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Pellet Stove Hearth Pad. Am I doing this right?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by estafford, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. estafford

    estafford New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Greater Boston Area, MA
    Hello all,

    I'm having a QuadraFire SantaFe pellet stove installed and need to construct a hearth pad.
    Off the shelf pads so far don't meet our design needs within budget so I figured I'd save a bit and build my own.

    The specs from QuadraFire require a hearth that extends 2 inchs from the rear and sides and 6 inches from the front of the stove.
    At 26in wide by 22in deep (rounded up) I'm planning a 30x30in pad.

    The specs also require a pad that provides
    minimum 1/2 inch thickness
    minimum R Value of 1.0
    minimum K Value of .49

    Materials I plan to use are
    1/2in micore board at 1.1 R
    1/2in HardiBacker or Durock Cement Board at .26 R
    topped with thinset mortar and slate tiles (not sure what the R value is there)

    The Micore and Cement board have a 1.36 R Value which is a little over what is called for and I assume the slate will add slightly to that.

    I searched for the k values and found a formula K = 1/r which gives me .73 for K.
    Is higher or lower K better, and does this meet the requirements for this pad.

    The pad will be placed on top of a 3/4in hardwood floor with 3/4 plywood subfloor.

    Am I planning this out correctly?
    Thanks for your input.

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  2. esuitt

    esuitt New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
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    Loc:
    Delta, Pa (amish country) right on the Mason Dixon
    I am not sure about R or K values since my owners manual does not describe them. It does give clearance from back and side of the stove and then gives you an approximate hearth size.
    But before I even downloaded the manual I had already decided on a 3'x3' pad because of space limitations. Built it out of 2x4 frame, 1/2" OSB, 1/2" Cement board then tile and grout. This sits on a laminate over hardwood floor.
    It is not 100% finished, I did the top cause I needed the pad usable but have yet to go pick out matching tiles for the sides.
  3. esuitt

    esuitt New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Delta, Pa (amish country) right on the Mason Dixon
    Like I said it is not 100% done, but it serves the purpose.
    I have 12" clearance on the back in case I need access and 8" on the front and sides.

    Attached Files:

  4. Turbo-Quad

    Turbo-Quad New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
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    353
    Loc:
    Illinois
    I made my hearth pad by framing out the shape, then nailing 2x4's wide side down to the floor. I then lined it with heavy plastic and poured colored Quick-crete in. Let it cure and removed the 2x4's. This gave me an inch and a half of concrete for a pad. Cost was about $20.
  5. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    1,467
    Loc:
    central maine Lat 45
    You can use anything that won't burn, some use a 1/8 in steel plate.
  6. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,616
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    A friend of my did something similar to the cast concrete idea. He first put in some colored stones, poured the cement and after curing turned it over (not easy but doable). He then ground down the surface to make it shiny and exposed the surface of the colored stones. Absolutely beautiful.
  7. captkirk5858

    captkirk5858 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
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    168
    Loc:
    Northern Vermont
    I Just built mine. I would highly advise you to use 3/4 plywood or OSB or some sort of sub floor material. Then a cement backer board scewed down. then thin set and lastly your tile or rock or whatever hardscape you desire. if you want the Pedital look build a frame under it. and then i trimmed it out and satined it. Another recomendation is to go Larger than you need.
    I made mine out of scrap i had around and it ran me around 40 bucks. it will be Very Heavy so thats why i used the 3/4 material. i would hate tohave gone through all that to pick it up and it flex and break a tile . Plus your stove will weigh at least 200=LBS. mine is 375 empty.... Just my Two cents....

    Attached Files:

  8. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6,956
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello Pixel8r

    When I built my wood pellet hearth, I figured that if I made it the size to fit 9 - 12" square porcelin tiles it would be the right size and no tile cutting!. Under the tiles is 3/4 inch plywood to hold the 250 lb stove and Cement board to keep the tiles from flexing and cracking. So I made the hearth 38.5 inches wide and 37.5 inches deep including the spaces for the grout and width of the 1 x 3 inch wood trim. Now to make it more functional and more challenging to build I made an over hang with a grove in the underside to install RED LED Rope Light. Then in the front I made a space for a 900 Watt 220 Volt Electric Kick Space heater in which I wired up to a Line Voltage Thermostat on the wall. So when the stove was down for cleaning, I can still keep my feet warm!!

    See Hearth Building Slide show in the Link Below.
    http://tinyurl.com/33yf3yp

    When I tiled the wall in back, we choose strips of broken tile and stones so again no tile cutting! Except to go around the flue and intake air inlet of course! But to make that more attractive and more of a challenge to build, I added Wood trim with Amber LED Rope Light and a nice Tiled Mantel with 2 candles from Pier One Imports.

    See Back Plane Building Slide show in the Link Below.
    http://tinyurl.com/36kezac

    So those were my ideas
    Good Luck

    See Final Look Below

    Attached Files:

  9. estafford

    estafford New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Greater Boston Area, MA
    Thanks for all the input and ideas!. Very helpful.

