How to install a wood stove

TheStovefitter’s Tree of Knowledge will guide you step by step through the process of purchasing and installing a stove.

Tree of Knowledge

Infographics for a brick/stone chimney install

Choosing a stove

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If you have a chimney

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Chimney liner and measuring

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Sealing joints

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Purchasing Your Stove

Choosing your first wood burning stove can make you feel, at first, like the proverbial rabbit caught in front of the car headlights.
There are just so many to choose from.

Here at Stovefitter’s we test a lot of stoves. Yes, we actually test them, on a rig, in our office. Swapping stoves once a month during winter gives us a great of idea of what works and what does not work.

What size stove I need?

Wood or multifuel?

Do I need a DEFRA approved stove?

Should I buy a Chinese stove?

What does Ecodesign mean?

In this section we look at what you need to know before you choose your stove.

Installing Your Stove

Installation – First Thoughts

Before you buy your first log burner you need to know a few things.

Are you going to self-install or are you getting an installer in?

Can you legally DIY the project?

How much will it cost?

How to find an installer?

Fireplace Opening

Now we are getting into the DIY zone. This may still be worth a read even if getting an installer in but we do go into some serious fireplace renovation situations. Many UK homes have an old fireplace just screaming out for a modern eco design wood burner. Many fireplaces can be “opened up”, made larger to add character and enable a new wood burning stove to be installed. It is often cheaper to get a builder in for this work as stove installers charge much more per hour and it is usually the most time consuming part of the job. Or why not DIY it? Even if getting an installer in for the burner there is nothing to stop you giving them the smallest possible task to keep the bill down.

There is a certain romance towards wood stoves and fireplaces that many people can’t feel with gas or electric stoves. Aside from its aesthetically pleasing design, it also provides practicality in terms of efficiency and environmental concerns.

Their designs work best for burning wood more efficiently and cleanly than open fireplaces. Wood stoves are also one of the best alternatives for a traditional open fireplace at your home or cabin .

What is a Freestanding Wood Stove?

Simply put, wood stoves are metal cases that heat up to provide warmth for a room. Although it may sound simple, quite a few things are going on in today’s wood stoves. Due to their wood usage as a renewable fuel, wood stoves have an efficiency range of 90%, making them one of the best heaters.

Freestanding wood stoves are wood stoves that stand with legs or on pedestals. They are different from fireplace inserts because they stand inside of the fireplace.

Fireplace Insert vs. Freestanding Wood Stove

What makes a freestanding wood stove and a fireplace insert is a wood stove that you install into your fireplace. They are more efficient than standard fireplaces that make other rooms colder.

However, freestanding wood stoves are still more efficient at heat generation than fireplace inserts. Inserts also don’t have ash pans which can make ash removal time-consuming.

Fireplace inserts can have various costs up to $1000 to $4000 depending on the model. If you add the installation process, it can have an overall cost of up to $2000 to $5000.

Freestanding woodstoves, although harder to install, have larger capacities and are more cost-effective than fireplace inserts. Their prices range from $1000 to $2000, with installation costs that depend on the method of installation.

How to Install a Freestanding Wood Stove?

If you’re planning on installing a freestanding wood stove into your home, please take note that you will also need to plan for its ventilation. There are three ways to install a freestanding wood stove into your home.

Through the Wall

A through-the-wall installation is where you put the pipe from the stove through a wall. This wall may have an existing chimney that you can tap into for easier ventilation.

If you don’t have a chimney in place, you can purchase a factory-built chimney for an easy ventilation system. You can also choose to connect your pipe to a more cost-effective pipe chimney.

Chimney Above

With this method, you can install your freestanding wood stove inside your fireplace and connect its ventilation to the chimney above it. It’s one of the more common and better methods to save space and time during installation.

Rear-vented

You can also use a rear-vented installation method to put the ventilation pipe behind the freestanding woodstove and connect it to the old fireplace area. It would be best to consider this method if there is an existing covered-up fireplace with a chimney.

