In recent years, many homeowners have turned to wood stoves to heat their homes instead of natural gas or electricity. Wood, a renewable resource, is gaining in popularity as a source for heat in urban locations. To use a wood burner to heat your home, you must address safety concerns, such as having properly installed heat shields to avoid fires or injuries. Most wood stoves require heat shields under as well as behind them. Proper installation and clearances lessen your concerns when you leave the house or go to sleep.
Metal heat shields
Check the certification information on the back of the wood stove for the required distance between the stove and the wall. This label will also advise you on the required width and height of the wall shield to meet safety standards.
Locate the studs in the wall behind the wood stove with a stud finder. Mark their location by placing pieces of masking tape on the wall. Make sure the tape will be visible above and below the dimensions of the metal heat shield.
Hold metal or ceramic spacers against the wall studs, and mark the screw holes with a pencil. Drill pilot holes into the wall studs with a drill bit that is smaller than the diameter of the screws.
Drive the screws through the holes in the spacers into the studs. Mount the metal heat shield to the spacers with the furnished screws included with the metal heat shield. Do not cover any of the outer edges of the heat shield because air must circulate around it on all sides.
Ceramic tile heat shields
Mount the spacers to the wall in the same manner as those for a metal heat shield.
Attach a concrete backer board that is a minimum of 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick to the spacers. Specific requirements for heat shielding your stove may require more than one piece of concrete backer board to meet the required dimensions. Generally, the heat shield must extend a minimum of 50 cm (20 inches) beyond each side of the wood stove and 50 cm (20 inches) above it.
Spread mastic mixed with a latex additive on the wall with a notched tile trowel. For greater adhesion, spread mastic to the back of each tile before placing them on the wall. Place spacers between the tiles to maintain spacing. Allow the tiles to dry overnight.
Grout the tile using a grout trowel, working the grout into the spaces between the tiles and removing the spacers as you work. Work carefully with the grout, and do not leave any gaps. Wipe excess grout from the faces of the tiles with a damp sponge. Do not over wet the grout, or it will weaken. Polish the tile with a dry towel to remove grout haze. Allow the grout to dry overnight.
Apply grout sealer to the grout to protect it and facilitate cleaning.
Natural stone or brick can also be used to create a fire-safe shield.
Adhere to guidelines for your wood stove on clearance from any combustibles.