Basement stove with basement ceiling

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mgarrett88

Member
Sep 20, 2015
24
Michigan
Question for you all.
This question stems from a "discussion" that I am currently having with my wife.
We are in the process of finishing off our basement in an older farm house.
We are planning on putting a wood stove down there for aesthetic looks, and supplemental heat. We currently do not plan to use this as our main source of heat. Use it a lot on weekends when we are home and some week nights in the cold winters to start a fire after work and load it up before bed time. I really wish we had the room on our main floor to add a wood stove but the small farmhouse and layout do not provide for that.
With that being said in our process of trying to plan how we finish the basement my wife is set on putting in some type of ceiling in the basement. Drop ceiling or what ever it may be. We do plan to put a sub wall in with insulation on the walls so the concrete does not suck out all of the heat in the basement.
My question is does anyone have experience with the movement of heat with and with out ceilings?
My thought is no basement ceiling and the floors on the main level will be toasty warm and will also allow for more heat transfer to the rest of the main floor.
If there is a ceiling in the basement I am thinking it will be trapping the majority of the heat down there and cook us right out of the basement when we want to use it. My wife does not like the look of the exposed joist and what not of the current basement. Only thought if there is a ceiling installed in the basement to put in some vents up to the main floor of the house to let some heat escape?
Just looking for opinions. I know every house, air movement, and stove set up is different.
This site is a great source of information and I appreciate the feedback.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,495
South Puget Sound, WA
A ceiling will block some of the heat. Another thing to check is the finish ceiling height. Most stoves require 84".
Will there be an open stairwell close to the stove location?
 

mgarrett88

Member
Sep 20, 2015
24
Michigan
A ceiling will block some of the heat. Another thing to check is the finish ceiling height. Most stoves require 84".
Will there be an open stairwell close to the stove location?
Its not to far away but we had planned on installing a basement door. There is an entry from our garage to a landing and you can go up to the main house and down to the basement. So we didnt want a lot of heat to go up the stairs then out to the garage to be lost.
I need to check on the code in our area for installation in the basement and ceiling. That may be something that could change plans.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,495
South Puget Sound, WA
What is the current ceiling height to the bottom of the joists?
Maybe a small stove will work. How many sq ft is the basement? Is it an open floorplan? Are the basement walls insulated?
 

Rickb

Minister of Fire
Oct 24, 2012
1,139
St.Louis
We finished our basement with a stove with insulation and a drop ceiling that only drops it 1 inch but uses the same tile. I was not able to really move any heat upstairs so we cut a and added a 6x12 register in the floor upstairs and ran a inline duct fan blowing air into the basement living room from upstairs. It really helps. The main floor heat almost never runs if I have the stove running.
 
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mgarrett88

Member
Sep 20, 2015
24
Michigan
What is the current ceiling height to the bottom of the joists?
Maybe a small stove will work. How many sq ft is the basement? Is it an open floorplan? Are the basement walls insulated?

From floor to Joist is 81"
The basement outside walls will be insulated. There will only be one wall added down there for the remodel to section off maybe 1/5 of the basement for storage. The rest will all be wide open. aprox 885 sq. ft. basement.
I would like the stove to be able to heat the basement and some of the upstairs when needed.
I originally was going to go with a pellet stove for better temp control and ease with out having to deal with wood, but the more I read about fans, motors, bearings, and so on that the pellet stoves need I am leaning towards a more traditional route with a wood stove.
 

mgarrett88

Member
Sep 20, 2015
24
Michigan
We finished our basement with a stove with insulation and a drop ceiling that only drops it 1 inch but uses the same tile. I was not able to really move any heat upstairs so we cut a and added a 6x12 register in the floor upstairs and ran a inline duct fan blowing air into the basement living room from upstairs. It really helps. The main floor heat almost never runs if I have the stove running.

I am thinking that is what I would have to do. If a ceiling goes in cut two vents up to the main floor of the house and move some air up that way.
More to come need to check on code in my area for clearance for basement height.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,780
Iowa
Its not to far away but we had planned on installing a basement door. There is an entry from our garage to a landing and you can go up to the main house and down to the basement. So we didnt want a lot of heat to go up the stairs then out to the garage to be lost.
I need to check on the code in our area for installation in the basement and ceiling. That may be something that could change plans.
So you have garage access to the basement and main floor. Correct?

Assuming you have a interior stairwell from main floor going down to the basement additionally? This stairwell would be left open for heat transfer.

Fill us in. Possibly confused!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,495
South Puget Sound, WA
From floor to Joist is 81"
This will be an issue with several stoves. It is not a local issue, it is from the stove manufacturer clearance requirements which are the guidelines for insurance and inspection. Considering this is just for occasional use I would stick with a smaller stove that has lower ceiling requirements. Maybe a Morso 2B? As for getting heat upstairs, that is another separate issue. Done right it may be possible to have the heat convect naturally and not need any fan. Fusible-link, fire-dampers should be on any floor penetrations.
 

mgarrett88

Member
Sep 20, 2015
24
Michigan
So you have garage access to the basement and main floor. Correct?