    The reason I stated the specs was because I have to pull a permit for the install and my town inspector said if the manual states minimum specs, the install must meet or exceed them in order to pass their inspection. My home Insurance Co. also will not cover any "accidents" that might happen if everything does not check out to spec.

    For U.S. installs the manual for this stove states hearth pad requirements as

    USA INSTALLATIONS: The non-combustible floor protector
    must be 1/2 inch (13mm) minimum thickness, “k” value = 0.49.
    Floor protection requires Type II thermal protection R = 1.0 or
    greater

    I like the poured concrete ideas and you could get pretty creative with a design, but with an r-value of .08, that is too low for my application and would require a few inches to meet the r value requirements from what I understand.

    I'd also like to keep it as low-profile as possible, not a pedestal.

    I talked with both a contractor and a stone/tile expert and both recommended I stay away from the Plywood base if possible because of it's potential to warp of not nailed to the underlying floor and mentioned using Micore as a substitute.

    Description of Micore from the US Gypsum Company: Micore 300 mineral fiber board is nearly 50% lighter than particle board, which allows for easier handling and
    lower freight rates. It also outperforms gypsum panels in workability—the inorganic mineral fibers resist moisture,
    minimizing expansion and warpage. And the board cuts quickly to size and shape specifications using standard
    equipment while adapting readily to last-minute design changes. What’s more, Micore 300 mineral fiber board
    outperforms particle board and other wood-fiber boards for flame spread and sound absorption
    Full sheet info here (PDF file) - http://www.usgdesignstudio.com/submittals/walls/submittals/IW803_Micore_300.pdf

    Samm6: Looks like you built yours pretty much the way I was thinking with the exception of the plywood. I was pointed to the Micore product instead with a cement board layer on that.

    Don2222: Nice work! I love the rope light idea.. beautiful. I may borrow on that!. The tinyurl links in your post are not working for me.

    Thanks for again for the input.
  10. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,512
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    pixel8r you may try updating your Flash Player as the pics
    in Dons link are in a Flash formatted slide show.
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,059
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    You need a lower K based upon what you have posted if your understanding of the relationship between K and R is correct.

    Be careful assuming what is meant by K, as specifying the requirement in the manual I'd call them for qualification because the minimum R value should have been specified as > 2.05.
  12. ct_administrator

    ct_administrator Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
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    69
    Loc:
    CT
    Good work samm6, nice design and I like how the color of the tile and the stained trim match and accent your floors and window.
  13. estafford

    estafford New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Greater Boston Area, MA
    I had a feeling something was off. I checked the quadrafire site, and they don't take direct calls from what I can see, so I'll have to call the local shop for some explanation on this I guess.

    You have me wondering now, because those values are not possible to match, if they are "either / or".
    like the pad must be non-combustible AND either
    K = .49 OR R= 1.0 > OR at least 1/2 inch thick.

    Ah well, whatever, I suppose it's best to call for clarification.
    Thanks for your help.
  14. estafford

    estafford New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
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    9
    Loc:
    Greater Boston Area, MA
    Edit:
    nothing to see here... somehow ended up with a double post.
  15. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    1,415
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    We have three pellet stoves in the house here. Two of the stoves are on ready made hearth pads that are sitting on top of the original carpet.

    These pads were a particle board type material with a steel frame and then tile cemented over that.

    When I built my new raised hearth I sheeted the thing with two layers of OSB then added the 3/8 thick ceramic tile over that.

    You have many options for sure.

    The ready made hearth pads are spendy for sure.

    Here are some pics of what we had originally (WP-50 pellet stove)

    Then the pics of the raised hearth and newer stove.

    Attached Files:

  16. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Feb 1, 2010
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    6,956
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello Snowy

    Very nice Hearth! Alot nicer than the ones you buy!

    Just wondering why you choose that height? Are those 2x6s ??

    Looks great!
  17. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,415
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    Thanks

    The outside frame is 2X12 and the inner "sill's" that fasten to the wall studs are 2x10
    The joists are 2x6 on 8 inch centers then covered with two layers of OSB with the sheets running at 90 degrees to one another.

    Then tiled the deck with some tile I got from the Habitat for humanity store for $20.

    The height was done for two reasons, One, to make a fashion statement and two, to get the air outlet on the stove above the back of the couch.

    The original stove we had in there was pretty BLAH looking and blew over to the opposite corner of the room.

    Now the warm air reaches across the entire family room and into the dining room and even the living room.

    The Old WP 50 was only useful when the outdoor temps got into the low 40's. Above that it would drive us out.

    I did not get a complete set of pics along the way that shows all the framing and such.

    The Old stove was installed when we removed the carpet from the room, and we had the floor guys lay the plank look vinyl around the stove and when the time for change came, it left a big bare spot.

    We decided that the raised hearth would look nice as well as cover the ugly bare spot left from the original setup.

    The Faux painted "Rock look: came along as the project progressed.

    Originally I wanted to use a Faux stone siding on the wall but, the cost was waaaaaaaaaaaay out of reason. ($600)


    Soooooooooo the idea of Faux paint came to mind.

