Our new wood stove was installed last week, but we can’t use it yet, as it’s missing the heat shield, which is on back-order. Kirk is chomping at the bit to use it, he has a whole stack of barn wood drying under a tarp, just waiting to get in that stove!
Our friends made the hearth, we think it turned out really well. We accidentally chipped the front of it bringing it in, but they will come and repair it. They made it out of a wood structure underneath, covered by cement backerboard, and then their own proprietary mix of cement and some other mystery stuff. They colored it to look like slate, which was our request, to match the black stove.
Deciding on its shape was tricky: as you can see, it comes right up to the trim on the French doors on the right, but then has a longer wall on the left. Our first attempt at the pattern, we drew a circle with the center being the corner of the wall. But we couldn’t make that address the clearance requirements in the front without having it encroach on the doorway and the room too much. Next we tried having the circle’s center abut 12″ out from the corner, but of course, still equidistant from both walls, thinking it needed to be symmetrical.
But, it turned out, it didn’t look symmetrical, even though it was; because the long wall on the left created a visually imbalanced corner. So, we moved the circle center about 6″ to the left. If you study it closely, you can see this, that the circle arcs in more tightly on the right- it is not centered. But, we ended up with the look we wanted- it now seems to be balanced in the corner, oddly enough. Whereas before when it was truly centered, it appeared to be noticeably “off.” It’s funny how the eye can get confused.
We were relieved to get the hearth and see it work there in the corner– it’s always hard to be sure when using a paper template if you really have it right or not, or to envision how that’s going to translate into a real object. We are pleased with the result, the circle joins perfectly to the edge of the door trim. We will change these French doors later to be the style that open outside, instead of in. But, for now, we never use that left-hand door, so there is no risk of it whacking the hearth.
Kirk also sanded and refinishing the floor about a foot out from where the hearth would go. He was figuring, rightly so, that it would be a pain to sand up to that rounded edge later. The type of finish we put down is blend-able; so when we do the rest of the floor later, it should meet up just fine.