Question: My question: There was a very old, rebuilt Defiant in the house I bought seven years ago. It has been our main heat source. I have been very happy with it, but the time has come to replace it (it has cracked too many firebacks). In the course of looking for a new stove, I have become aware that the Defiant was improperly installed. (I bought the house from someone I know and unfortunately assumed they would not have a stove that wasn't installed right.) It sits 4" off the floor, catycorner, on a platform covered with an unknown kind of tile. The walls are also tiled, but the tiles appear to be cemented onto drywall (no spacers). The back has a heat shield and is 32" from the back corner of the hearth. The clearance from the back right hand corner is 10" and from the front right hand corner is 22". The clearance from the back left hand corner is 13" and from the front left hand corner is 32". From what I can determine from the owner's manual, these clearances should have been 36". How can I determine if the walls have been damaged? My new stove will require less clearance and is being installed by the dealer, so my major concern is with the present condition of the walls. Answer: I doubt that anything is wrong with the walls. The heat shield on the rear of your stove probably kept a lot of the direct radiation off the wall. However, if you are really concerned, the only way to know for sure would be to inspect the wood studs inside the wall. You may be able to do this from the other side of one of the wall by cutting a small hole..or, you'd have to remove a tile or two from the stove side. If the wood looks fairly normal, then it's OK. If it's completely black and charcoalized, then you should be concerned. When wood dries out like this over a long period of time, the combustion temperature of it is lowered. My guess is that everything will be fine.