    I am in the process of cooking up an redo on one of the bathroom using a faux stone "Painted" look (Brick outhouse"



    Hope this posting helps spark some ideas as to what can be done.


    This whole job including the stove Cost about $500 I bought the stove off Craigs list for $200

    Installing a nice pellet stove with a great looking hearth does not need to be a $$$$$ intensive undertaking.

    Here is a little trick I did using some of the old horse shoes we had sitting in a bucket in the horse barn.

    Just burned off the crud, cleaned them well and welded them to some formed angle brackets.


    All sorts of cool stuff can be made from junk that laying around.

    The major cost here was the new wood.


    Snowy

    Attached Files:

  18. rehabbingisgreen

    rehabbingisgreen New Member

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    Loc:
    Missouri
    Lowes and Orschelns carry a cheapie pad and that's what we have down under the stove. Maybe later I'll get something else.
  19. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Feb 1, 2010
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    6,956
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello Snowy

    Wow, that's really good especially for short money!

    Is that a shelf I see above the back faux?

    I luv shelves and Mantels and with the flue being vented out the back it can be done more easily now!
  20. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    1,415
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    NW Oregon
    yesss, A 2x8 across both directions and screwed to the brackets with the hosrse shoes.

    It sort of adds a finished look to the entire project.

    That corner was soooooooooooooo BLAHHHH that I had to do something to it.


    Thanks

    Snowy
  21. arnash

    arnash New Member

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    Loc:
    land of giant redwoods, No.Calif
    I'm new to pellet stoves (I'm using an old $50. Whitfield Advantage I (-serial # <7,000) that I cleaned real good and painted, and I read the specs for the hearth pads for such stoves and knew that something was rotten in Denmark. While the entire stove is completely cool while in use with the exception of the door and the top above the burn chamber, the specs are totally out of touch with that reality. Which leaves me strongly suspecting that when they were first invented in the 80's, the Federal regulators didn't do their homework, but instead just slapped the nascent industry with the pad specs that were written for WOOD stoves. Does anyone know of a good reason why a pad is even required for pellet stoves? Knowing that the base of my pedestal Whitfield is perfectly cool, I placed it on top of a piece of box cardboard just to protect the linoleum floor from scratches. It makes perfect sense to me and I can't escape the presumption that the Feds have once again demonstrated their incompetence, just like with the financial crisis, the gulf oil crisis, the hurricane Katrina crisis, etc. etc.
  22. checkthisout

    checkthisout Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
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    313
    Loc:
    NW
    I made a hearth pad out of 26 Gauge Sheet Metal.

    Lopi/Avalon says that all you need is a non-combustible surface to place the stove on and that it should be at least 26 Gauge.

    The clearances are set by the testing lab hired by the manufacturer who merely has to show that the min spec material for the pad adequately surrounding combustibles from reaching a certain temperature.
  23. estafford

    estafford New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
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    Loc:
    Greater Boston Area, MA
    For anyone interested, I did finally finish building this hearth pad for my pellet stove. You can see the progress here:
    Slideshow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixel_engineer/sets/72157625718731213/show/
    Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixel_engineer/sets/72157625718731213/

    Sneak peek:
    [​IMG]

    Vitals:
    3/4" plywood base
    3/4" Micore 300 layer
    1/2" Durock Cement Board layer
    1/4" Thinset mortar
    1/4" 16x16" Ceramic Tiles
    Height 2 1/2"
    Width 32 1/4"
    Depth 32 1/4"
    Total r Value = 2.73, Micore + Durock (does not include Ceramic tile, mortar layer or plywood base)
    Lowest k Factor = .49 (provided by Micore 300)

    Manufacturers stated requirements for Quadra-Fire Santa Fe:
    Stove dimensions - Width: 25.5", Depth:21.25"
    Clearance
    Front: 6"
    Rear and Sides: 2"
    R Value Thermal protection: 1.0 or greater
    1/2" minimum thickness non-combustible protection with Max k value = .49
    Non-combustible surface

    The Pad's top 4 layers are non-combustible.
    The Durock and Micore combined R values alone exceed the minimum R value requirement.
    The 3/4" Micore exceeds the minimum thickness, and meets the k value requirement for non-combustible protection.
    32" X 32" dimensions provide the minimum clearance for front back and sides with 4+" in the sides and back, and 6" in front.

    The installers quized me on the construction and were impressed with the quality and protection.

    All-in-all I'm pretty happy with the results and confident that this will provide the protection i need.
    Inspection is in a couple days. We'll see if they approve.

    This is all based on the manufacturers requirements for safe installation. Other stoves may be different. Hope this helps others out.
  24. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
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    6,956
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello pixel8r

    Very nice hearth and great slide show!!

    After inspection we will need one more pic with a fire!! LOL

    I added an electric 220 volt 900 watt kickspace heater in my hearth to keep the feet warm when cleaning the stove out! LOL

    Attached Files:

  25. estafford

    estafford New Member

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    Dec 1, 2010
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    Loc:
    Greater Boston Area, MA
    It's all about the details.. :)
    I see a reality TV show in your future called "Pimp my pad".. lol

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