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Definition: Hearth

Made from brick, stone, or tile, a hearth is the area in front of a fireplace that acts as a buffer between the fire and the floor. Hearths are designed to prevent sparks and ash from escaping into the room.

They can be purely functional — say, simply a brick floor that extends out from the fireplace — or wildly decorative, with inlaid tile designs and wooden mantles. Used often in the expression "hearth and home," the hearth has also come to symbolize family life.


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