Overall, it would be best to choose an installation method that is cost-efficient and suited for your freestanding wood stove. Please note that you must also consider the safety of yourself and your home when installing a freestanding wood stove.

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How to install a wood stove

Yurts are a reflection of the beauty and simplicity of nature. Their rounded structure, illuminant lighting from the skylight, and open feeling can all put us more in touch with our natural surroundings. But in the winter, there’s no denying that some distance from the weather is necessary. Fortunately, with good yurt heating, these beautiful structures can be wonderfully cozy as well.

There are a number of ways to install yurt heating; almost any conventional method can be used. Many of our customers prefer wood stoves, others choose pellet or propane stoves, some use central heating or electric heaters, and some even put in radiant floor heating. If ductwork is required for any heating solution, it can be installed below the yurt floor.

In this post, we’d like to offer some expert tips for installing one of the more popular yurt heating solutions: a stove. Wood stoves are very common with yurt owners, but gas stoves work great too. We do recommend that a heating specialist be consulted with the installation of any heating solution and that local codes be checked before beginning.

A large, quality airtight stove puts out uniform heat over a long period of time. Yurt owners tend to agree that a yurt stove needs to be larger than what is recommended for a conventional room of the same size. The reason for this is that a yurt may have a little higher rate of heat loss than a conventional building, and yurts have a high ceiling making more cubic volume.

Steps to Installing a Yurt Stove

How to install a wood stove

The Base: Always install a stove on a fireproof base following the stove manufacturer’s guidelines for specific clearances from combustible surfaces. Make-up air for the wood stove may be provided through a vent in the floor adjacent to the stove if necessary.

Stovepipe Vent: We strongly recommend that the pipe for a yurt stove be installed through the wall rather than the ceiling. There are several reasons for this:

  • It makes for easy access to the chimney for regular cleaning and upkeep.
  • It minimizes the soot or ash that falls onto the roof, resulting in less maintenance for the yurt itself.
  • It means the stove placement can be along any wall and the open concept maintained.
  • A seal is easily achieved using our flashing kit.

Basic steps for adding the stovepipe vent:

  1. Pick a spot on the side of the yurt where prevailing winds will carry the smoke and ash away from the roof. With a woodstove, ideally this location is not too far from the door, so bringing wood in doesn’t require crossing the yurt interior with muddy feet, debris and extra steps. Then, cut the lattice wall using a hand saw leaving a diamond-shaped opening in the lattice wall.
  1. Center the six-sided interior flashing over the exit hole. Using a pencil, trace the flashing’s center hole onto the side cover (or sidewall insulation) and remove the flashing. This is where the insulated stovepipe will go through the wall. Using this circle as a reference, draw a larger circle with a radius that is 2″ larger. This is where the side cover will be cut so that none of the material is closer than 2″ from the insulated stovepipe. If your yurt has the Snow and Wind Kit you may need to adjust the circle to the left or right to maintain the 2″ clearance from the rafter supports.
  1. Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut and remove the (larger) circle of fabric.
  1. Attach the interior flashing to the lattice wall with the screws provided. Be sure to drill pilot holes first to avoid splitting the lath.
  1. Attach the (rectangular) exterior flashing in the same manner by screwing through the side cover (drilling pilot holes first) into the lattice wall making sure the opening is exactly lined up with the interior flashing’s hole. The top of the flashing should be slipped under the top cover valance (roof overhang) to act as a shingle for protection against leakage.

The Pipe: The stovepipe through the wall and any exterior piping should be Metalbestos pipe or equivalent insulated pipe that is rated at 2″ clearance from the nearest combustible surface. The Metalbestos system must be well supported and needs to have only a few inches of clearance from the side cover. A spark screen should be used at the top of the chimney.

