While the fireplace is definitely an ideal piece for homeowners who want to confer a certain chic and cozy aspect to the room, trimming the tiles of San Diego hardwood floors in the direct vicinity of the hearth is rather difficult. A solution that is relatively easy but ends up looking very unaesthetic comprises of placing moldings that simulate the texture and finish of the hardwood all around it. Whether it is because you are not familiar with the alternatives to this approach or simply due to the fact that they imply more effort than you care to invest, you will surely end up choosing the hardwood molding solution.
Scribing the hardwood planks: Better or worse?
Certain forums and blogs recommend adjusting the dimensions of the hardwood flooring tiles that will be placed in the proximity of the fireplace’s grate. This option is not perfect and it will require a great deal of work on your part, as well as experience in woodworking. In essence, you will need to utilize several pieces of hardwood that you gradually adjust to size, test out how well they fit and trim them again as necessary.
The issue here is that with so many pieces of different sizes and shapes, you are very unlikely to end up with a perfect match. There will still be gaps that need to be filled with caulk. To put it simple, if you have the time and patience, the result will still be superior compared to molds, but if not, it will probably end up looking worse. After all, not all hearths are precisely rectangle or square shaped.
Undercutting the hearth: Probably the safest choice
As long as the hearth of the fireplace provides a sufficient amount of space, an undercut is your best bet for installing the hardwood floor tiles in an appealing manner. For this task, you will need a special undercutting instrument fixed with a blade – usually diamond tipped – that permits you to saw through the tough construction materials of the hearth (natural stone, marble, granite, etc.).
You will need to adjust the saw in accordance to the thickness of the floor. Undercutting the hearth implies that two cuts – one located floor’s height, one at the level of the subfloor – are performed in order to insert the hardwood tiles underneath. When you have completed the two cuts, you will have to utilize a standard chisel and take of the extra stone. Afterwards, installing and fastening the planks is easy. Overall, the undercutting approach confers both the hardwood flooring and the fireplace an excellent blending appearance.
Plan the fireplace and the floor in new homes
For newly constructed homes and for those who plan to perform a complete structural makeover, planning ahead can definitely simplify the procedure of installing hardwood tiles without performing modifications to the hearth. If you inform the contractor regarding your intention of installing the flooring, then he can simply design the hearth with sufficient space underneath to eliminate the need for undercutting. However, it is important to know the thickness of the tiles included in the hardwood floors beforehand.