anyone have a tulikivi?

dab07September 14, 2007

just wondering. we got one 5 years ago, retrofitted into our 1968 house. it's the tall, 7' model, dividing the kitchen from the living room. we love it, we grill and bake in it in winter occasionally, and it heats well. (one downside is that if you're grilling meat, it tends to splatter, and we have a couple of grease splatters on the outside to show for it.)

but at the time i didn't think of how it would go with the rest of the house, design and color wise. i'm redoing the kitchen soon and i'm trying to decide if i should try to incorporate it's looks (i.e., dark stone countertops) or just kind of do the kitchen the way i originally envisioned (maple butcherblock)... it also isn't a great match with the orangy cherry floors we have.

anybody have anything to share about living with their tulikivi?

i'm just kind of thinking out loud....

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dixielogs

OK,

first, we are dealers for Tulikivi, but, that said, we love ours and it is similar to yours. We are putting in soapstone counters to tie it all in.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:17PM
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dino69

We have a Tulikivi. The 2200 model, except we added an extra course to the top to make it taller, it is six feet tall, and benches around the bottom for sitting.

Ours is used as a room divider between the kitchen and living room also. I hope to start cooking and baking in it this winter. We have only been in the house for about 10 months.

I love how it heats. Although it took me a while to get past the fear of over heating the stone. I was not even close to doing any damage. Now I HEAT it up good!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:50PM
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woodinvirginia

I loved the Tulikivi, till I found out about the price $$$.

Then I fell out of love with it.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 8:30AM
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chelone

Soapstone is fabulous. It's handsome, and it stores heat.

No way could we afford a Tulikivi, along with a more conventional heat/hot water delivery system. So... we opted for a 5 zone, forced hot water system (oil fired), and purchased a soapstone woodstove.

Tulikivis are GORGEOUS, but not practical for many people, alas. So much of the design is dependent on the architecture of a home... not every one is "into" open concept floorplans.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 1:55PM
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dab07

I forgot I'd posted this. Nice to see a couple of other Tulikivi owners. Chelone, yes, unfortunately they are expensive. But we don't spend money on lots of other things, and when we put an addition on our house, I wanted to heat it in an environmentally low-impact way. I know what you mean about the open floorplan, too. I seem to be the only person in America that prefers individual, discreet rooms. We did have to cut out a chunk of our LR/kitchen wall for this.

We do love it every time we light it up, and so do our cats. I LOVE to use the bake oven. Even if I don't make a special fire in it, the residual heat from the firebox is enough to let me bake up a pumpkin so I can puree it. I LOVE just opening the door and having the heat be there.

And if any of us are under the weather, we pull up a couch and a quilt and nap right next to it. It's like a big pet.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 1:38AM
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razl

I'm looking into these as well as other masonry stoves for a new construction in the Northeast (RI). We currently use geothermal but I'm intrigued by this type of heating. I was wondering if you guys could share some info:

1. What do you get for burn time, 2-3 hrs?
2. How many fires do you light in a week during the heating season?
3. How many cords do you use in a heating season?
4. House specs (sqFt, style, location, etc.)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 9:01AM
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dixielogs

I am not in the Northeast, but in the Carolina mountains. Last winter, our next door neighbor who has a similar size house had monthly heating bills of $300-400 and he and his wife are rarely home.

OTOH, we always have someone at home and used $0 electric or gas heat. We burned just under 2 cords of wood in our Tulikivi and used it as our sole heat source. We use as a rule of thumb, if the high temp for the day stays under 40-50, we will probably do a morning and an evening fire. Today, since it will hit 60, we will only need 1 fire. If the temp drops below freezing for more than about 4 hours, we will do two fires. YMMV

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 11:34AM
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razl

That is unbelievable! I can see why you love it. We use geothermal which is better than oil or gas heat but the Tulikivi is something else. Good for you!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 9:17PM
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chelone

I would like to hear some discussion about the necessity of "open concept" homes. How adaptable is the "thermal mass" stove to the renovation of an old, "historically significant" home? A home that community zoning requires be "maintained" in its "historical" context. How much will it cost the owner to retrofit that home?

You will get no arguement from me about the efficiency and beauty of the thermal mass stoves. Not at all! but they are really for those with contemplating new construction, methinks, or SADLY, those with very deep pockets!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 2:38PM
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mdhowes

Hi
My spouse and I are the proud owners of a new Tulikivi Stove.
I would very much like to hear from others more on the risk of overheating our new unit.
My question.
Is Tulikivi placing limits on wood burning for the protection of the soapstone? Or is the maximum stated because any wood burning after this point is wasted fuel?
We very much love sitting in front of our stove (sometimes for hours) and would like to think we can stoke it up right until bedtime without worry.
Do any others out there burn more than the limits in question?
Mitch Howes
Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 10:01AM
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dixielogs

Mitch,

Which model do you have? the Tulikivi is designed with an inner core that expands as it is heated and is totally separate from the outer stone. It is important not to over heat the stone as they can crack. We had a decorative stone crack on a customer's unit because the workers were using it like a trash fire pit and kept throwing stuff in it all day long. It really does need to go through cycles. My husbands favorite new toy is a digital laser thermometer from Costco which he uses to measure stone temp after the fire is out.

Chelone,
Many of the ones we have installed are but into existing homes. You do have to support the weight, of couse. You do not have to have an open floor plan for these to work. The Tulikivi will warm the walls and other items of mass which will in turn radiate through. Many people thing that they need to put one through the wall in order for the heat to reach both rooms. However, in reality we have found that those who put them against a wall find that the heat radiates through the wall around the Tulikivi (not directly behind the unit as there is a heat shield) and will warm the next room.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 11:44AM
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mdhowes

Thank you for your response Dixielogs.
We have the new TU 2200 4SA. I am heating it up right now. It is snowing heavily here on the Island and I think a fire and a good read are in order. It weighs around 3900 lbs I think.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 4:34PM
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chelone

Thanks for your reply.