The Exterior: The exterior chimney, made from insulated stovepipe, is typically supported by two 4×4 posts mounted next to the yurt. They should be 14″-16″ from the wall and 8″ apart. Dig a hole deep enough to provide stability, making adjustments for the height of the posts, soil conditions, and frost heave, and set the posts into concrete. The cleanout tee is a 90 degree section of pipe that includes cleanout access. This will be supported by a chimney wall support kit, which is a shelf made from sheet metal that bolts directly to the 4×4 posts. Attach the straight sections of chimney stovepipe onto the cleanout tee. The top section of pipe should include a chimney cap. The wall band is a metal strap that fastens around the chimney stovepipe and bolts to the 4×4 posts to secure the upper portion of the chimney, high enough to be fastened onto the uppermost section of piping.

How to install a wood stove

Direct Vent Gas Stove Piping: The installation procedure for a gas stove will be the same as with a woodstove, except the exterior chimney will not be necessary. Instead of a cleanout tee a gas stove will have a termination cap that mounts directly onto the exterior stove flashing.

To complete any heating system, ceiling fans are recommended by many yurt owners to circulate the heat inside of the yurt. To keep the heat in during the cold spells, we offer insulated window covers and recommend installing insulation under the floor & skirting around the perimeter of the platform.

For convenience and guidance, every Pacific Yurt comes with detailed instructions on how to vent the stove. While we love to offer these yurt heating tips and other installation guidance to our customers and friends, it’s important to note that our specifications are only guidelines. You are welcome to call us to discuss any concerns you have, but we often recommend contacting the local Fire Marshall and stove dealer as well.

It is important that the stove can be mounted where you want it. You have to be sure that the placing is in accordance with the legislation in the current country. Be especially aware of the the size of the stove and the distance to flammable materials. Convection stoves like the ones Aduro sells can typically be placed closer to flammable materials than radiant heat stoves.

Distance to combustible materials

If the stove is placed next to a brick wall or other inflammable materials, there isn´t any minimums demand to the distance. To make cleaning as easy as possible and to make the best use of the convection air, we recommend a distance of 5-10 cm to the wall.

If the stove stand next to flammable materials, the minimum distance to flammable materials has to be filfilled. If you look at this site under products, you can find the distance for Aduro stoves. If you don´t fell sure about the measurement, you can ask your dealer, your local authorities or your chimney sweeper. You and the one who might help you install the stove have full responsibility that the existing rules are kept. The chimney sweeper has to make an approval of the stove before use.

Notice: To be able to place a stove on flammable materials like a wooden floor or carpet, you need to place an inflammable plate between the stove and the floor. The size of the plate depends on the size of the stove. The plate has to be 30 cm bigger in the front and 15 cm to each side.

Connection to brick chimney

If the stove needs to be mounted to a brick chimney, you have to use an elbow rounded flue pipe with a diameter of 150 mm. When you have made the hole in the chimney, you place the wall sleeve into the chimney and make it airtight with mortar. Then you place the stove and mount the pipe. You can place a thin packagign between the pipe and the wall asleeve. he pipe has to reach 5-10 cm into the wall sleeve – but be aware that it doesn´t block the hole in the chimney.

The chimney’s placement

You can read more about the chimney’s placement and its importance, as well as the importance of proper chimney draft here.

Did you know.

that it is possible to increase your stove’s efficiency by 5-7%, if you choose a top exit and extend with a meter of uninsulated flue pipe. By doing this, you keep the heat in the room instead of leading it away into the chimney.

How to install a wood stove

It’s that time of year when home renovation projects are in full swing. Whether you’re trying to warm up your house for what’s left of winter, or planning ahead for next year, perhaps installing a wood-burning stove to warm your home more efficiently is on your wish list.

Thanks to Rick Vlahos, Executive Director of the National Fireplace Institute and Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Education Foundation, we have all the answers for you. Let’s just say, the step-by-step journey just got a whole lot easier, so you know exactly what you should do to start, how to find a professional, and the amount you can expect to pay to get the job done.

How to install a wood stove

1) Shop around to find the one you like.

“You are buying a piece of furniture. There is no answer to ‘What is the best stove?’ If you go to a Ford dealer and ask what he thinks about Chevy trucks, you can guess what he will say.

