I am a bricklayer that cannot lay brick any longer, due to a disability. The proper methiod for the hearth for the wood stove should be as follows: First, determine if the concrete slab is thick enough for the weight that you want to put on it. For up to about 3 bricks thickness of the hearth, 3.5 inches of concrete should be enough. The next step is to lay out the perimeter of the hearth.It should be laid out so the bick will work out with sny odd sized cuts in it. Once this is done, the perimeter should be laid, tooled, and brushed. After this, the interior should be filled in with brick, block or rubble, anlong with some mortar top fill the thing solid. At this point, if it has not been already decided, the pattern of the floor of the hearth needs to be determined(running bond, basketweave, fishbone, herringbone, etc.). Now the outside edge should be laid(this is called a rollock). Now the floor(or cap) should be laid, tooled and brushed. If the hearth is only going to be one brick high, lay out the perimeter of the hearth, lay the rollock, and then lay the floor. While laying the toop, where the pattern is, the head and bed joinmts should not be filled in. Let the bricks set, then the next day, tuck-point the joints, tool and brush. If you need more information, please e-mail me. Thank you.