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Can I Install A Wood Burning Stove In My Fireplace?

November 28, 2011

Answer: yes however it depends on the fireplace (read below) Wood-burning stoves are extremely popular in today’s market, and many homeowners would like to fit a wood-burning stove into an existing fireplace. Although this sounds like a simple change of appliance, there are many considerations and limitations that you should know about. The article below will outline the most important facts that you should be aware of: 

Fireplaces for stoves and open fires:

1. The majority of fire surrounds are designed for gas electric inset fires. However these fire surrounds are often not suitable for wood-burning stoves

2. A fire surround for a wood-burning stove must be manufactured from noncombustible materials such as marble, granite, slate or stone

3. The fireplace hearth (bottom section of fire surround) must be cut and rejoined, in order to create expansion joints and are looking to disperse without the risk of cracking the hearth. This process is often referred to as “slabbing” (technical term)

4. It is advisable to have the fireplace hearth manufactured from Slate, Granite or stone as these materials are much stronger than marble

5. Marble fire surrounds are not suitable for wood-burning stoves or solid fuel applications if there is any direct heat on the marble surface. Marble surrounds can be adapted for use with solid fuel fires by lining the inside chamber when the fire recessed with fire resistant materials such as bricks or vermiculite board (a fire resistant board) 6. Timber or wood fire surrounds are not suitable for use with wood-burning stoves for any solid fuel applications if there is any direct heat from the fire near the timber (because wood is a combustible material)

In summary:

1. It is possible to fit a wood burner in your existing fire surround if the fireplace hearth (bottom day section fireplace) is made from noncombustible materials and is suitable for a solid fuel wood burning fire (hence hearth needs to be cut and rejoined and suitable to withstand the heat)

2. If you’re purchasing a new fire surround for a wood burner, that it is important and you clearly read the specifications of the fire surround and ensure that it is suitable for a wood-burning fire or stove, as many fire surrounds will not be suitable as stand