If you're planning on installing a new custom fireplace, then you should start considering what type of stone you will use for the hearth. There are a wide variety of natural and synthetic stone choices available.
Once the stone is installed, it is very expensive to replace it. The stone will have to be removed from the backer board and masons will have to install a new hearth from scratch. This is labor intensive, time consuming, and extremely costly. This is why it's important to consider all your options ahead of time.
Here is a list of the stone options:
Brick is a classic choice. Brick looks beautiful and it works with most decors. If you like symmetrical, even design, then you will love brick. Each brick is the same size. Unlike natural stone, a brick design will look even and orderly.
Brick is also very versatile and there are many different patterns you can use. You can pick a pattern to match your parquet floor or outdoor brick walkways.
If you have a condo, or have a minimalist, modern décor, then you might want to consider marble as an option. If you have stainless steel, glass, and marble floors, then you might find that brick clashes with the design. Marble, however, works perfectly.
Marble has a very sleek and clean design. It can also be cut into uniform shapes such as brick. You can get different color marble. There are white, black, and pink marble options. They are smooth and easy to clean.
If you like the look of natural stone, then fieldstone is for you. These stones are not uniform in size. They each have a unique look. This makes them perfect for people who don't like the look of uniform stone. It is not flat, so if you want your fireplace hearth to have depth and texture, you will love fieldstone.
One advantage of fieldstone, compared to marble, is that it is not as expensive. The downside is that it is not very colorful. Fieldstone is not dark red like brick, or bright white like some marble.
A popular choice is artificial stone. This stone is manufactured to look like fieldstone, but it is much cheaper. Another advantage is that you can get it in different shades. If you want a light, sand colored look, you can have that. You can also get a darker, black stone. This makes it perfect for people who want to color coordinate their hearth with the rest of the room.