Woodstove Hearth and Surround
installations are installed on a hearth or platform
that is elevated from the floor. This style of
woodstove installation is called a surround. A
surround gives a setting similar to a fireplace
hearth and the brick or stone area surrounding the
Woodstoves can be installed in a similar way. The
advantage is that the woodstove sets up off the
floor on a brick or stone hearth and the
surrounding area is constructed of the same or
similar material. The woodstove hearth and surround
design can be any style you wish to fit any décor.
Before settling on a specific design, the woodstove
hearth and hearth design should be solidly fixed in
your mind before beginning work.
is because it becomes a permanent structure that
can’t be easily redone. Redoing the woodstove
hearth and surround is not like reupholstering a
chair. It takes a considerable amount of labor and
money to construct the project.
The type of material that you use for your hearth
and surround should be taken into consideration.
Most homeowners tend to go with something that is a
little bit more traditional such as stone or brick
and a wood shelf mantle. Contemporary hearth and
surround designs can do a lot for the beauty of the
room and your home. Your design should be such that
it won’t go out of fashion. This is especially
important because the design is a permanent
addition to the home. You can’t simply change it
every couple of years or whenever the interior
decorators decide what may be in or out of style.
Take the time to look at pictures and discuss ideas
with a mason to determine what is possible.
The hearth for the woodstove is built flat on the
floor and should be large enough to accommodate the
woodstove with additional space on both sides. The
surround should extend at least halfway up the wall
behind the stove. I recommend that it extend to the
ceiling so a mantel shelf can be attached. Not only
does the hearth and mantel add beauty to the
setting it also offers considerable fire
protection. A woodstove should normally be
installed no closer than two feet from the wall and
placed on a fireproof mat. These requirements can
be ignored if the stove is setting on a
hearth and surrounded by brick or stone.
This summer I helped a friend install
a woodstove hearth and surround in his basement
recreation room. The final installation is seen in
the attached picture. The surround is constructed
from stone (rock) and the hearth is constructed of
cement with bluestone for top finish. The mantel is
a wood shelf. It came out great and changed the
setting of the entire room.
Building a wood stove hearth and surround can be a
DIY project if you have the talent to lay brick or
stone. It is a more backbreaking task than a
technical task. It does take patients and a clear
design plan for a successful outcome.
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