Miscellaneous questions regarding Masonry Heaters, Hybrids, Soapstone & Radiant Heat

Cath Posted By Cath, Jan 15, 2008 at 2:24 PM

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  1. Cath

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Jul 31, 2007
    This is probably a loooooong way down the road. But I'm starting to think about masonry heaters. Our house isn't well suited to one unless we were to do an addition off of the back, which is a possibility.

    However, we definitely plan on finishing the basement so as an alternative, I was leaning towards a medium to large Hearthstone (Mansfield or Equinox), which cost upwards of $2,500.00. The "hybrid" masonry heaters have some appeal, but they cost about twice as much on the low end. Arguably they are more accurately described as large convection stoves with a lot more soapstone. Having just seen a series of pictures showing how they are assembled I realize they don't have anything resembling the convoluted "smoke path" described in the Wiki. Which may suggest they won't time release the heat as effectively as a true masonry heater.

    Additionally, I'm guessing that since the firebox is made of iron that overfiring is as much of a concern with the hybrid as it is with a regular wood stove.

    One dealer website claims that the soapstone is twice as thick at 2 3/8 inches (60 mm versus 30 mm). And since they appear to be about twice as big as the typical large soapstone stove that would be a lot more soapstone, which suggests the possibility of much better heat retention.

    To take full advantage of that we would obviously need an open floor plan. I wonder if it's realistic to hope that some of that heat may radiate upwards into the first floor.

    I'd appreciate any feedback.
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