Q&A Installing a woodstove hearth in a small space

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 24, 2007 at 6:22 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I am about to have a Much Wenlock installed in a corner space near a window in my very small house. I am looking to use inexpensive materials for the construction of the hearth and wall protection (to minimize clearances). I am leaning towards using ceramic tiles as I have many at my disposal at a good price. Is it possible and prudent to somehow use them as wall protection as well, and if so, how? Any OTHER recommendations would also be much appreciated. A related issue: If I buy a preconstructed wall protection sheet, how do I deal with the window which is so close by? If at all possible, please e-mail me your ideas as well as posting them on here.


    According to the publication NFPA 211, you can reduce the standard clearances from combustibles by 66% with any material that is truly non combustible (brick, tile, sheet metal, etc.). The material must have a 1" min. circulating air space behind it and the attachments used for securing your material to the wall must not be within the outline of the stove and stove connector. The material must extend upward and outward until the full measurement of the original stove clearances are obtained when measured from the outer most points of the stove.

    Generally the clearances to a window are treated the same as the clearances to combustibles. While it is obvious that glass won't burn, it can and will break from excessive heat and it is likely that your window sill and trim are combustible. I don't recommend putting a stove any closer to a window than what the clearances allow. There are small stoves in the market place today that can be installed into a very small space, such as yours, without adding wall protection and having to worry about breaking a window with excessive heat.

    While these are generally accepted practices, you really need to check with your local jurisdiction for their requirements, because they can vary substantially in different parts of the country.
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