Undercut The Hearth Analysis

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Undercut the Hearth

One of the best options for installing hardwood floors around a brick fireplace is to undercut the hearth (if you have a raised hearth). In order to do this you'll need an undercut saw with a diamond tipped blade.
Since most people don't have undercut saws, you'll probably have to rent one. Make sure you have that diamond tipped blade. You won't be able to do the job without it.

Once you have the tool you're going to be making two cuts into the hearth: one cut will be right up against where the hearth and the subfloor meet. The other cut will be a the same height as the finished floor. The area between the two cuts you made will have to be chiseled out.

Carefully chisel out the area and clean up the mess before checking
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This method involves scribing and cutting the floorboards to fit the shape of the hearth.

First, get your hands on a wing divider (compass). Next, make sure the pencil in the wing divider has a sharp edge. After that, grab one of the floorboards. With the floorboard you just grabbed resting up against the hearth, trace the shape of the hearth on to the floorboard.

When you're finished tracing, use a saw to cut along the line you just made. Take the wood back to the fireplace and check to see if it fits well. One of the drawbacks to this is approach is that it may take several tries before you get it right. Cutting piece after piece—going back and forth—can be really time consuming.

Using Molding Around the Hearth

Another alternative to scribing and cutting is using molding. This is an easier option for inexperienced installers. It's also an unattractive choice in my opinion. That said, you're going to need a few things to do it right.

First, you need a piece of baseboard cut to the length of the block (hearth). Next you need a caulking gun with concrete adhesive caulk. You're also going to need something bookends or blocks. These are for holding the