“The style and look of a stove that I like may be completely different than what you like. The safety and emissions testing new stoves have to go through are very intense. Any manufacturer that can meet the new standards probably makes a good stove, the rest is all about style.”

2) Choose a dealer you’ll be able to work with long-term.

“If you ever need service on a wood-burning stove, the manufacturer will refer you to the dealer that sold it. Due to liability issues, many dealers will only service stoves they sold. It’s not like a car that you can take to any dealer. People buy stoves from big box stores or over the Internet, and then they call us to try and find someone that will install or service it.

“There are times they have to call several installers before they will find one that will service or install a stove they didn’t sell. Beyond the liability issues, they may or may not know the idiosyncrasies of the stove you purchased, or they may or may not be able to get parts. Manufacturers will only sell parts and accessories to their authorized dealers.”

“Most dealers will offer to come out to the house to help you decide the best place. Some do this service from free, other may charge for it, and others may charge up front and then take the cost of the inspection off the purchase price. Whatever they charge, it is worth it. Stove location in the home is critical to make sure it performs properly.”

TIP: Ask your dealer to inspect your home for the best spot to put it, even if there’s a fee.

4) Find a reliable and knowledgable installer.

“You are not paying for what the installer does. You’re paying for what he knows—the fact that he can walk in to any situation and know the right choices to make. That is the real value of a professional installer.”

What Does the Cost Look Like?

How to install a wood stove

As with any installation, prices and fees will vary, depending on your style and the type of home in which it’s being installed. Thankfully, Rick was able to provide rough estimates for what you can expect to pay, based on common costs—you know, so you can budget accordingly.

Stove

Estimate: $1,000-$5,000

This goes back to his note above that, regardless of the price, you can rest assured all wood-burning stoves have passed a series of intense safety and emissions tests. The price, therefore, typically comes down to style and personal preference.

Chimney

Estimate: roughly $30 to $40 per foot

Since chimneys are priced by foot, it makes sense that one-story homes would be much less expensive than multiple story homes. Typically though, Rick points out, the average total ends up being between $500 and $800.

Installation

Estimate: roughly $500 to $1,000

While these are guestimates, you’ll want to get a full package price before you begin because, Rick notes, “Some [pros] charge full price for the stove, and discount the pipe and the installation. Others will discount the stove, and charge full prices for the pipe and installation.”

How Long Does Installation Take?

Usually, an installer can do one or two installations in a day, but the style of your home, the stove itself, and the number of installers working on the project will affect this timing.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Professional?

How to install a wood stove

Rick’s short answer: “We’re talking about building a fire in your living room!” For this reason alone, hiring a professional is non-negotiable. “While manufacturer clearances are very important the day you install the stove, they are even more important five to ten years down the road,” he adds.

In that number of years, the temperature at which a combustible (i.e. wood, paper on drywall, fabric, et cetera) will ignite lowers. Yes, really! Rick says, for example, “Wood usually burns at 450 degrees. [but] after five to ten years it may burn at temperatures as low as 250 degrees.” So, there’s no wiggle room for error in determining distance, adding necessary floor protection, and ensuring proper ventilation.

“There are very few questions that have black-and-white answers when it comes to wood burning. There are many shades of gray that will make a difference,” Rick concludes. In other words. don’t take the chance.

When we first moved into our house there was so much renovation work to do that it definitely didn’t feel like home at first. Over the past few months we’ve ripped out, removed and peeled away layers of the old and gradually replaced it with the new, and bit by bit it’s finally starting to feel more like a place we can call our own. To date the one thing that’s made it feel like home more than anything else we’ve done though is installing a woodburner.

A wood burning stove was pretty near the top of our wish list for the new house. They provide a focal point, create a sense of welcome and just somehow really give the house a heart, but when we first thought about fitting one we had lots of questions. What were the regulations on using them in built up areas? What work would we need to have done to done to the chimney and hearth to allow a stove to be fitted safely? Where could we find a qualified person to do it for us and how much would it cost?

