Pedestal on an insert?

  • 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.

Minisplit Backup

New Member
Nov 7, 2022
13
47401
I’m another newcomer to this forum and have been finding it incredibly helpful – thank you. I hope that you might provide some guidance on a few questions.

We want to install a wood-burning insert that qualifies for the 30% tax credit to provide a bit of heat when our electricity goes out (we heat with ductless minisplits) and to enjoy fires without wasting lots of energy. We want to avoid having to tear up part of the floor to install a new hearth by putting the insert on a pedestal. Is this possible? Because our fireplace and hearth are small, the only insert I’ve found that fits the bill is the Regency i-1500.In light of our small fireplace and the wood trim above it - described below - is putting a pedestal under an insert / this insert workable?

These are the dimensions I’m worried about:

Minimum required height of pedestal if the hearth is not to-code: 4 ½”

Height of i1500 itself: 18 ¾” (¾” more where flue adaptor is, which doesn’t seem relevant)

Minimum required clearance from top of insert to combustible trim above: 15”

Total needed from floor of fireplace to base of trim: 4 ½” pedestal + 18 ¾” insert + 15” to trim = 38 ¼“

The distance from the floor of our fireplace to the base of the white-painted trim (visible in photo) is just 37 ¾”. IMG_0877.JPG

So, if adding a pedestal is feasible, we would remove 1 ½” of the underside of the trim. This seems much easier and less expensive than replacing our hearth (which would probably be a deal-breaker for us). But I’m worried that I’m missing something - or missing a lot! In your experience, is this plan workable?

In case they’re relevant, these are some other dimensions:

Our fireplace depth: 15”. Minimum required depth for i1500: 13 ¾” (16 ½” with offset flue adaptor)

Depth of i1500 itself: 16 7/8” (20 3/16” including base that juts out in front of fireplace)

Lintel: 4”

Our fireplace width: 33” in front, 29” in back. Minimum required width for i1500: 23”

Our fireplace height: 29” front, 32” back. Minimum required height for i1500: 19”.

One other question: For aesthetic reasons and to get as much heat as we can from the insert, we’d prefer not to install the surround. In the absence of a to-code hearth, is this safe?

Thank you so much for any light you can shed on this.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
I’m another newcomer to this forum and have been finding it incredibly helpful – thank you. I hope that you might provide some guidance on a few questions.

We want to install a wood-burning insert that qualifies for the 30% tax credit to provide a bit of heat when our electricity goes out (we heat with ductless minisplits) and to enjoy fires without wasting lots of energy. We want to avoid having to tear up part of the floor to install a new hearth by putting the insert on a pedestal. Is this possible? Because our fireplace and hearth are small, the only insert I’ve found that fits the bill is the Regency i-1500.In light of our small fireplace and the wood trim above it - described below - is putting a pedestal under an insert / this insert workable?

These are the dimensions I’m worried about:

Minimum required height of pedestal if the hearth is not to-code: 4 ½”

Height of i1500 itself: 18 ¾” (¾” more where flue adaptor is, which doesn’t seem relevant)

Minimum required clearance from top of insert to combustible trim above: 15”

Total needed from floor of fireplace to base of trim: 4 ½” pedestal + 18 ¾” insert + 15” to trim = 38 ¼“

The distance from the floor of our fireplace to the base of the white-painted trim (visible in photo) is just 37 ¾”. View attachment 302492

So, if adding a pedestal is feasible, we would remove 1 ½” of the underside of the trim. This seems much easier and less expensive than replacing our hearth (which would probably be a deal-breaker for us). But I’m worried that I’m missing something - or missing a lot! In your experience, is this plan workable?

In case they’re relevant, these are some other dimensions:

Our fireplace depth: 15”. Minimum required depth for i1500: 13 ¾” (16 ½” with offset flue adaptor)

Depth of i1500 itself: 16 7/8” (20 3/16” including base that juts out in front of fireplace)

Lintel: 4”

Our fireplace width: 33” in front, 29” in back. Minimum required width for i1500: 23”

Our fireplace height: 29” front, 32” back. Minimum required height for i1500: 19”.

One other question: For aesthetic reasons and to get as much heat as we can from the insert, we’d prefer not to install the surround. In the absence of a to-code hearth, is this safe?

Thank you so much for any light you can shed on this.
How far will the hearth extend Infront of the insert?
 

