Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install

  • Active since 1995, is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.


New Member
Nov 17, 2022
Here we go! Brand new install has begun! We are super jazzed. In case anyone was interested in the install, I figured I’d document it all in one place.

We ended up with a QF Explorer II
It calls for ember protection only of the hearth, but we’re going with 7/16” OSB and an inch of durock, topping it off with porcelain tiles.

I just picked up the tiles this weekend. They are light gray with subtle streaks of darker grays, tans, and blues. They are 12x24” and we’re going to install them herring bone style in hopes of disguising the slightly. askew/bot entirely square wall…plus it looks nice. We plan to accent it with some white & gray split face quartzite along the front and where the hearth meets the wall. At this time we are not going to tile the wall but we may in the future.

Currently hubby has removed the baseboard and needs to retrieve his tabke saw from work so we can cut the osb and durock to size.

The hearth plan is about 5’ square, with a corner cut off.

Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install 58CC541F-5B16-408F-A38E-884A0EC68D88.jpeg
Restoration on the stove has begun! This is just a simple once-over with a wire brush but I’m please with the ease of rust removal! I think next step will be to cover what I can in a baking soda/vinegar paste, let sit, then scrub with steel wool & wipe down. If anyone has any other suggestions on rust removal I’d love to hear them!

I know this is small progress but I have three young boys and will have to work bit by bit as I have time :)

We also ordered the stove pipes today! I am hoping we can get everything installed by Christmas but I won’t hold my breath…

Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install
The stove itself was $1000. We paid roughly $1200 for the pipe/chimney. We paid about $250 total for the tile/grout/associated supplies for that job. I think we paid about $75 for the flooring items (osb and durock).

We were hoping to stay around 2k total, so we did blow our budget but it is what it is. I was considering holding out for used stove pipe to save money but ultimately felt better getting that new.
i completely changed my mind on the tile and I am SOOO happy with the change! We were originally leaning towards a lighter gray tile motif with quartz accent since our home has mostly light colors on the walls and in the decor, but hubs and I both love our natural materials so we returned the porcelain tile and went with slate. I love it! I am so excited to start laying it. We are hoping to get it ready to tile today.
Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install
Here is a photo of the tile we originally picked, followed by the tile we ended up with and I was playing around the design. 14066C58-CA5D-49FC-97D0-B1B329EA58BB.jpeg
  • Like
Reactions: all night moe
You guys are having too much fun. It's great to see this coming together. Will there be a layer of cement board before the tiles go down?
  • Like
Reactions: Leap
Lucky us, a friend gifted some micore 300 leftover from his hearth build :) so our first layer is 1/2” osb, then we have 1/2” micore, a whole 4 ft square under ware the stove will sit. Durock trims the sides of the micore to give us more hearth (where we’ll sit our “extra stuff”, like a wood basket, etc.), plus fills the corner better (see picture). As we discovered it’s ill-advised to mortar on micore, we’re adding another layer of durock on top, giving us a total R value of 1.48 (if my math is sound); complete overkill for this stove but will hopefully give us some options if we ever swap stoves out.
Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install
And here we are, all set for tile! Hubs and I worked all day, taking turns with the kids and construction.

We need to cut a few tiles before we finish the plan. Unfortunately our tile cutter isn’t sufficient for slate. Womp, womp. We’re currently researching buying vs. renting a wet saw…

Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install
I think I’m in love!

Everything is cut and almost ready to go! Luckily I had a neighbor that lent us a tile saw.

I removed the spacers and the tile is a bit askew for these photos so keep that in mind ^_^

We need to trim off a little more baseboard against the wall, plus put up a little bit of backerboard for the border against the wall, then we can start laying the tile. I am so jazzed, especially since we may actually have the stove up and running by Christmas! We have everything we need to finish installation with the exception of the collar for the chimney (the one that fits over the flashing), and that should be here by Friday.
Fingers crossed…!
Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install 641AA146-2B55-483C-8600-3F21F1DB951A.jpeg
Today’s progress! Ceiling box is partially in and hearth has mortar. Hubby is cutting some skinny tiles for the very front right now (the face and sides under the overhang). After I stick those on I’ll be done for the day, then it’s the waiting game until I can seal, then grout. The goal is to put the chimney in tomorrow.

We took a better look at the stove today after taking some parts off and it’s going to need a serious scrub down for all the rust internally. I took my dremel and a small stainless steel brush to some small spots of chipped paint with rust; that tool made easy work of things! We’ll wait until the stove is in place before touching up the paint.

Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install
We have ourselves a completed hearth! I sealed the stones yesterday morning and grouted this past evening. Other than a few spots of grout to clean up, it’sall done. Evidently this brand of grout doesn’t require sealer.

I will say, this definitely felt like diving into the deep end as far as tiling goes. Slate is extremely uneven; some tiles had to be back buttered, while others were so curved we couldn’t use them. Some were very thick which did come into play at installation and did cause a couple of spots of unevenness between tiles. The mosaic accent tiles were an absolute bear to tackle, especially where they meet the wall. Also a couple lost their stone diamonds during grouting.