We were also aware that there have been lots of stories in the media recently about air pollution control and new regulations governing the use of wood burning stoves, so we wanted to ensure that if we did fit one we chose a model that would cause the minimum amount of pollution and was designed to meet any future environmental regulations that might come into effect.

I’d read about the Arada Farringdon range as part of my initial research into fitting a stove. As well as having the kind of clean minimal styling I love all the stoves in the Farringdon range are also EcoDesign ready which means they are designed to meet the strict environmental standards woodburners will have to meet when the new legislation comes into effect, so I was delighted when Arada expressed an interest in working with me and offered to supply one of their beautiful stoves. Our new stove was fitted just before Christmas and it really has become the heart of our home. The temperatures have plummeted recently (it was -5 here in Warwickshire last night) and I am so happy we got one fitted. If you are thinking about installing one in your home here’s a step by step guide to some of the main things you need to consider.

Preparing the opening

If your home already has an old fireplace the first thing you’ll need to think about is preparing the opening.

Over time I have had many queries from potential customers who wanted to know what is involved when installing a wood burning stove.

This included a potential customer who asked me the very same question, before suggesting that I should put some photographs on my website so people could see what was involved when installing a stove.

The photo’s you are about to view are by one very pleased Caroline who made the suggestion in the first place and a big thank you from me, the photo’s look great.

Let’s get started ?

How to install a wood stove

No two jobs are exactly the same, but they usually start with some opening up of the chimney space or knocking out an old fireplace. You can see me here knocking out the original opening, which used to be home to a gas fire, and preparing it for a hearth and stove.

How to install a wood stove

Old gas fire plinth removed and ‘knock-out’ complete, with enough space made to lay the hearth, which is a regulated requirement and has minimum specifications. Next…

How to install a wood stove

Once all the debris is cleared the next step is to lay the hearth. This is an granite hearth, probably the most popular, but you could also have a tiled, slate, limestone hearth, I have even layed a coloured concrete hearth!

How to install a wood stove

Hearths have to be fitted to minimum specification as required by the building regulations. If in doubt consult a registered hetas installer.

How to install a wood stoveHow to install a wood stoveHow to install a wood stove

Now for the tricky bit: lining the flue. No chimney is straight and wriggling the liner down a chimney can be a bit a challenge sometimes, but with a bit of patience ….. .

For more information on flue liners CLICK HERE

How to install a wood stove

With the flue liner installed and the angle bead plastered in, the installation is really started to take shape now.

How to install a wood stove

Now that the opening has been finally rendered, the opening is very nearly complete….

How to install a wood stove

The next step is to fit the closure plate, this fit in the top of the fireplace opening and closes the bottom of the chimney, it also allows you to insulate the space around you flue liner, if you wish to. Here you can see me cutting the hole to fit the vitreous enamelled flue pipe though it.

How to install a wood stove

Next, to line the stove up with the flue liner and hole in the register plate, taking great care not to mark the newly layed hearth!

How to install a wood stove

Connecting the stove up to the flue line via the vitreous enamelled stove pipe and sealing it in is the last stage before testing the installation.

How to install a wood stove

With everything sealed and fully checked, it’s time for the stove’s first fire. This allows me to make final checks with a real fire in-place.

How to install a wood stove

One I am happy that the installation is free of any problems, it’s time to put the finishing touches, it this case a ‘floating’ mantel.

How to install a wood stove

Voila! another very happy customer.

Many thanks to Caroline for taking and allowing me to use her great photographs.

If you have any queries with your chimney stack, chimney pots small roofing jobs or guttering plus fireplace and or stove installations, please ask and don’t forget I am also a registered NACS chimney sweep, an important annual job that is all too often over-looked!

