We are building a new home and want to install an open fireplace in the main living area. We have an area 2.5m wide and have built the back and sides in the same bricks the house in built from. We were planning to have a red sandstone surround (again the same as the coins/lintels/door surround etc. etc. as the house), but are unsure regarding the hearth. I think it will look silly to introduce a third material and so was planning to have the same sandtone as a hearth. I have been told we would need to have the stone tiled and not as one slab to withstand the heat - but am not sure if it will stain badly from an open fire? Is there a treatment that can be put on to stop this? Does anyone have any other suggestions which may help?