All and all I wouldn’t suggest slate for first time installers!
Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install

Hubby took parts of the stove to work and was able to clean off a ton of the rust. We’re hoping some friends can help move it from the garage to the hearth on Thursday. We may just have it ready for Christmas after all..,

Fingers crossed!
Looks great. A pro may have not done better.
  • Like
Reactions: Leap
Thanks for posting. The install looks great and it seems you are enjoying the journey.
A quick question...Will that countertop overhang impact your clearances and will it be effected by the heat of the stove?
  • Like
Reactions: Leap
I hope you get it going for Xmas,it would be the best present in the house.dont forget no pictures it didn't happen.
  • Like
Reactions: Leap
Looks great. A pro may have not done better.
Awww thanks begreen! Just don't look to closely, ha!
Thanks for posting. The install looks great and it seems you are enjoying the journey.
A quick question...Will that countertop overhang impact your clearances and will it be effected by the heat of the stove?
Thanks so much! This stove has crazy low clearances -- with a double wall pipe, it's 4.5 inches from the center of the pipe to combustibles. That said, it'll be about 2" away from the countertop, however that piece is solid granite and thus non-combustible. We're looking forward to keeping our coffee and tea warm on that countertop so it better not spontaneously combust!

The actual combustibles (the walls) are about 20" away from the pipe (I can't remember off the top of my head).

Basically we have overkill on all sides of this thing as far as clearances go (and the R value). The hearth itself is an oversized 5x5' (with the corner chopped off). We have over 20" in the front from the door to the edge of the hearth as well (but also I can't remember exactly....but over the 18" new requirement, and well over the 16" the old manual calls for).

If I remember I'll sketch up a little pic of the clearances and post it with the installed stove.
I hope you get it going for Xmas,it would be the best present in the house.dont forget no pictures it didn't happen.
Fingers tightly crossed!! The tentative schedule is....The help comes tomorrow to move it upstairs (if the weather isn't too prohibitive), chimney/stove pipes will be installed on Friday, and with any luck we'll give it its first run immediately after install. It will still need some restoration on some rusty bits but we can still have it running for Christmas, I hope!

and of COURSE there will be pictures! I have to show it off to people who will truly appreciate it ;)
In my opinion, you can never exceed clearances and not feel great about doing it, my 1st stove I followed a corner install clearance guide to the T, after a few hot fires, and feeling the wall afterwards, I wasn’t having that warm fuzzy feeling, even though I followed all instructions, having that extra room is really piece of mind and not wrong at all.
  • Like
Reactions: Leap
We’re up and running!! Yay!!
We spent the day finishing the pipe and chimney install. We hit a bit of a snag with the stove pipe to chimney adapter which resulted in me driving around on christmas eve eve looking for a part we didn’t actually need, ha.

All has gone well until literally a minute ago as I typed the above; turns out that between the steel box (that holds the fire) and the exterior cast shell, there are some old wasp nests 😅
So I guess we’ll be trying to clean those out tomorrow. We only just discovered them because they started to smoke lol!! I have no idea how to get to them, they’re only visible through a very small crack with a flash light.

Anyway this bad boy still needs some rust touch ups to be completed (and nest removal now) but we are so happy with it. Also my mom was here for its first fire and our boys also sat on the couch and watched. The man in the pic is my husband after he first got it going.

I’ll update later with the final clearances and will also do some before and afters of the touch ups.

Thanks for all the help y’all and merry Christmas!

Documenting our Quadrafire Explorer II install 96FA39CD-EB50-4C6D-BD6B-592737E63265.jpeg 3F791431-200E-4402-8FE6-69112D2CE0D7.jpeg 26AD8314-EDAF-4857-A69D-3109705D82BD.jpeg
Congratulations and Merry Christmas
  • Like
Reactions: Leap
Good job,looks sweet
  • Like
Reactions: Leap
Oh so close but the nests must go. The cast iron lid and panels should be removable but be careful with the sides. I think the legs are attached. If so the body will need temporary support. If the right side is removed, this is a good time to lubricate the ACC with a dry lubricant like graphite powder or silicone.
I've been following along too! Well done!! Looks great!

as another poster mentioned, that countertop looks kinda close whether it meets specs or not. I'd be watching that. My double wall pipe exceeds specs by a couple of inches yet the wall directly behind the pipe got rather hot, imo, so I put up a heat shield anyway. It doesn't take much. Any kind of a free flowing air space will do.

awesome that you'll have a fire for christmas!

darn wasps anyway...
with a double wall pipe, it's 4.5 inches from the center of the pipe to combustibles.
I am not seeing this in the stove docs. The only 4.5" clearance is the corner of the stove clearance to combustibles (E). Is this what you mean?

FWIW. Double-wall stove pipe has 6" clearance to combustibles, regardless of the stove-tested clearance. Items on the counter must stay at least that distance away from the stovepipe.
I realized that after I posted, yes that’s to the corner (the 4.5”). I think it’s 17” to the pipe center, and we have 20”. I think we’re 13” to the corners.

@begreen is that 6” clearance from the edge or center of the pipe?

@Newbie78 the countertop is solid granite. It definitely gets toasty but not a risk of combusting. The combustible wall that supports the granite meets clearances.