Re: Lowering a hearth
Not sure what the current codes requirements of hearths are, but they are typically 3" or so higher than the surrounding area AND made of a non-combustible material. Before you change it, make sure that it is within legal requirements, otherwise you might find yourself in an expensive repair down the road when you have to sell the property.
As long as code allows the hearth to be the same height as the surrounding floor, then you'll have to chip up the tile and cement down to a depth that is consistent with the rest of the floor. You'll actually go a bit deeper, since you will have to include your finished surface thickness in what you remove. That is to say, if you go back with slate or tile, then you need to include the thickness of the tile in what you remove so that when the new materials are installed, they are flush with the wood floor.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!