Minisplit Backup

New Member
Nov 7, 2022
13
47401
How far will the hearth extend Infront of the insert?
Thank you for responding. The hearth would extend 16 and 5/8" in front of the body of the insert. The bottom of the insert - I don't know what it is - juts out an additional 3 and 3/16". The hearth would extend just 13" and 7/16" in front of the insert if I include the "jut-out" as part of the insert. The bigger issue, I believe, is that our hearth probably doesn't have the R-value that it would need to serve as a hearth in front of a wood burning insert. That's why I'm wondering if that can be solved by putting it on a pedestal - and whether that's possible.

Here's what the documentation says: "Thermal insulation/protection with a R value of 1.4 at a distance of 18" from door opening is required for Canada and 16" for USA. If unit raised minimum 4.5" from hearth, no thermal protection is required."

Here's a link to the spec sheet - https://assets.regency-fire.com/getdoc/8b1aad23-16e3-4125-b5a8-2f4d743b86e4/I1500-specsheet - the bottom right diagram on the first page shows the "jut-out". Thanks so much.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
Thank you for responding. The hearth would extend 16 and 5/8" in front of the body of the insert. The bottom of the insert - I don't know what it is - juts out an additional 3 and 3/16". The hearth would extend just 13" and 7/16" in front of the insert if I include the "jut-out" as part of the insert. The bigger issue, I believe, is that our hearth probably doesn't have the R-value that it would need to serve as a hearth in front of a wood burning insert. That's why I'm wondering if that can be solved by putting it on a pedestal - and whether that's possible.

Here's what the documentation says: "Thermal insulation/protection with a R value of 1.4 at a distance of 18" from door opening is required for Canada and 16" for USA. If unit raised minimum 4.5" from hearth, no thermal protection is required."

Here's a link to the spec sheet - https://assets.regency-fire.com/getdoc/8b1aad23-16e3-4125-b5a8-2f4d743b86e4/I1500-specsheet - the bottom right diagram on the first page shows the "jut-out". Thanks so much.
I know the regency specs. How is your current hearth extension constructed?
 

Minisplit Backup

New Member
Nov 7, 2022
13
47401
Looking up from the basement, I can see concrete between the underflooring boards. It couldn't be very thick but it is there. As far as I can tell, there isn't a wood form under it. But the other parts of the basement ceiling boards have something else above them, not concrete. This image is looking up from the basement - there are a few small pieces of excess concrete between the boards that are the ceiling of the basement.

IMG_0883.JPG
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
Looking up from the basement, I can see concrete between the underflooring boards. It couldn't be very thick but it is there. As far as I can tell, there isn't a wood form under it. But the other parts of the basement ceiling boards have something else above them, not concrete. This image is looking up from the basement - there are a few small pieces of excess concrete between the boards that are the ceiling of the basement.

View attachment 302502
Is the sub floor under the hearth extension at the same level as the rest of the subfloor?
 

Minisplit Backup

New Member
Nov 7, 2022
13
47401
I should add: because we are completely solar powered, we can't justify the major expense and hassle of installing a new hearth. The insert is only to provide heat when the electricity goes out (our solar panels can't be used in an outage)and for the pleasure of a working fireplace. It can't save on our heating bills. That's why I'm still wondering whether a 4.5" pedestal base on an insert is realistic and would work in our small fireplace. Thanks.
 

kborndale

Minister of Fire
Oct 9, 2008
619
LI
If it is for heat when the power goes out you would probably be better off with a stove. Inserts generally need a blower running to heat sufficiently.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
4,488
SE North Carolina
You have the room to raise the fireplace floor. With The right size bricks one course would be all it needs finish the front edge however you like. That said one could easily put down, in a permanent or semi permanent manner, an insulated hearth pad. Yeah they don’t look great but it’s a relatively cheap and very fast solution.
 