Do the Tulikivis allow for multiple accesses to the firebox or multiple fireboxes that can be fed from different rooms?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 4:17PM
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kristens

We moved into our house last February and it has a beautiful black Tulikivi. Unfortunately, the previous owner didn't insulate it properly and we are unable to use it because of the fire hazard. So we are ready to sell it, even though we loved it before finding out we shouldn't be using it.

Anyone interested? We live in Western Massachusetts.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 7:28PM
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chelone

Unhuh!

Kristens, there is something wrong with what you wrote. Tulikivis are HUGE, heavy, massive stoves. You don't "move them", and since they require professional installation I doubt if it wasn't "installed properly". And I doubt they come in "black" unless soapstone is available in black (maybe it IS).

Maybe I'm wrong, though.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 7:56PM
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kristens

This one is big, but not HUGE. About 5 to 5 1/2 feet tall. It will definitely be a production to get it out. The last owner was a mason and installed it himself. It is black, or maybe you'd call it dark gray? The chimney sweep who inspected it said it was in good shape.

Does that help?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 8:16PM
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dixielogs

maybe you could do the needed repairs? not sure what you mean about it not being insulated properly unless they put it against a wall without a heat shield.

Chelone,
many of the units are open on both sides and can be placed into a wall so as to provide access from each room.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 10:13AM
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nhyankee

kristen pending a converstion with my wife, I'm interested in seeing what you have. I live in central NH. Click on my name and send me a message regarding how to contact you.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 1:30PM
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chelone

If the units are open on both sides do the openings access the same firebox or seperate ones?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 5:21PM
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dixielogs

the openings access the same fireboc. Here are photos of the same unit through the wall first the great room side, then the bedroom side

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 8:11AM
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chelone

Can you access the same chimney flue but have different fireboxes, say, on different floors of the house?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 8:25PM
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dixielogs

you cannot share the flue but you can put two flues into one chimney framed area, side by side

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 10:48AM
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chelone

Interesting. Not the same thing as "code" for woodstoves in my community.

Thanks for your replies!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 11:10AM
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dixielogs

probably because most woodstoves use single-wall pipe and with the Tulikivi we use a double-wall insulated pipe

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 8:23PM
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nhyankee

Chelone I think Dixielogs is referring to two flues in a chimney chase while I think you are talking about two appliances on the same flue which is against most codes.

I was able to find some information in the link below about some masonry heater design from Russia which has a setup for a firebox on each floor. I'm not sure how it would stand up to our code system but it is interesting. A warning, the writing is a bit technical and dry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Multi-story masonry heaters

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 3:54AM
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dixielogs

OK, temps around here have now hit the point where we are going to do 2 firings of our Tulikivi, one in the morning and one at night.

Lows have been around 20-25 and the highs are about 40. House cooled down to 62 at night with only one fire a day so we are going to be doing a second fire for those we were interested.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 9:22AM
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chelone

It is perfectly within code in my town and my state to have 2 stoves share a common flue. It is against code to have a woodstove "share" a flue with a boiler or furnace. We just built a garage with a two flue chimney (furnace and woodstoves) so I know it is within code to do so. It wouldn't have passed inspection otherwise.

Thanks for the link you provided. It will be interesting for me to read it carefully when I have more time.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 10:24AM
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practicalgirl

We are getting ready to install a Tulikivi into new construction (DH's baby) and I still have an opportunity to select finish for oak flooring (i was thinking just finishing it natural with no stain) and kitchen cabinets, counters etc. I noticed the post about cherry floors not looking the best and was wondering if folks had any pics or ideas of the best woods and finishes that really look great with soapstone? All our doors and trim will be painted since the Tulikivi was a bit of a budget buster. Thanks for any insights!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 8:38AM
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dab07

I don't have pictures at the moment but I'll see if I can take some. I was the OP seven years ago. We've since remodeled our kitchen with pale stone-look porcelain tile floors. One-foot wide soapstone floor tiles surrounds the Tulikivi on all sides, visually easing it into both the kitchen floor and cherry living room floor. It's quite compatible - the soapstone, cherry and stone color floors are all natural, neutral colored materials and go nicely together.

It was expensive to buy, but we've paid twice as much for the two cars we've run into the ground since I posted this thread, and the 13 year-old Tulikivi seems like it'll last forever. Our hot water heating system also cost a lot to install, and the boiler has needed a lot of costly service. Viewed this way, the Tulikivi's long term investment makes sense, if you can manage it.

The number of cords we go through varies a lot with the temperatures, of course. In a mild winter we might go through 3 cords. In a winter with a lot of days in the 20s we might go through 5. Our house is two storeys, 3000 sq. ft., fairly well insulated, but not superinsulated. If the outdoor temperature is in the high 40s or higher, we might only light one big fire a day. Below that we make two. Even in the coldest weather it manages to heat both floors to 62 degrees. Within 20 feet of the Tulikivi it's much warmer, but in the hall and rooms at the back of the house it's about 62. At those times we usually turn on the hot water heaters. Unfortunately the original house was built with lots of separate rooms, each heated by electric heat, so it's not laid out efficiently for a centralized heat source.

We do love it, love having a fire, and it's a lot lower maintenance than a regular woodstove. But if I were to do it over I might go with a heat pump, ground-source or otherwise because it's more efficient and generates less CO2 than wood burning. Or so I believe!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2014 at 1:34PM
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