Assuming you have a interior stairwell from main floor going down to the basement additionally? This stairwell would be left open for heat transfer.

Fill us in. Possibly confused!

There is not an additional interior stairwell.
Come in from the garage to a small landing. If you go straight you go down stairs. if you go to the right you go up a set of stairs to a doorway that leads into the main floor of the house.
We were planning on having a door added in the basement. We did not want the heat to go up the stair well to the landing where it could escape through the landing door to the garage.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,780
Iowa
There is not an additional interior stairwell.
Come in from the garage to a small landing. If you go straight you go down stairs. if you go to the right you go up a set of stairs to a doorway that leads into the main floor of the house.
We were planning on having a door added in the basement. We did not want the heat to go up the stair well to the landing where it could escape through the landing door to the garage.

You have a challenge ahead if you intend to heat the main floor from the basement in it's current configuration. My opinion.

Thanks for the additional detail.
 

mgarrett88

Member
Sep 20, 2015
24
Michigan
I have a little bit more research ahead of me to figure out what I am going to do. Id love to have one on the main floor but it just isnt going to happen. Maybe some floor vents to help bring warm air up.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,925
07462
Maybe some floor vents to help bring warm air up.
It doesn't work like that, you cut in cold air returns using a fusible grate incase of fire, you add return boxes for cold air to sink, as the cold air sinks the space upstairs is replaced by warm air, so in essence you would cut in on the perimeter of your room 4 cold air return at 16"x16" then frame them with 18" side shrouds to insure the cold air falls below the hotter layer of air at the ceiling height, in the center you would cut in a larger grate for the warm air to rise up. (many would use a stairwell to create the convective loop.) those little 4"x10" floor grates will do little to nothing in aiding any type of return or convective loop.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,495
South Puget Sound, WA
16"x16" for the perimeter cold air returns is excessive. That's 1024 sq in of returns for only 256 sq in of supply (grate over the stove). 4 - 6"x14" would suffice for the perimeter wall returns. All penetrations should be fire-dampered.
 

tabner

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2019
170
Eastern CT
I've been skimming all these past threads for knowledge as I prepare for my install (hopefully) in a couple months. I was reading this thread with regard to fusible link dampers and moving basement heat up, as that is what I will need to do. (I did start my own thread separately and you were all extremely helpful.)
@begreen you said something in this thread which I'm curious about. 81" or 84" minimum ceiling height for most stoves? i'll have to measure my basement drop ceiling when i get home, but i think it is low. Looking through the Green Mountain 60 manual i don't see any callouts on ceiling height? Closest thing is an alcove height drawing, but it only calls for 61.5" min from floor to ceiling in an alcove. Am i just lucky to have selected a stove with a very low min ceiling requirement? or am i missing something?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,495
South Puget Sound, WA
I've been skimming all these past threads for knowledge as I prepare for my install (hopefully) in a couple months. I was reading this thread with regard to fusible link dampers and moving basement heat up, as that is what I will need to do. (I did start my own thread separately and you were all extremely helpful.)
@begreen you said something in this thread which I'm curious about. 81" or 84" minimum ceiling height for most stoves? i'll have to measure my basement drop ceiling when i get home, but i think it is low. Looking through the Green Mountain 60 manual i don't see any callouts on ceiling height? Closest thing is an alcove height drawing, but it only calls for 61.5" min from floor to ceiling in an alcove. Am i just lucky to have selected a stove with a very low min ceiling requirement? or am i missing something?
Yes, the documentation is weak here. It should include the normal ceiling height requirement too. I would contact Hearthstone for this specific height requirement. You may be ok. If not, ask if the ceiling height requirement can be reduced if a proper NFPA 211 heat shield is installed on 1" standoffs on the ceiling above the stove. If it is ok, what size do they require it to be?
 

tabner

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2019
170
Eastern CT
Yes, the documentation is weak here. It should include the normal ceiling height requirement too. I would contact Hearthstone for this specific height requirement. You may be ok. If not, ask if the ceiling height requirement can be reduced if a proper NFPA 211 heat shield is installed on 1" standoffs on the ceiling above the stove. If it is ok, what size do they require it to be?

Hey @begreen I called Hearth Stone and got an answer to this, so I figured I'd share. (my first chance to contribute anything useful here). They said the alcove clearances are specific to an alcove, those dims would not apply generally to a ceiling height. The tech I spoke with said - they have not tested for a ceiling height on this model/stove. Anytime they have not tested specifically for a minimum ceiling height requirement, they default to a 36" min height above the top of the stove. The GM60 is 30" tall according to the manual, so that's a 66" minimum ceiling height. So no problems (unless you live in a hobbit hole).
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,495
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks for the update. That's good to know. Keep us posted on the install.