Homeowners love the classic look of hardwood floors and use it in just about every room in the house. However, one common question that comes up is whether hardwood flooring is safe to use in a room with a fireplace. Here’s what you need to know to avoid a house fire.
If you own a traditional wood-burning fireplace, you cannot have any flammable or combustible materials located within a certain distance of the fireplace--usually 1-2 feet on any side--so a hearth is necessary. Outside that distance, which depends on the size of your fireplace and your local codes, it is acceptable to install wood flooring.
Making Your Fireplace Safer
Even if you follow safety regulations, however, it can still be dangerous to build a fire near a wood floor. To minimize the risks, take the following steps:
- Build small fires and keep them in the back of the fireplace.
- Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying out.
- Install a chimney cap to keep out animals and their nests, since these are a common cause of chimney blockages and fires.
- Schedule regular chimney cleaning in Atlanta to prevent creosote from building up in your chimney.
- Always supervise any fires and properly dispose of the ashes when finished.
While chimney cleaning in Atlanta drastically reduces your chance of a chimney fire, it does not completely eliminate the risk of a house fire caused by your hardwood flooring. Wood that is close to a fire can become very hot, making it more likely to catch on fire if a spark hits it. If you’re wary of hardwood flooring near your fireplace, one popular option is to install tiles that look like wood. Many tiles are now manufactured to mimic wood floor, and they appear quite realistic. Their durable, nonflammable material makes them a good choice for the area around your fireplace.
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