How to install a wood stove

Modern wood stoves are remarkably efficient and can heat a two-story home, if they meet the specifications of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Stoves of the past that don’t meet environmental standards release between 15 and 30 grams of smoke every hour. EPA-certified wood stoves produce 4.5 grams of smoke or less every 60 minutes. The reduced amount of smoke is an indication of how efficient the appliances are. The size of a stove also determines the amount of heat that can potentially be produced. It’s important to purchase a stove of the correct size, and the following are more things to consider when heating a two-story home with a wood stove.

Building and Fire Codes

Although wood stoves are versatile and can be installed near combustible materials, with the zero-clearance feature, certain safety requirements must be met at the time of installation. Local building and fire codes should be consulted and followed when installing a wood stove. Such standards involve such things as required wall clearance, pipe diameters, admissible levels of emissions, type of stove, and pipe extensions above the roof line.

Location

In a two-story home, wood stoves should be installed on the lower level, since heat rises. An air duct somewhere near the wood stove could be cut through the ceiling and the second-story floor, to allow air to pass directly upstairs. A fan and grate on the floor can be installed, to improve the flow of heated air. A nice benefit of adding this feature is that the upstairs floors get toasty warm in winter.

Hearth and Shield

A protective barrier should be installed on the floor beneath the wood stove and the wall behind. It usually looks best when the hearth and shield match. Thick masonry products such as stone or brick provide nice aesthetics as well as protection.

Chimney Pipe

The chimney pipe for a wood stove in a two-story house usually runs horizontally through an exterior wall about 1-to-2 feet above the stove. The pipe then runs vertically along the home exterior and extends above the roofline. Single-wall interior chimney pipes radiate heat and help to warm a room. Close-clearance pipes are safe for installation within a few inches from combustible materials, and they do not radiate heat. The pipes on the exterior are double- or triple-wall pipes.

Firewood

The type of wood you burn has a lot to do with the efficiency of your wood stove. The wood must be seasoned, which means that it should have low moisture content. Hardwoods burn longer and provide significantly more heat than a cord of softwoods. There are times when burning softwoods is the best choice, such as when you want a fire that gets hot quickly and also goes cold much more quickly, leaving no smoldering wood behind.

Operating a Wood Stove

To get a fire started in your wood stove: Light some tinder, such as newspaper or dryer lint; next, add kindling that is no more than 2” thick; wait for the kindling to burn down to make a bed of coals, and add two medium pieces of split wood. Adjust air valves so that they are closed halfway. Add more wood, as desired, to keep the fire going. Please note: A wood stove should not be left unattended.

How to install a wood stoveBuy a Modern Wood Stove

If you’re ready to lower your heating costs by investing in a wood stove for your two-story house, visit the fully-stocked showroom at Inglenook Fireplaces in Conifer, CO. There are always numerous hearth appliances in operation, making it easier to envision a new fireplace or wood stove in your home. Our experts will help you determine the best size and type of wood stove for your needs. Visit us today or call us at (303) 838-3612.

free beginner’s guide for installing wood stoves in small spaces. DIY wood stove installation is pretty basic if you follow manufacturer’s recommendations for clearances, use the properly rated flue pipe, and your flue exits the structure with the proper clearances from combustibles.

HOW NATURAL DRAFT STOVES WORK

One of the most important steps of a successful wood stove installation is a good flue design. Natural draft wood stoves don’t use fans or blowers to move air through the stove—the flue itself is the “engine” of your wood stove. The vertical movement of hot gases inside your flue system create a “draft,” which actively pulls combustion gases out of your stove, and pulls fresh air in through the air intakes. If you don’t have a good flue design, your draft will be weak, and your stove will burn inefficiently. You may see thick black smoke belching from your chimney or spilling into your living space, or you may find creosote clogging up your flue. Or if your flue design is especially bad, your stove may refuse to burn at all.

