Fireplace vs hearth

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fireplace is a place inside or outside a structure that is safe to build a fire. It is at the base of a chimney and is usually made of stone or brick.

This can also be an adjective for things that have to do with or are cooked in a fireplace.

hearth can be the floor of a fireplace, where the actual fire sits and burns. It can also describe the area just around the fireplace, where people may sit and be warm from the fire. This word can also be used as a general symbol of a person’s home, more so than just a building where one sleeps. Other definitions include the bottom portion of a furnace that is exposed to heat or fire.

In short, sometimes fireplace and hearth are synonyms, but not always.


In the soft-grey living room on the first floor, tactile materials and metallic accessories inject visual warmth, and a period fireplace is the focal point – in the master bedroom, it is the opulent French bed. [The Telegraph]

The Tuell & Reynolds Venice fireplace screen he picked out was, he admitted, a “break-the-bank kind of thing” at more than $4,000. [The New York Times]

A crescent-shaped hearth and door allow you to peek into a domed core where a small stack of wood is roaring. [Mountain Xpress]

Fire crews were called to a house in Northwich yesterday morning after a fire broke out from a hearth. [Northwich Guardian]

Based in Americana, the company’s designs are a throwback to simpler times when home, hearth and family were the centerpiece of daily life. [PR Web]