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slab of stone for hearth pad

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jack22, Mar 27, 2011.

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  1. Jack22

    Jack22 New Member

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    Has anyone used a slab of granite or any other stone for building a hearth pad? I did a search on Google about using granite and found a couple people that had their granite crack on them. Does anyone have a recommendation for a single piece of stone that I can use to build a hearth pad? I am looking for something that is durable, won't crack (if properly level and supported) and somewhat scratch resistant. I would like to build my own hearth pad but I do not think that I want to get involved with tiling. I would use a 2X4 frame with lots of cross beams, plywood layer, enough cement board to achieve the required r-value, then put the slab of stone on top. I would then trim the outside with wood. Any thoughts or ideas would be great.

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  2. liston

    liston New Member

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    I'm also interested in finding answers here. I'm thinking of slate, and have an excellent source of big slate nearby.
    My old cement slab is crumbling and I need to find a replacement before next season.
  3. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    picture in sig link, blue stone slab sitting on granite/dolamitic limestone
  4. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    I was checking into soapstone slab, but got in ahurry and used soapstone tiles, It holds heat and looks good. Take your time check it out, I got in a hurry, but am still pleased with results. I did wall and floof :zip:

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  5. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    my brother used either slate or granite, i cant recall. he used pieces about the size of step stones and placed them in a mortar mix. his was about8 feet across at the widest, making it from a corner and doing a semicircle from the corner to the two walls. looked really good, but i don't have prints. That was 20 years ago and has withstood the time and shines with age.

    cass
  6. pring7

    pring7 Member

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    Liston,

    What's your source for slate? I'm over in New Bern, but I get out to Central NC from time to time. I'm putting in a Woodstock Paladian this Spring and I think this may be a good idea. I have also been looking at using Increte for a hearth. Thanks
  7. liston

    liston New Member

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    I have been to Scott's Sand And Stone in Mebane, North Carolina, and seen exactly what every home needs. Huge slabs of every type of stone. Man, it makes you drool. Scotts has got it all. Dont' know about Increte. (PS: Love the fact that you are heating water with wood.)
    casey
  8. pring7

    pring7 Member

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    Nice, I will check that out.

    I heat water with solar tubes and I decided it wouldn't be cost effective in North Carolina to heat water with the wood stove. I really looked into different options for doing it, but it was too much to retrofit my house. We have a toddler and one on the way, so I opted to just do the wood stove and have one hot surface instead of a few radiators to keep them away from.

    My Grand pop had a soapstone woodstove (I think the Woodstock Classic) which he rigged with a water coil. I heard he had issues with it overheating from time to time though.

    I do ok with the solar for heating domestic hot water and even get a little of the BTU benefit with a water coil attached to my air handler.

    This will be my first year heating with a wood stove to supplement the heat pump/solar hot water. I have an abundance of trees near me and I'm clearing a creek next to my house so that I can kayak and get a Jon boat down it. So far, I have I think about two cords of wood stacked and drying behind my house. I picked up a Stihl 029 the other day from a guy around me that had a tree/stump grinding service and boy does that thing run.

    I'll check out Scott's and see what they have for my new stove hearth.
  9. SnapCracklePop

    SnapCracklePop Feeling the Heat

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    Capt. One Leg,

    What's that under each of the stove's feet? I saw something similar to that on another post earlier, but I don't remember whose it was.

    Are you thinking the feet will crack the soapstone?

    My NC-30 came with the pedestal attached, but I'd like to put the feet on it. I don't want to crack my tiles, though.

    ??

    Nancy
  10. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    That is some stainless steel that had left over from work so I put it to use.
  11. k9brain

    k9brain Member

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    I used granite and slate neither has cracked, yet. Also use 2X8s for the base or get it at least 10" of the floor. Everyone loves to sit directly in front of the stove when coming in out of the cold.

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  12. liston

    liston New Member

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    @firestarter, impressed with your setup. I'm still paying Progress Energy for hot water. Some day I'll get it together!
  13. mtcates

    mtcates Member

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    Here is my recent hearth remodel. I have yet to trim the Hearth Stone to the floor. It will be an interesting wood working project with the round corners.

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  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful.

    (That's all I really have to say, but the software doesn't take one-word responses.)

