My hearth and Hearthstone Phoenix stove

colsmith Posted By colsmith, Feb 3, 2007 at 5:52 AM

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  1. colsmith

    colsmith
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    Apr 11, 2006
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    I have been meaning to post a photo for a long time. I am not what you'd call a skilled laborer, so I am proud of how lovely our hearth is, because we built and tiled it ourselves. The tiles we bought mostly in Turkey and Mexico. It was a tricky job because the tiles are many different sizes, plus I had never done anything with ceramic tile before. The hearth is quite high up, so that mucking about with the fire doesn't involve bending over except to pick up the wood underneath. Storage for 2.5 - 3 days of wood underneath the hearth. We sometimes use the hearth like a table when we aren't burning.
     

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  2. njtomatoguy

    njtomatoguy
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    Jun 20, 2006
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    SPECTACULAR!

    Very nice job on the tiles!
     
  3. Marty

    Marty
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    Jul 11, 2006
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    I love it!
    You should think about doing some tileing on the corner walls if you have the inclination. I bet that would look great as well.

    Did you get those tiles from an importer or go to the source?
     
  4. MrGriz

    MrGriz
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    Oct 11, 2006
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    Looks great! I like the idea of raising the hearth that high, I bet it makes starting and feeding the fire much easier.

    Stay warm, it looks like we've got the cold and wind for the next week or so.
     
  5. Harley

    Harley
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    Apr 11, 2006
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    Very impressive!! great job.
     
  6. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy
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    Jan 23, 2006
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    thats probably the most unique hearth pad i have seen. Nice work.
     
  7. Roospike

    Roospike
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    Now that is one HOT look-n corner. ;-)
     
  8. colsmith

    colsmith
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    Apr 11, 2006
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    Since you are so sweet and complimentary, let me show you a little detail of some of the tiles up one side, so you can see the little ones better and tell me how lovely they are. :) The really small ones are all from Mexico. The hummingbird tile cost as much as any dozen of the other ones, it is from the National Wildflower Research Center outside of Austin, TX. The sort of sad thing is that about a month ago we found a few gorgeous tiles from Turkey that we should have put in the hearth, but we couldn't find them a year ago when building the hearth. Hubby had thought there were a few more, but we've had them since 1993, so it was hard to be sure, and a relief to finally use them. We do intend to put some tiles up behind our kitchen stove, so that when jam spatters we can clean it off the walls. I make a lot of jam, and those hot spatters just don't come off plaster very well. They would wipe off tile just fine, though.

    P.S. It is -10 right now here, BRRR! You can bet our fire is going full tilt.
     

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  9. begreen

    begreen
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    Oh man that's stunning. Very creative, nice work!
     
  10. colsmith

    colsmith
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    Apr 11, 2006
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    I forgot to answer Marty. We bought the tiles directly. We were really taken with the tiles in Turkey in the mosques and palaces and fountains, so we bought some with no particular purpose in mind. They sat in closets for 13 years. They were heavy, we bought them on a vacation when we lived in Paris one summer (hubby was working there.) When we moved back to the U.S. from France we had 180 lbs. of luggage, NOT counting our very heavy carryons (which is where the tiles were, we didn't want them getting broken in the checked bags) so we had actual wounds on our shoulders from baggage straps and things. Had to do the carrying our luggage partly down the street, then go back for more, kind of shuffle. We got a great rug in Turkey, too.

    The tiles from Mexico we bought for this purpose. I laid out the tiles we had, and estimated how many more we would need, and bought some extras as well. We went to Monterrey, where they make a lot of ceramic tiles. We went there to sightsee for a couple days, but also to get tiles. The curved edge tiles were about a quarter of the price they go for here. We also bought some in Nuevo Progreso, a border town where old people from Texas go to buy drugs and souvenirs and go to the dentist. We like to travel, obviously you don't really save money on the purchases unless you are going there anyway.

    I used one of the cobalt blue tiles as the thing to scan to come up with the paint color for the wooden frame of the hearth. I thought I was very clever. The hearths at the fireplace stores were mostly very boring and beige or brown, and very low. We are both tall so we wanted something higher up. Nice for firewatching from the couch and other locations as well. We have mirrors in strategic places so we can see the fire from the adjacent rooms as well.
     
  11. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Very nice. Any photos of the work in progress? I'd love to see some of the construction details.

    I like the idea of it being up so high. I'm not sure why, but I never even thought of doing something like that.
     
  12. colsmith

    colsmith
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    Apr 11, 2006
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    Here is a photo of the frame in progress. I believe after that point we added two more 'legs' to the frame in places I felt could use some more support. Hubby, his dad (former engineer) and brother worked on the initial design. They are all kind of paranoid, so I think it has more supports than necessary. Also, in the center, near where the feet of the stove would be on the top, there is a plywood box built around the center set of supports. You can see there are legs on the outermost inner cross pieces. They now have a solid frame around them from floor to the hunk of plywood that covers the entire frame. So this box provide additional support. The plywood layer on top is resting against the back wall in this photo. On top of the plywood over the frame, there is a layer of Micore and then a layer of cement board. The hearth is of course larger than it needs to be. Hubby figured why have a few empty inches here and there where crud would fall down, also keep it safer. This way we could attach the framework into the stud walls as well at various points.

    I was worried about how strong it was despite all the redundancies, but when the two burly guys who installed the stove were standing on top of the hearth WITH the 400+ pound stove, connecting the stove pipe, nothing moved at all. Hubby also put additional supports into the floor joists underneath, from the basement ceiling approach.

    I carefully rolled up the entire darn old carpeting (would have been easier to rip up of course) and freecycled it. I put in the new vinyl flooring all by myself. Carpet and a wood stove didn't seem like they would go well together. We sweep up wood hunkers there all the time, so we are really glad we took the carpet away.
     

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  13. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Thanks. When I first saw it, I thought it was metal.

    BTW: what is the black and wood square looking checkerboard beneath the whole thing? Is that your vinyl flooring?
     
  14. colsmith

    colsmith
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    Apr 11, 2006
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    The vinyl floor tile is a darkish blue inside pseudo wood, supposed to look like a stone or ceramic tile inside wooden trim, of course it is just vinyl. Unlike most occasions in my life, we actually went for a more expensive tile that I really liked, instead of some almost as nice ones that were much cheaper. Very glad, since without even realizing it, I had found a tile where the blue goes with the blue in the couch nearest the hearth. The nice thing about vinyl tiles is if we ever do toast one of them, we can just replace that square.

    Not shown in the last photo are all the metal joist supports that shortly afterwards went up on all the legs to attach them to the frame above or make them more stable or whatever. I think they were called joist hangers. Hubby is more hardware oriented than I am and figured those things out. I just held the screws and so on for the frame, but did the tiling stuff.
     
  15. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk
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    Nov 29, 2006
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    Looks great. And I agree with the others, the idea of having such a substantially raised hearth is a good one. My only concern would be servicing. Must have been a bear to lift the stove up that high. Beautiful tile job, and definately unique.

    -Kevin
     
  16. ourhouse

    ourhouse
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    Feb 16, 2006
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    Very nice!!!!!!
     
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