I spent the two years before my wood stove purchase deciding where to put it. (I had no money for the stove, so a lot of time to dwell on it) Anyway, I went back and forth on the up and downsides of each as most people seem to. On the main level, I can watch the fire, but it might be too hot. In the basement, I can't watch the fire and the heat might not make it upstairs. I have a raised ranch and took a gamble that the wide two way staircase combined with an uninsulated ceiling in the basement would allow the warm air to come up to the main level. It took awhile to get the hang of burning a soapstone stove, and I'm still not getting the burn times that I would like, but I am SO GLAD I put it in the basement. This puppy would have driven me out of the room for sure. I keep my main floor at 60 degrees. Tonight with the stove on, the main floor thermostat reads 68. I just thought I'd through my experience out there if anyone is currently going through that same dilemma of stove placement. Incidentally, its a Hearthstone Heritage, supposedly heats up to 1800 sq ft. My main level is 1200 and basement is 800. Heat doesn't make it to the other end of the house where my bedrooms are, but I like those colder anyway, so it doesn't matter to me. I'm loving this soapstone stuff. I can't wait until next season when I have actual well seasoned wood and don't embarrass myself by lighting the occasional smoker. Picture me flipping off the oil company now.