    Again, beautiful.
  15. pring7

    pring7 Member

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    I have Progress too and I used their pilot program to get an extra incentive to go solar. Between this program, the state, and federal programs, I couldn't resist. This May will be my first year with the program and I think that I saved about 600-800 bucks for the whole year. I estimate the breakeven point to be between 3-5 years. It would be closer to 3 if I had just done the DHW, but I wanted to see if I could get some air heating from the system and it seems to work well when it is from 40-60 degrees outside. I think with the help from the wood stove that I should be able to heat my home fairly reasonably next year.

    http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=NC64F&re=1&ee=1

    mtcates, your remodel looks great. My sunroom and hearth project will start in 3 weeks and I am looking forward to heating next year with all the wood I have been stacking.

    I like the slate on k9brain's hearth. I think that would look nice under the Palladian I picked up. A solid piece of stone looks a-lot nicer than the prefab mats that you can buy in my opinion.
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As long as you build the hearth to the proper R value . . . and support the stone so that there is no flex . . . you should be good with a slab or whatever stone you want to put under the stove.
  17. Wade A.

    Wade A. Feeling the Heat

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    I finished my hearth build-up with two very large slabs of 7/4" limestone. The slabs are acid washed to give it some texture. I layed them on a bed of thinset, topping off a sandwich of durarock, micore and aluminum roof flashing to reach my R2 requirement for the Jotul F400. Scratch resistant it is NOT, but I find that I have no problems with that. In positioning the stove I just used a few pieces of heavy cardboard as shims to slide it in place. The stone is not sealed with any kind of finish, and I'm reluctant to coat it with anything that might discolor, melt or otherwise create more work for me. It gets soot on it, of course, but I can mop that up with a damp rag. The overall effect is that it is gradually getting a worn patina that is not at all unpleasant to look at.

    Oh, and the part I'd rather forget: I was moving the largest slab in on a furniture dolley and cracked it right in two. The second time, I had help. The first one I cut up and they now are tops for matching wrought iron end tables. Be careful if you use this stuff: It is brittle. Once it is set though, with no air pockets or high spots, it is sold as, well, rock.

    My first choice was bluestone pavers that a friend was going to let me have for free. Gorgeous stuff, but of course "She Who Must Be Obeyed" 86'd that proposal. Right, waaaaay to easy and cheap, dear.
  18. budman

    budman Minister of Fire

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    Some one on this forum used a slab of stone and moved it with a engine hoist into place.
  19. Jack22

    Jack22 New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the ideas and thoughts.
    -Jack
  20. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Still digging the soapstone tile hearth Cptoneleg!
  21. ryanm527

    ryanm527 Member

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    My stove sits on a slab of polished limestone and it's not cracked. I do think its interesting because when the stove is roaring the stone directly underneath and surrounding it hardly feels warm at all, where the wood floor a couple feet away will be almost hot to the touch. It must just absorb a ton of heat.
  22. Wade A.

    Wade A. Feeling the Heat

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    Ryan, same observation about my Jotul. The slab just has a ton of thermal mass. I wondered before if the R2 hearth requirment for that stove was just overkill, but I think now that R and mass are two interdependent variables, but that manufacturers want to keep the variables down for the sake of simplicity. The ability of a material to spread heat conduction over such a wide area just appears to negate most of the need for high insulative properties. As someone with only enough physics knowledge to be dangerous, I'll defer to anyone else here who can shed light on my understanding of this. I'm guessing that there is a formula to calculate this, and while my R2 hearth has the required insulative qualities, the mass of the stone soaks up, spreads and reduces the heat of the stove to an extent that I never even come close to the "red line" for the hearth.

    Is your limestone just polished and left uncoated, or how did you finish it otherwise?
  23. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    You could pour one out of concrete with one of those DIY countertop kits. Dye it whatever color(s) you like...form it up to whatever size you want...set it in place after the concrete cures. May not be your taste, but wanted to throw it out there. I've seen a hearth pad for a gas insert done like this and it looked really nice. Not exactly natural stone but it didn't look like a sidewalk either.
  24. Arc_Dad

    Arc_Dad Member

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    I used a single piece of 1.25" granite counter top slab for my hearth. I put it on top of a 2"X"6" frame, 3/4" plywood, and a piece of micore (I used another brand of similar material, but would use micore if I did it again). It's been in for 2 months and is working great. I can't imagine this piece of granite breaking w/ this type of install.
  25. phatfarmerbob

    phatfarmerbob New Member

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    I used bluestone 1.5 inches thick,,, four pieces cause i didnt think i could carry one in,,, priced granite and it was 1600.00 needless to say i went with the bluestone and actually i have no regrets about material choice... yet with hindsite 20/20 i would have raised it to about 12" rather then 4.5

    And yes the ashpan door handle is open...

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