feet on the base of our fireplace to help prevent heat transfer to the floor it sits on.
Our bioethanol fireplace manufacturer explains:
‘Our fireplaces do not require a hearth as the heat is not generated at the bottom of the fireplace.Imagin Fires
There’s no legal requirement to install a hearth stone for your bioethanol fireplace, unlike a traditional wood burning stove fireplace.
Traditional wood fireplaces get much hotter than bioethanol fireplaces, and there’s a much higher risk of burning embers and ashes falling from the body of the fire.’
As a result, this allows many types of bioethanol fireplaces to be placed in other locations around a home, such as:
- Freestanding in a room on flooring such as carpet or rugs.
- Mounted on a wall.
Our bioethanol fireplace is the insert type and so we’re required to place it inside our existing fireplace. While our fireplace has a non-combustible hearth suitable for other fireplace appliances, this hearth isn’t required for our bioethanol fireplace, and placement inside this fireplace is required for other safety reasons.
See our main guide on the types of bioethanol fireplaces for more information.
However, a hearth could be used with a bioethanol fireplace for looks purposes.
For example, our fireplace manufacturer explains that ‘some customers have installed hearths for their own personal aesthetics’.
Another option could be to use a hearth pad with a bioethanol fireplace.
See our main article on hearth pads for more information.
The manufacturer also does provide some guidance on the placement of our bioethanol fireplace:
- Both the bio fire and stainless steel fuel box should always be placed on a stable, flat horizontal surface and away from combustible materials.
- Ensure that floor that the fireplace is being placed upon can bear its weight.
Even though bioethanol fireplaces typically do not require the need for a hearth and can be suitable for placement on most flooring, always follow the requirements and recommendations for placement on the right flooring as set out by your bioethanol fireplace manufacturer within the owner’s manual.
Building codes and regulations can vary for bioethanol fireplaces depending on location and so speak to an installer if you’re unsure on the rules for use of a bioethanol fireplace with a hearth in your area.