How to build a surround for a wood burning stove

Written by bobby stocks
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How to build a surround for a wood burning stove
Wood burning stove surrounds protect areas around the stove. (Flame of a fire and fire wood in fireplace image by Aliaksandr Zabudzko from Fotolia.com)

Wood burning stoves use the oldest method of creating heat known to man. Fire brings an attractive, rustic trait to any room. Build a surround behind your wood burning stove to provide an aesthetic background (decorative), or to protect the wall (functional). Those used to protect the wall are subject to building code since they perform the important duty of preventing uncontrolled fires.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Masking tape
  • Electronic stud finder
  • Spacers
  • Screws
  • Cement board

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Prepare the area. Mark all dimensions on the walls with masking tape to ensure a proper fit. Locate studs within the wall with an electronic stud finder and clearly mark their location. Be sure the dimensions of the surround match those required by your local building code.

  2. 2

    Install the non-combustible spacers. Fasten the spacers to the wall and into the studs with screws. These spacers allow an insulating air gap behind the face of the surround. Building code dictates the amount of gap needed for this void. Typically, 1 inch is sufficient.

  3. 3

    Attach a surround face made of a non-combustible material such as cement board. Screw long screws through the spacers and into the studs so that the face is also secured to the structure of the wall behind it. Leave gaps at the top and bottom to allow air to heat up behind the face and flow upward and out of the gap.

  4. 4

    Apply finish to decorate the surround surface. Attach stucco, tile or high-temperature paint. The decoration must be fire proof since it is very close to the stove and will become very hot during use.

  1. 1

    Prepare the area. Mark all dimensions on the walls with masking tape to ensure a proper fit. Locate studs within the wall with an electronic stud finder and clearly mark their location. The dimensions of a decorative surround depend only on the design in mind.

  2. 2

    Attach the face of the surround directly to the wall. Screw into the structural studs of the wall behind the stove. No air gap is needed since the wall behind is approved to serve as an unprotected backstop.

  3. 3

    Decorate the face of the surround. Regular paint and wall coverings represent safe options.

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