Minisplit Backup

New Member
Nov 7, 2022
13
47401
You have the room to raise the fireplace floor. With The right size bricks one course would be all it needs finish the front edge however you like. That said one could easily put down, in a permanent or semi permanent manner, an insulated hearth pad. Yeah they don’t look great but it’s a relatively cheap and very fast solution.
That is so helpful. So, we could lay one layer of bricks that are 4.5" high and put the insert on top of them and we'd be all set? We are not experienced DIYers but that sounds like, after watching a bunch of Youtubes, something we could do. (And, alternatively, we could put down an insulated hearth pad.) Thank you! I'd about given up that we could solve this.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
That is so helpful. So, we could lay one layer of bricks that are 4.5" high and put the insert on top of them and we'd be all set? We are not experienced DIYers but that sounds like, after watching a bunch of Youtubes, something we could do. (And, alternatively, we could put down an insulated hearth pad.) Thank you! I'd about given up that we could solve this.
Yes as I suggested earlier I think a hearth pad is the best solution
 

Minisplit Backup

New Member
Nov 7, 2022
13
47401
Yes as I suggested earlier I think a hearth pad is the best solution
Thanks for noting that - could you possibly explain what's better about a hearth pad? Does a hearth pad go under the insert as well as in front of the fireplace? Or just in front of the fireplace? Thank you.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
Thanks for noting that - could you possibly explain what's better about a hearth pad? Does a hearth pad go under the insert as well as in front of the fireplace? Or just in front of the fireplace? Thank you.
Well it would go under the front of the insert that extends out of the fireplace. You would then pad up under the insert so it sat level
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
99,736
South Puget Sound, WA
A custom non-combustible hearth pad with the right insulation value could be made to start under the insert and extend out to 16 or 18" beyond the stove door.
 

Minisplit Backup

New Member
Nov 7, 2022
13
47401
I now see that the floor below our hearth is actually 4“ thicker than the floor below the rest of the floor and I can see concrete from the basement looking up. Can I assume that it therefore has the necessary R-value for underneath the hearth?

If so, it seems that there are two inserts that might fit: the Lopi Answer (which is above our budget because it doesn’t get the tax credit) and the Regency i1500. Could you possibly help me understand the difference in the clearances between the two? I thought that the clearance was uniform for all inserts made in the U.S. but:

The Regency, which is a tad narrower than the Answer, seems to require a much greater width clearance. The Answer is 23 and 5/8” wide and requires a side-to-combustible trim clearance of just 9” for a total trim-to-trim width of 41 and 5/8”. Although the Regency i1500 is just 23” wide, it requires a side-to-trim clearance of 15” for a total trim-to-trim width of 53”. (Our total trim-to-trim width is 50 and 7/16” - which seems to exclude the Regency but not the Answer)

Similarly, the Regency is a tad shorter than the Answer but requires a greater hearth-to-mantle clearance than the Answer. The Answer is 20.5” high and requires 35.5” from the base of the insert to the bottom of the mantle. The Regency is 18 ¾” high but requires an additional 20” clearance to the bottom of the mantle for a total of 38 ¾”. (Again, this makes a difference to us because we have just 37 ¼” from the hearth to the mantle - which again seems to exclude the Regency but not the Answer.)

Should I take the clearances for the Regency at face value?

Thanks so much.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
31,978
central pa
I now see that the floor below our hearth is actually 4“ thicker than the floor below the rest of the floor and I can see concrete from the basement looking up. Can I assume that it therefore has the necessary R-value for underneath the hearth?

If so, it seems that there are two inserts that might fit: the Lopi Answer (which is above our budget because it doesn’t get the tax credit) and the Regency i1500. Could you possibly help me understand the difference in the clearances between the two? I thought that the clearance was uniform for all inserts made in the U.S. but:

The Regency, which is a tad narrower than the Answer, seems to require a much greater width clearance. The Answer is 23 and 5/8” wide and requires a side-to-combustible trim clearance of just 9” for a total trim-to-trim width of 41 and 5/8”. Although the Regency i1500 is just 23” wide, it requires a side-to-trim clearance of 15” for a total trim-to-trim width of 53”. (Our total trim-to-trim width is 50 and 7/16” - which seems to exclude the Regency but not the Answer)

Similarly, the Regency is a tad shorter than the Answer but requires a greater hearth-to-mantle clearance than the Answer. The Answer is 20.5” high and requires 35.5” from the base of the insert to the bottom of the mantle. The Regency is 18 ¾” high but requires an additional 20” clearance to the bottom of the mantle for a total of 38 ¾”. (Again, this makes a difference to us because we have just 37 ¼” from the hearth to the mantle - which again seems to exclude the Regency but not the Answer.)

Should I take the clearances for the Regency at face value?

Thanks so much.
Take the wooden forms off of the bottom of the hearth and r value doesn't matter.

And yes you absolutely need to take any manufacturers clearances at face value. Those are the required specifications