Surround for wood stove ?????

zone_8grandmaJuly 27, 2008

We are planning to put in a wood stove in our lower level TV room. We already have the chimney and the air intake. The floor is concrete.


At our last home, the stove sat on tile and the tile cracked, so DH says "no tile". He also thinks that brick will eventually crack. I like the look of the cultured rock, but he says "how do you get the stove level on that surface?"

Can anyone offer suggestions for a surround? He's OK with tile on the walls, but adamant about not putting tile underneath.

Also, I'd like to raise the stove 203 inches - but wondering how you make a support for something that heavy?

Links to photos would be hugely helpful as he is very visually inclined.

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Tile and brick come with different weight-bearing capacities. If the stove you have in mind comes on 4 legs, and is very heavy, then you will put a lot of concentrated weight in a small area of the floor. This will increase the chances of breakdown of the floor material. However, if you place the 4 legs of the stove on top of something that will distribute the weight, for example, a thick slab of iron or steel, then you will eliminate the risk of breaking tile or brick. So you can have your tile or brick, but just put on the floor that thick slab of metal just large enough to fit under all 4 legs of the stove, and you're done.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 4:25PM
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203" HAS to be a typo. (are you planning to use a hydraulic lift or Manute Bol to load the stove?). ;)

Tile is fine as a support for a woodstove but you have to make sure the framing below the tile is up to snuff to support the tile and distribute the weight of the stove. Our woodstove weighs 550 lbs. (soapstone) and it sits on tile. We used 2x10s with cement board (possibly over plywood, we've forgotten) and we laid the tile over the cement board. Nothing has cracked in close to 10 yrs..

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 4:03PM
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203" HAS to be a typo. (are you planning to use a hydraulic lift or Manute Bol to load the stove?). ;)

Oops!!! I meant 2 OR 3 - thanks, Chelone :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 3:45PM
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Lol, did you get the answer to your question, Z8grama?

We have a hearth that is raised 11" from the plywood "subfloor" (we don't have finished floors in our home). We framed the hearth area appropriately and used cement board as the base for the tile. It was pretty easy, and the tile we laid is perfectly fine, showing no signs of cracking or buckling.

Make sure your "sub work" is strong enough to support the weight of the stove. Doing that is really easy!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 4:36PM
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We are definitely leaning towards tile because of the ease of laying it. I was told to stay away from ceramic tile, but was told that porcelain or slate tile would be strong enough.
It seems that we may need to extend the hearth area out beyone the alcove, so if we do that I want to raise it more than 2 or 3 (typing carefully LOL) inches. Probably closer to 6 or 8 inches. The air intake is 9 inches, so we can't go higher than that.

So I'm wondering how to make sure that we put enough support - 2x10's placed maybe 10" to 12" apart? Then cement board on top? Does that sound about right?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 9:44PM
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Sorry I'm late getting back to this question. I just checked with the "contractor" (the helpmeet) who built the hearth up.

It was raised and framed with 2x10s. The "stringers" (interior 2x10s) were placed less than 16" on center, whatever seemed to work best inside the allotted hearth area. Over that he put down plywood, 1/4" or 1/2" (couldn't remember exactly), and over the plywood went the cement board. We laid the ceramic tile over that.

Remember to seal the tile (if recommended) AND seal the grout so it won't be stained by the ashes. It was a nice way to make the stove more of a focal point in the room.

Our stove weighs 550 lbs. and there is no hint of cracking on any of the tiles. Our stove has a bottom heat shield on it, too, so the tile directly under the stove never gets anything more than just warm.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Thanks again. We are planning to do what you did. We found a heavy slate tile to use.

The owner of the store was out yesterday to preview the location and found no problems - so we've placed the order for the stove and will be getting started on preparing the raised hearth.
Thanks again

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:44PM
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We've been splitting and stacking wood this week. We are working on the wood for next year and beyond, as we have plenty ready to go for the coming heating season.

You are really going to enjoy your stove this winter. If you feel like it include a picture of the raised hearth, it would be fun to see it and your new stove. What type of stove have you decided to buy?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:59PM
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This is an update with a pic. We got a Leyden by Lopi. The tile job was a big job for us as we had no experience and we chose a heavy slate tile. Since it is naturally uneven, it was quite a challenge.

I'm happy it's done and we sure are enjoying the stove.
Thanks again, Chelone, for your suggestions and help. They were invaluable.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 3:24PM
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