Wood stoves in small spaces can be especially sensitive to poor flue design. In addition to smaller stoves having less heat output to drive the draft, stoves in small spaces will usually have a relatively short flue system. Traditional construction usually requires flue systems to be no shorter than 15 feet from the fire to the chimney opening. That distance in a tiny house may be around 10-12 feet total, while a flue system installed in a van may be as short as 5 feet with a detachable chimney deployed. Small stoves with shorter flue systems can draft well, but they need to be well designed since they’re already at a disadvantage when compared with taller traditional construction.

GOOD FLUE DESIGN

In general, you’ll get the best draft out of a flue that’s taller, straighter, better insulated, and extends a couple feet higher than any other point on the structure. If your structure is relatively airtight, connecting the stove’s air intake to an outside air supply can help ensure there is adequate air supply for the stove.

Using insulated pipe and keeping as much of the flue inside the heated envelope of the structure as possible will keep your flue gases hot and moving. Elbows and horizontal sections slow down flue gases, so they should be used sparingly or avoided if possible.

Residential code typically requires the chimney opening to be 3 feet above the roof line, or 2 feet above anything within 10 feet. That keeps the chimney far enough above the roof to prevent wind from creating backdrafts, and helps keep sparks from igniting combustible materials on the roof. For tiny structures with pitched roofs, that usually means the chimney cap needs to be 2 feet above the roof peak, since the entire structure is usually within 10 feet of the chimney. Planning the flue to penetrate the low side of the roof and including a detachable chimney can help avoid problems with height restrictions for tiny houses, RVs, vans, and other structures that move.

WHERE TO PLACE YOUR STOVE

The living room area is the most popular place to install a wood stove, somewhere you can view the fire while seated. If you’re going to be using the stove for cooking, the kitchen might also be a good candidate. Consider whether the stove should have its back to the wall, or if installing it an an angle makes more sense for your space. You may want to use optional long legs, a wood storage stand, or build a custom cabinet to elevate your stove off the floor for better fire viewing or easier cooking.

When I installed our first wood stove in our Airstream, our son Ryder was a toddler. I built a platform for the stove to sit on so that he couldn’t accidentally fall into it, and used a movable bench as a barricade to allow him to move around freely without the danger of accidentally touching the stove. If you’ll have very young children in your home, it’s a good idea to think through how you might keep them away from the stove so that you don’t have to play goalie whenever they’re toddling around. By 5 or 6, most children have the reasoning skills to know not to touch the stove, and the balance to avoid it without a barricade, but you should always supervise young children around a hot stove.

In a tiny house, it’s best to avoid installing the stove under a loft area, since that complicates the flue installation. For a roof exit to pass through a loft or attic area, you’ll need to use insulated pipe for everything above the first ceiling penetration, and build a chase around the pipe to enforce clearances in the loft area. The alternative is to use a wall exit, which is not ideal due to the sharp turns, horizontal section, and the majority of the flue being located in the cold outdoors. Wall exits can work for 4” and larger flue systems, but they should be used only as a last resort.

BUILDING A SAFE ZONE

Prior to installing your stove, you’ll need to build a safe zone for your stove to sit inside of. This zone consists of hearth of proper size and thickness, proper clearances to combustible materials, and (in some cases) heat shields.

Make sure you have enough room for the stove plus the required clearances. Most people in tiny spaces use some heat shielding, which can reduce clearances by up to ⅔. Be sure to read the stove manufacturer’s directions on clearances and using heat shields, since not all stoves require the same clearances, and not all heat shield designs reduce clearances by the same amount. Most people use a sheet metal or cement board heat shield with 1” air space behind and around the perimeter of the shield. I’ve seen beautiful laser-cut steel heat shields, hammered copper, tile, polished All-Clad aluminum, salvaged tin sheeting, and too many other heat shield materials to name. There are countless options to fit any aesthetic. Ceramic or metal spacers are available for attaching this type of heat shield to a wall, and the free air flow behind the heat shield is very effective at reducing required clearances.

Your stove will need to sit on a fireproof hearth. Depending on how hot the bottom of the stove gets, the hearth may need to provide some insulation, or it may just need to protect the floor from embers. It’s important that the hearth extends far enough in front of the stove to protect the floor from embers that could fall from the door when you open it. If the stove is on a platform, consider where embers would land if they fell out of the door, and ensure that area is covered in a noncombustible material like metal or tile.

