We currently have an old franklin style wood stove that we would like to replace in the near future. It was in the house when we bought it about 3 years ago. It is hooked up to an 8" chimney. The hearth is brick and measures 37"x49". We would like to put a new stove in the corner but I don't know how that would work with the existing chimney. I think installing a new chimney is going to be cost prohibitive at this time. The house is about 2200 square feet but the wood stove is on the second of five levels which includes the stove room kitchen and dining room. Basement is below wood stove level. Half story between basement and wood stove level is the living room level. Half story above the wood stove level are three bedroom and a bathroom. And half story above that is another bedroom and an office. I know... confusing.... The house has average insulation in walls and new windows were installed 2 years ago. Attic is under insulated (4" of some sort of loose fill insulation) and is one of the next projects on the list. Our heating situation.... we have a 4 zone oil fired boiler with 3 zones of finned tube baseboard and an indirect domestic water heater. Also have a pellet stove installed in the living room level. Last year was our first year with the pellet stove and we burned 2.5 tons of pellets and were a lot warmer than the previous years using the oil fired boiler. We would still use the pellet stove as our primary heat but want a more efficient and safer wood stove. We usually burn a little more than a cord in the franklin wood stove. I'd love a stove that could provide a sufficient amount of heat so we wouldn't need to use the pellet stove or oil fired boiler but also could be run on "low." So, what are my options with the chimney routing if we do extend or replace the hearth and install a new stove in the corner? Would it even be possible? It certainly would look funny I would think but would it be possible until we could replace the chimney? What are my options if we reuse the existing hearth and chimney? Are there any decent affordable stoves that would work with the existing hearth size and an 8" chimney? Or is it possible to use any stove that wants a 6" and just put a damper in the interior stove pipe? What other options do I have? I also included a picture of the brickwork condition behind the stove. Do you think this is some sort of fire rated board behind the lower portion of brick? It only goes up 48" above the floor.