How to install a small wood burning stove

Written by ma wen jie
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How to install a small wood burning stove
Some woodstoves are insulated at the back to allow them to sit next to walls. (Old Stove and Antique Chair image by bawinner from

Wood stoves have been common heating methods in cold climates for hundreds of years. Because they generate intense heat, wood stoves can be a fire hazard if not properly installed. The exact installation method depends on the type of stove and whether you are installing the chimney through the ceiling or through a wall.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hearth materials
  • Wood stove
  • Plumb line
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Class A insulated chimney
  • Stovepipe
  • Wall protector (optional)

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  1. 1

    Install the hearth. A hearth is non-combustible flooring that should cover all of the floor under the stove and extend to at least 30 cm (12 inches) behind the stove and at least 45 cm (18 inches) in front. How far your stove should be located from combustible walls depends on the type of stove. If you are not sure, place the hearth so that the stove is at least 90 cm (36 inches) from the nearest combustible surface.

  2. 2

    Set the stove on the hearth and verify the clearances. Use a plumb line to establish the centre of the stovepipe feed, if putting the chimney through the ceiling. If putting the chimney through the wall, establish the centreline for the chimney.

  3. 3

    Cut a hole in the ceiling or wall as directed by chimney manufacturer's instructions. Different Class A chimneys have slightly different installation procedures. Be sure to follow the included instructions carefully.

  4. 4

    Connect the stove to the chimney using stovepipe. The stovepipe should be at least 90 cm (36 inches) from any combustible surfaces. If the stove is insulated and can be located closer to the wall, install an approved wall protector behind the stovepipe to reduce the risk of fire.

  5. 5

    Install any required stovepipe at the top of the chimney. Stovepipe at the top of the chimney helps to keep smoke from collecting around the house and may, especially in the case of chimneys that go through the wall, be necessary for safety and draw. Consult the chimney's installation manual for advice. Remember that outdoor walls may need to be shielded in the same way as indoor walls.

Tips and warnings

  • Improperly installed stoves, stovepipes, and chimneys are a very real fire hazard.
  • Follow all clearances and manufacturer's installation instructions carefully.
  • Consult your local authorities for local regulations and always err on the side of caution.
  • If in doubt, hire someone to install your woodstove.

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