[heading]How to: Prepare a Fireplace for the installation of a wood burning stove.[/heading]

Fireplaces are for me the most important part of the home. A fireplace that is designed and installed correctly will provide many years of trouble free low cost heating. This article has been written to help answer some of the questions that arise when preparing a fireplace for the installation of a log burner.

Fireplace planning

When looking to install a log burner or woodburning stove  its important to know what size log burner is required.  There are two consideration that should be made when choosing the correct size stove for a fireplace.#

[heading]What size of wood burner will physically fit in the aperture.[/heading]

Don’t forget you will need to check the manufacturers installation instruction to see what clearances are required around the stove.  Normally these are broken down into two classifications.

  1. Distance to combustible material i.e. wooden fireplace or oak beam
  2. Distance to non-combustible i.e. fireplace cheeks or brick sides.

Obviously in a fireplace the distance to combustibles is most important as if this is too close it will almost certainly become a fire hazard.

Stylish fireplace with stove installed
Stylish fireplace with stove installed

[heading]What size of wood burner will you need to heat the space.[/heading]

In order to calculate the KW of heat required to heat a space you can click here Its worth mentioning that you should always choose a burner that is overpowered by about 30%. A fireplace stove should be run quite hot to avoid slumbering but not at its maximum so as to damage the construction.

Its worth mentioning here that any stove over 5kw requires the fitting of an airbrick. Many people are now choosing to stick to stove under 5KW due to the draughts that can be caused through installing a airbrick.

OK so you have chosen a wood burning stove that fits the fireplace, provides enough heat, and of course fits with your taste. What next?

[heading]Fireplace Hearths[/heading]

Many materials can be used for a fireplace hearth but first its back to those woodburner installation instructions to check an important piece of information. Many stoves are now certified to sit directly on a 12mm hearth. This is because the temperature underneath the fireplace stove is less than 60 degrees. Vesta Stoves are all certified for installation on a 12mm hearth.

Many of our customers use 12mm tiles for the base of the fireplace however stone is a personal favourite and a fireplace hearth can be made relatively low cost. If your stove hasn’t got 12mm hearth certification then unfortunately a constructional hearth must be built and this can incur  a substantial cost.

[heading]Flue position[/heading]

Fireplaces usually have a flue located somewhere towards the back of the aperture. Again its important to check the installation instruction for your stove so that you can check that the flue is located were it can be sighted directly under the flue way.  [heading]Dont forget[/heading] That fireplace stoves require clearance at the back also so if you getting confused by now give us a call on 01704 821095 and we will do the calculations for you!

Fireplaces that have offset flue’s may need to be connected with offsets such as 45 degree bends. Again we are well used to specifying this part of the fireplace so probably save some time and give us a call.

A nice example of a double sided fireplace

[heading]Fireplace construction[/heading]

When lining the chamber of the fireplace a suitable material should be used.plasterboard is not suitable as it is not only classified as a combustible material it will also not stand up to the heat inside the fireplace.

Materials such as cement board should be used for the side cheeks to ensure that cracks will not appear after months of use. We normally design our fireplaces with either brick linings or were the bricks of the fireplace are not decorative they can be rendered with fireplaster.

[heading]Fireplace help and advice[/heading]



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