How do I Build a Fireplace to Hold My Wood Stove?

Written by becky lower
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How do I Build a Fireplace to Hold My Wood Stove?
Nothing says "cozy" like a warm wood fire. (fireplace image by Michael Shake from

There is nothing better on a cold, blustery night than curling up in front of a warm, crackling fire. Woodstoves are among the most efficient heating devices available. Their capacity to heat a room is much higher than that of a standard fireplace, which is only about 5 to 10 per cent efficient, according to Don Vandervort of HomeTips. Converting a fireplace to accommodate a woodstove is a job best left to professionals, since the results of an improperly installed stove can be devastating. However, there are some things a homeowner can do to prepare for the installation, which will cut down on the costs.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tile, brick or concrete pavers
  • Adhesive or concrete mix
  • Trowel
  • Flexible 5-foot-long stainless-steel tubing
  • 6-inch stainless-steel pipe
  • Stovepipe
  • Shears
  • Furnace cement

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  1. 1

    Place the woodstove into the firebox and check for clearances. If the flooring and surrounding area are not covered in a noncombustible material, such as tile or brick, at least eight inches around all sides, take out the stove and add a flooring of this type of product. Lay tile with the manufacturer's recommended adhesive, applying it with a trowel. If there is enough clearance to lay brick or pavers, mix concrete as directed and butter each brick with a trowel.

  2. 2

    Extend a stainless-steel flexible tube from the back of the stove up through the damper.

  3. 3

    Have a professional line the entire chimney with a stainless-steel pipe, preferably a double-wall pipe, which provides extra protection against heat. This should attach to the flexible tubing. Have the expert seal the area below the damper with a metal pan, using furnace cement, and attach the assembly to the stovepipe, which feeds into the back of the woodstove. The stovepipe can be trimmed to size with shears.

  4. 4

    The expert should also inspect the top of the chimney, making certain that it extends at least 36 inches above the roofline, and that it has a spark-arresting top.

  5. 5

    Make certain the door on the woodstove has a tight seal. This will prevent sparks from flying into the room, and will prevent the warm air from the room from going up the chimney as the fire banks down to ash.

Tips and warnings

  • If possible, add an air-supply line from outside the building into the belly of the stove. Make sure this line is above the snow line in your area.

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