Adding half walls around my stove

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New Member
Nov 24, 2021
Northern Indiana
Is there anything I am not thinking of, or reasons I should not do this?

I am thinking about building half walls on both sides of my wood stove. I want to do this for two reasons. 1) I will be having children soon and want to keep them safe while they scurry around, and 2) hide the hideous outside air tube that I am required to have by local code.

I plan on building them 3’ 6” high and sticking out from to the front edge of the stove. I will use steel stud, concrete board, and tile to construct them within my 20” side clearance.

Here are some pictures using couch cushions to approximate the walls.

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Is there anything I am not thinking of, or reasons I should not do this?


Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
Lackawaxen PA
I think the walls are a bad look, but thats me. The kids, dog and cats touching the stove comes up here from time to time. I can't say it never happened. But I think it might be a natural instinct for kids to stay away. I take about year old kids close to the stove and let them feel "hot" . We have done this with ever kid that comes in the house. They don't ever go any closer. Animals just know.
I would be more concerned with a kid pulling a pot of boiling water off a kitchen stove.

Besides some code issue, the outside air may be needed if the house is to tight the the stove won't draft without it. There has been a lot of to tight house issues. I would try without it. Eventually you won't even see that hose.


Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
May want to research OAK installation regulations. The outdoor intake is typically to be installed even with, or somewhat lower than the stove connection. Look at page 40 in your installation manual for a pic.
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Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Is there a reason why that OAK is installed so high? It should be below the firebox floor. Unfortunately, the Drolet Austral documentation could be clearer here. They say:
Air must be drawn from a ventilated crawl space under the floor or directly from outside.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 11.32.50 AM.png

If sidewalls are constructed as noted, they can be closer to the stove as long as they are 100% non-combustible. The 20" clearance requirement is to combustibles.
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Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
Long Island NY
If I were you, I'd make a (3"?) gap below the side walls. You'd have to hide the metal studs. But it would allow for more convection by letting in more cold air from the floor that can heat and rise up.

Regarding kids, indeed kids learn quickly. I would however be concerned about a 9 month old falling (still being wobbly) against the stove. Both for heat and hard sharp edges. Also e.g. rowdy 7 year olds can run and fall against the stove. Those are more probable than a kid touching from curiosity.