Need more help planning your stove installation? Check out our free guide about wood stoves in small spaces, or contact us for help with specific questions. We don’t just sell wood stoves—we actually live in tiny spaces and heat with wood ourselves, so we know how to help with your project. Whether you’re planning on using one of our stoves or not, we’d love to hear from you.

Last year, I installed a diesel heater which I’ve only used to warm and dry up the shower cabin. When the temperatures dropped below 15 degrees Celsius at the end of October, I had to use the heater more often. The fan was quite distracting. The hot air that was blown out of the diesel heater didn’t really create a comfortable environment, either. As I was planning to spend a little more time in Germany this winter, I started looking for a wood stove that would create a more comfortable environment in my van.

Picking the right stove

I read about a few people who installed the Cubic Mini wood stove that was designed for boats, small cabins and RV’s. Apart from the expensive price and not being available in Germany, I didn’t like that the mini stove only fitted 14cm long logs. The wood sold by German woodmen is usually cut into 33cm logs. I ended up buying a camping stove from a Finish manufacturer. The stove was built out of stainless steel, light-weight and big enough to fit at least two big 33cm logs.

How to install a wood stove

Building the chimney

As the stove’s flue tube got very hot when I tested it, I built an insulated pipe sleeve out of ceramic fiber and a 150mm hot-dip aluminized steel pipe.

How to install a wood stove

I mounted the pipe sleeve inside the van to protect the insulation and the wooden ceiling.

How to install a wood stove

I adhered the ceramic fiber all the way through the roof,

How to install a wood stove

and finally covered it with a heat-resistant silicone adapter that prevents water seeping down the flue tube.

How to install a wood stove

The flue tube can easily be removed and covered with a plastic cap while driving.

How to install a wood stove

Building heat shields

Before installing the stove into my van, I throughly tested its behavior under extreme conditions to get a sense about the heat it produces.

How to install a wood stove

The stove and parts of the flue pipe started glowing and emitted a lot of heat when intensively stoking it. To prevent the wooden walls in my van from catching fire, I built some heat shields.

How to install a wood stove

The aluminum construction reflects the heat and protects the floor, wall and the bed from over heating. Even when the stove gets really hot, the aluminum remains relatively cold.

How to install a wood stove

The flue pipe also required a heat shield. I used two perforated aluminum plates and a thin aluminized ceramic fiber mat. After performing several tests, I came up with a construction consisting of multiple layers that partly surrounded the flue pipe to reflect all the heat into the van.

How to install a wood stove

I intensively stoked the stove for more than an hour. While the air in my van became unbearable hot, I was still able to touch the outer heat shield which was only slightly warm. I definitely feel comfortable hanging clothes and towels behind the heat shield. They really don’t get hot.

How to install a wood stove

Improving the air circulation

The air above the table became warm really quick. However, the air below the table remained cold and took a very long time to warm up. I solved the problem by installing a fan above the stove. The motor of the fan is powered by a Peltier device that serves as a thermoelectric generator. The fan silently blows warm air below the table as soon as the flue tube warms up and automatically turns off when the pipe cools down. There’s no external battery required.

How to install a wood stove

Insulating the doors

So far, I’ve insulated everything but the doors. Although I regularly aired the whole van, I still observed a lot of condensed water after using the stove when the temperature outside dropped below 5 degrees Celsius. After thoroughly insulating the doors, I couldn’t observe any condensate any more.

How to install a wood stove

Using the stove

I’ve been using the stove almost every day for about a month and am really happy with the outcome of this project! The stove creates a really cozy heat.

How to install a wood stove

The foldable handles on the side of the stove are perfect for drying the wood before burning it. I really enjoy cooking with the stove.

How to install a wood stove

I also use the stove to boil water in a little tank that nicely fits around the flue pipe.