Full DIY - First Wood Stove - Castleton 2020 Model Soapstone install

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com 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.

Shrewboy

New Member
Oct 15, 2020
71
Eastern Pennsylvania
Hello everyone!

Over the last few months I have been researching YouTube and reading this forum constantly to learn as much as I can about safety and proper installation / usage of wood stoves. Thanks for all the great info!

I am building my own hearth / back wall covering, and installing a Hearthstone Castleton (2020 model) Catalytic Soapstone woodstove in my 1200~ square foot 2 story early 1930s~ well insulated home.

My parents had a wood stove. I liked working with that, gathering firewood, and helping them save money. The whole experience is fun and rewarding.

This is my wife and I's first time doing masonry work so take it easy on us :D lol
I plan on installing the 6" chimney myself as well, I need to buy a big ladder and a better life insurance policy. I am going to double measure everything and follow the 10 5 2 rule (I think that is the numbers - don't work ill double check LOL)

Progress so far:

20201010_101121.jpg 20201011_221244.jpg 20201013_193646.jpg 20201013_193709.jpg
The underlying frame of the hearth is 2 x 6 lumber. I checked the manual for the wood stove to ensure it will have proper clearances on all sides and the front especially. I might put a piece of 12" tile along the front edge as well, if the carpet ends up getting repeatedly burned by falling embers... but maybe it won't be needed.

There is a return vent on the floor next to the hearth, my plan is to get a new thermostat that can run the furnace in Circulation mode only so that it pulls hot air from the stove and circulates it around the house on a set schedule. (Thanks to whoever said that in a thread a week or two ago about running furnaces in circulation mode instead of cutting holes in the floor to put in register vents.)

20201118_172655.jpg 20201121_124713.jpg 20201130_205231.jpg 20201122_153349.jpg 20201130_205227.jpg
I checked the R value (the added insulating factor of all non-combustible material in between the stove and combustible material) and decided to use a sheet of 3/4th inch plywood, a sheet of .5 inch concrete backerboard, then the thin porcelain tile on top. There will also be stone on the back wall behind the stove, I am not modifying the windows at all. This stove has the rear heat shield option. It is brand new.

I will be buying a bunch of fire extinguishers and placing them in strategic locations following advice I found here and OSHA regulations.
I have working fire alarms in each room of the house, I will be buying new 10 year smoke / carbon monoxide alarms as well to replace some of the older ones.

7f73633d0e77cd08ba2391f9a2b3e7ff.0.jpg 43c3ee5f1e92486c5cc9a04516e7bbfb.0.jpg

We built a Holz Hausen and I have about 1.5 cord of almost dry~ firewood besides that. I have around 3 acres of woods to scrounge around in. Lots and lots of smaller pieces left out there. I also got some wood logs (and useful wood chips!) from Chipdrop.

I will keep adding pictures and info as I continue this project, let me know if I am doing anything wrong that could turn my house into a pile of ashes :D
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: marty319

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,488
central pa
Hello everyone!

Over the last few months I have been researching YouTube and reading this forum constantly to learn as much as I can about safety and proper installation / usage of wood stoves. Thanks for all the great info!

I am building my own hearth / back wall covering, and installing a Hearthstone Castleton (2020 model) Catalytic Soapstone woodstove in my 1200~ square foot 2 story early 1930s~ well insulated home.

My parents had a wood stove. I liked working with that, gathering firewood, and helping them save money. The whole experience is fun and rewarding.

This is my wife and I's first time doing masonry work so take it easy on us :D lol
I plan on installing the 6" chimney myself as well, I need to buy a big ladder and a better life insurance policy. I am going to double measure everything and follow the 10 5 2 rule (I think that is the numbers - don't work ill double check LOL)

Progress so far:

View attachment 268233 View attachment 268245 View attachment 268246 View attachment 268247
The underlying frame of the hearth is 2 x 6 lumber. I checked the manual for the wood stove to ensure it will have proper clearances on all sides and the front especially. I might put a piece of 12" tile along the front edge as well, if the carpet ends up getting repeatedly burned by falling embers... but maybe it won't be needed.

There is a return vent on the floor next to the hearth, my plan is to get a new thermostat that can run the furnace in Circulation mode only so that it pulls hot air from the stove and circulates it around the house on a set schedule. (Thanks to whoever said that in a thread a week or two ago about running furnaces in circulation mode instead of cutting holes in the floor to put in register vents.)

View attachment 268238 View attachment 268237 View attachment 268243 View attachment 268235 View attachment 268242
I checked the R value (the added insulating factor of all non-combustible material in between the stove and combustible material) and decided to use a sheet of 3/4th inch plywood, a sheet of .5 inch concrete backerboard, then the thin porcelain tile on top. There will also be stone on the back wall behind the stove, I am not modifying the windows at all. This stove has the rear heat shield option. It is brand new.

I will be buying a bunch of fire extinguishers and placing them in strategic locations following advice I found here and OSHA regulations.
I have working fire alarms in each room of the house, I will be buying new 10 year smoke / carbon monoxide alarms as well to replace some of the older ones.

View attachment 268234 View attachment 268236

We built a Holz Hausen and I have about 1.5 cord of almost dry~ firewood besides that. I have around 3 acres of woods to scrounge around in. Lots and lots of smaller pieces left out there. I also got some wood logs (and useful wood chips!) from Chipdrop.

I will keep adding pictures and info as I continue this project, let me know if I am doing anything wrong that could turn my house into a pile of ashes :D
Air returns need to be a minimum of 10'from.the stove.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shrewboy

Shrewboy

New Member
Oct 15, 2020
71
Eastern Pennsylvania
Air returns need to be a minimum of 10'from.the stove.

I was thinking this might be an issue because it is so close to the hearth! is there anything I can do to modify or cover it? I am not against moving it, or removing it completely to be in code / safe.

My original thought was putting a platform above it for wood to sit on, then some sort of wire mesh (not too thin gauge to allow air) in the front to keep embers from possibly flying into it.

Thanks for that info!!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,488
central pa
I was thinking this might be an issue because it is so close to the hearth! is there anything I can do to modify or cover it? I am not against moving it, or removing it completely to be in code / safe.

My original thought was putting a platform above it for wood to sit on, then some sort of wire mesh (not too thin gauge to allow air) in the front to keep embers from possibly flying into it.

Thanks for that info!!
It isn't about embers it is because pulling air in that close to the stove could reverse draft pulling smoke and or carbon monoxide out of the stove and distributing it through the house.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shrewboy