Installing a new Englander 30NC

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New Member
Mar 25, 2014
Leslie, MI
Hello! First time poster to the Hearth forums. Been reading quietly for the last 3-4 weeks, but now I figured I would make a contribution to potentially help others. Here we go...

This year my wife and I have decided to install a wood stove in our home. Several reasons for doing so including: Reduce our propane use and dependancy, add a secondary heat source in the home, heat available during power outages, self-sufficiency, can't afford another winter heating bill like this one! This year I will be starting a wood pile from scratch. However, the wood supply in our area is abundant. Since we are the kind of people who know and help our neighbors, we usually get a call several times a year from someone doing some "pruning" of trees. This year especially with the bad storms and heavy snow, lots of trees are ripe for the picking. I am hoping to build up a 2-3 year supply this spring/summer. My inlaws also have a large supply of split and well seasoned hard wood to get me started next winter. Worst case scenario, I have to buy some from a local supplier...still cheaper than propane! Now on to the project...

The project is already underway to install the wood stove, so I will be catching up in the next week with pictures and progress updates. The plan is to install our stove (Englander NC 30) near the front entry way of our home in the living room area. The chosen spot is central to the home, with open flow to the living room, dining room, kitchen, and hallway leading to the bedrooms. An added benefit to the spot we chose is its close proximity to a main air return duct within 3 feet of the stoves location. In other words, when we need to move the heat around, we can kick on our "house fan" and have the forced air system push it around the home. The stove is a bit oversized for the home we are planning to heat, but with several home additions planned we wanted a stove big enough to handle the added square footage without blinking. Our house is currently just over 1000 sq ft, stick built around 1990, and is very well insulated. New windows were just installed 2 years ago to replace some el cheapo wood windows with water damage. Needless to say, the NC 30 should heat the home without a problem. I figure we can just put smaller loads in the stove and/or let it burn down between reloads. We will likely not be using the stove to heat 24/7, more like... 18/7. (My wife likes to let it burn out overnight since we aren't awake to monitor it. Something about having a fire inside the house while we sleep makes her uneasy)

I ordered the wood stove a few weeks ago via Home Depot online. Using some advice found on the Hearth forums, I was able to get the stove for $649 plus shipping and tax. Total came out to just over $800. There are many other threads on the subject, but in short, I set my home store to one in Bristol, VA. Zip code 24202. Poof! Price went from $899 at my true local store down to $649. A savings of $250! Irregardless, I was going to have to order online as they have been clearing out the shelves at my local stores making way for spring. A note on this deal: Be patient! I checked the HD website for over a month during February and the price didn't drop until around the 1st of March. The stove on the HD website is called an Englander 30 NCH but from my understanding, the "H" is just a designation for the 30 NC stove packaged for Home Depot and is in every way the same as other 30 NC except for the trim color. Different companies have different trim packages that come "standard" with their stove.

Need to wrap up for the day since I am posting this at work, but I want to leave you with a couple of pictures. First step in the install process is to prep the floor. I am going to be installing the stove on ceramic tile and I want the tile to be "flush" with the flooring around it. (More complicated than it sounds...and more on this later) My front entry way where the stove will be located is home to a half wall and some vinyl flooring which will both need to be removed to make way for tile. I didn't snap a picture before I started demoing the half wall, but here are a few pics of the half wall area after it had been removed. Sorry for the mess! (3 kids).

Day 1: Demoed and removed the half wall. After pulling down the half wall, I noticed how poorly of a job the installer did at insulating behind it. There was a 2-3 inch gap that didn't have any insulation and if you put your hand to the opening it felt as if a window was open. Since I removed the half wall at about 9pm at night on a work night, I duct taped the hole shut and called it a night. (Man code requires that duct taped be used at least once on every project)


Day 2: I happened to have a pile of 1" thick rigid foam insulation laying around in my garage as well as some extra fiberglass insulation. I stuffed some fiberglass insulation in the hole(R-Value 3.3/inch) and friction fit some of the rigid foam board in front of it (R-Value 5) This should be close enough to the required number. For added measure I put some caulking around the rigid foam and sealed up all the cracks and nail holes from removing the half wall. Also done this night (not pictured) I cut and fit a piece of drywall, and put on the first rough coat of mud to dry overnight.


One final note: The wood stove will not be installed on the wall pictured, but rather, roughly in the space I am standing when taking the photos. The removal of the half wall was necessary for traffic flow around the entryway/stove once installed. That's all for now. More updates tomorrow!
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Looks good so far. We like pics!
Remember that this stove requires a high R-value hearth. In other words your flush tile hearth will be nearly impossible.
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Remember that this stove requires a high R-value hearth. In other words your flush tile hearth will be nearly impossible.

The operative word being nearly. Englander calls for an R-value of 1.5 which I will be able to meet. Hang around and you will get to see me destroy the subfloor in my house. :)
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Congratulations and welcome in the big families of woodburners! :)

An added benefit to the spot we chose is its close proximity to a main air return duct within 3 feet of the stoves location.

Please check with your local code authority how close that return duct can be to a wood stove. You don't want to put all the work in and then not pass inspection. Plus, did you ask your insurance about their install requirements?
Congratulations and welcome in the big families of woodburners! :)

Please check with your local code authority how close that return duct can be to a wood stove. You don't want to put all the work in and then not pass inspection. Plus, did you ask your insurance about their install requirements?

Good call on checking with the code authority. The return duct is located on an adjacent wall 90 degrees around a corner from the stove.
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Welcome to the Hearth, DPurvis.
At least you're aware of the R value requirement. That's a good thing.
We're watching....and waiting.
Good to see another get the deal (I just installed mine last Tues.).
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Return ducting is on an interior wall in the main hallway of the house up near the ceiling. Feeds down into unfinished basement to the furnace. Basement temp is around 55-60F during the winter months.
The operative word being nearly. Englander calls for an R-value of 1.5 which I will be able to meet. Hang around and you will get to see me destroy the subfloor in my house. :)

Correct, the word "nearly" was not an accident.
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Quite a bit of heat loss will happen when running through those ducts.
Since you have a basement, the supply ductwork is most likely down there in the coolness.
Give it a shot and let us know if it works.
I'm curious.
ETA: Waiting until tomorrow is gonna' be difficult.;)
The operative word being nearly. Englander calls for an R-value of 1.5 which I will be able to meet. Hang around and you will get to see me destroy the subfloor in my house. :)

The 30NC is a fairly low stove. Maybe consider putting it on a raised platform hearth for easier loading?
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Day 3: Project began to take off today. Today was Saturday and the bulk of the work was just beginning. In this picture you can finally get a sense of where the stove will be installed. Even though it isn't very evident, a fair amount of work went in to getting to this point (I didn't take pictures all the way through) Up to this point I:
  • applied another coat of drywall mud,
  • removed baseboard trim,
  • measured cut and ripped out carpet,
  • removed carpet padding,
  • removed vinyl flooring from entry way(thank God the installer mounted it on 1/4 plywood for easy removal!),
  • removed/sank approximately 12,000 staples and nails in the floor from the carpet and vinyl,
  • measured and cut carpet again,
  • nailed down tack strip,
  • tucked carpet and sealed the edge,
  • precut the subfloor where it would be removed,
  • removed small piece of subfloor to see how easy it would be to pry it up (look near the tip of the yellow crowbar)
The space being cleared is bigger in person than in these pictures. The tiled area is to be 60 inches by 99 inches (5ft x 8ft 3in) minus the "chopped" corner.


More to come tomorrow!
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It is your house but I would not put the stove in that location. If that is the main entrance the stove will sit right in a major walkway. Plus, if a fire ever starts around it you just blocked your main exit. Seeing also the baby stuff there; how do you stop your kid from just turning around the corner and walking right into the stove? Kids don't go near heat but for that they need to feel and see it first. Is that really the only location you can install it?
Have to agree. This is a poor location for a stove.
Unfortunetly, yes this is the best place for the stove. It has been a topic for debate in my house for over 2 years. We have explored a half dozen different locations. (Including turning a closet into a fireplace with a zero clearance stove) We also made a scale drawing of the room with furniture cutouts to play with layout options. This spot is easy to get to without tracking mess through the house, the floor and ceiling don't pose any complications or or added costs, stove is out of the way(believe it or not), central to the home for better heating, and this placement works best with both our current and future house plans. We used masking tape to layout the area and placed an end table in the approximate location of the wood stove to see how the flow would work. We lived with this for a few days to make sure it was where we wanted it to be. As far as being in the entry way, I figure we only use the door a fraction of the time compared to the time spent in the house walking through rooms, etc.

Regarding fire safety, we have a back door directly across the house from the front door. In a fire we could get out there. We do have plans to install a safety gate around the stove due to the fact that we have 3 little ones in the house. My kids have grown up being around a wood stove at the grandparents house and do really well around it. (Englander 18-TR 50) It shouldn't be too much of an adjustment for them.
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Day 4: (Sunday) This was the major construction/destruction day. Had some family members over today to get the bulk of the construction done. Before anyone arrived I got started by ripping out the subfloor in the area that I will be fire proofing. Yet again, this was harder than I thought it would be. Apparently the subfloor was glued down to the floor joists, so removing the subfloor in 1-2 big pieces was not an option. After strugling with a crowbar for a few minutes I gave up and got out the 10 pound sledge. In no time I had the floor broken up and lying in the basement. What a mess.
Woodstove-3.jpg Woodstove-4.jpg Woodstove-19.jpg

In the back corner of the hearth area there is a return duct line under the floor. After getting the floor ripped apart, I got a chance to look into the duct. Looks like someone left me a present! Ew. The duct may need a bit of a clean too!

Woodstove-6.jpg Woodstove-7.jpg
After chiseling off all of the adhesive on the tops of the floor joists, it was time to re-frame the floor to support the stove. The plan is to use 2x6 "Stringers" to tie the floor joists together, then use 2x8's to fill in the space between the joists and act as the new subfloor. All this work is necessary to get the Micore board in and allow the finished tile work to be flush across the whole entry way.
Now I am from the school of thought that the minimum is just that, the minimum. I tend to overbuild things to ensure that they will hold up/not fail, etc. In this instance using 2x8's as my "subfloor" should be fine to span a 24" stringer with little to no bounce or play in the floor. However, since the floor is opened up I am taking the opportunity to put in some cross bracing as well. I happen to have a pile of cross braces laying around in the garage that I got on sale with the plan to eventually add them to the entire basement. Here we are installing the crossbracing that will be in between the 2x6 stringers.

Installing the 2x6 stringers. Remember that they will be set 1.5 inches below the top of the floor joist to allow the 2x8's to sit on top of them. We decided to stagger them so we could fasten them from each end. The other option would have been to toenail the majority of them, but I didnt feel that it would be as strong that way. (Not based on any facts, just gut feeling)
Woodstove-10.jpg Woodstove-12.jpg
You may have noticed where I used some 1x6's to patch a section of the subfloor. This was to fix a mistake I made the day before in my haste to get the subfloor cut and removed. After ripping up the floor I took some more measurements and realized I was going to run short on material for the 2x8 support. I had removed about 53inches of subfloor, but needed to cut the 2x8's at around 48inches in length since the boards were 8 feet long. Oooops. Good thing I had some 1x6 laying around. A quick patch job and we were back in business.

Woodstove-14.jpg Woodstove-20.jpg
This pretty much wrapped up our day. After getting the 2x8 subfloor in place, the house was once again safe to walk through without danger of falling through the floor. You can start to get a sense of where the woodstove will be placed. The fireproofing area is oversized for the manufacturer specs. (Englander requires a minimum 39in x 52in hearth pad) The final hearth size will be 47in wide by 56in deep. More than enough. I started installing the Micore on Monday 3/25, more pictures to come...
So you plan on tiling directly to the micore? No durock? Micore is pretty squishy stuff.
Just got a call from the shipping company. The delivery is scheduled for tomorrow. Now i can get to ordering the side heat sheilds from Englander. Apparently they need the serial number before you can order them.
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Let me preface by saying that I know very little about wood stoves, wood stove placement, codes and clearances, but I have to say that the placement of a wood stove in this location looks very.......unusual to me, especially for this stove. I have an Englander 30 and it is VERY big and it obviously gets VERY hot. Maybe it is just that I can't see the rest of the house floor plan from your photos, but it seems to me that this wood stove is really going to be "in the way", "in the wrong place", and "in an unsafe place." I realize that you have done considerable prep work already, have the stove being delivered tomorrow (today), that you are well past the planning stage, and that you haven't seemed to ask for any advice from the experts on this forum (which I am not one of for sure!) But since you have decided to post a picture log and very detailed description of your install, I will assume that you don't mind getting some constructive suggestions.

Maybe one of the experts here can offer some (unasked for) advice to DPurvis? Or, maybe my concerns are unwarranted?

Just my thoughts,
The intent of this post was to document my install. I do not claim to be an expert. I thought that others might get some useful tips and/or ideas based on the work that I am doing. You are all correct...I did not come here for advice. If I had questions, I would have asked them. Most of my questions have already been answered based on reading past posts on the forum. Thank you all for the input so far, but in the is not your house. As stated, I have been thinking and planning for this installation for over 2 years. The placement of the stove as it sits in my house was not an accident. It was carefully thought through based on both my current usage of the home, and future home additions that will be taking place in the next 1-2 years. Keep in mind my house is 1000 sq feet. I don't have a whole lot of options. Overall, this placement works for me and my family.

One thing to mention that you may not be aware of, is that the photos I am posting are not "up to the moment" of the install. Much more work has been done than is pictured thus far. I am retroactively posting these pictures as I work to get the forum posting back up to my current progress.

Now can we get back to the install and quit discussing the placement of this stove in my home? Thanks.
I think it looks great. Excited to see more updates.
I have no problem with the placement. I realize it may be "untraditional" for some folks. The majority of homes in my area rarely use the front door, so maybe it doesn't seem so unusual to me. I had a friend install a wood stove in a nearly identical location, and at first wondered about the layout. After seeing it in action, it made a lot of sense for the room. Also, having it near an exterior door, means a lot less mess carrying wood/ashes in or out, and without tracking winter sludge through the house.

DPurvis also described putting a gate around the stove, so the safety concerns would be mitigated.

DPurvis, have you thought about putting a halfwall, or partition wall to the right side (if facing the stove), just to "soften" the stove's presence in the room? Just an idea. Depending on how you build it, it could also be easily removable if you don't like it.

Keep posting pics!
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