Dec 18, 2010

Wood Stove with Hearth Installation Pt. 1 (picture heavy)

Moving up to the mountains, getting a wood stove seemed like a pretty good idea. It's so much cheaper than the electric I have now! Well.. will be after a couple years of using it. My significant other (Alex) and I bought an efficient model - the Drolet Savannah from Northern Tool. Our house is about 1400 sq. ft. and the Savannah is supposed to heat up 1500 sq. ft. But before it can be used there has to be a heat shield installed. We didn't want to buy one of the pre-fab ones. We also figured if we did something ourselves, it wouldn't be that expensive.

I did a lot of research on installing this hearth. But I am not a professional. Therefore this is just meant to give ideas, not to be used as a guide.

This is the final intended result:

I placed the stove in the corner where I wanted it to be.  I then measured out the space to the wall from the stove corners for the minimum clearance amount and shifted the stove accordingly. Tape was then put on the floor for how I wanted the hearth to be shaped. Alex put the measurements into Showcase (cad program) and came up with the final result of how it should look. Then we went to work.

After cutting up the rug, we laid down our frame. The bottom part is a little more than 4" high. It's composed of 2x4's laid flat with 8" centers to form the joists.

The disaster of the family room!

Since the stove will be in a manufactured home we had to install an air inlet. Manufactured homes tend to be rather airtight so most stove manufacturers require it. The kit that's sold online that attaches to the stove was over  $100. The only purpose for the kit is to draw in fresh air from outside to the stove so it doesn't create negative pressure in the home and cause air quality issues. We decided to just do it ourselves. We drilled a hole in our floor comparative to the kit size - 4 1/2" diameter. Went underneath the house and cut out a hole in the rubber barrier beneath the insulation and inserted a dryer vent hose. Connected some screen and hardware cloth to one end and held it all together with a clamp beneath the house. Therefore, little bugs and creatures can't get back up into the house. 

We then installed 1/2" plywood and 1/2" Durock on the top of the frame.

Spread the mortar on top of the Durock and sides to seal up all the joints and cover the screws.

I let that dry and sanded it to make it all even and level. After another period of dry time. I spread some more mortar on and took a 3/8" trowel at a 45° angle to make the notches. Then placed the 12 x 12 ceramic tiles on top. The tiles were bought at Lowe's and most Lowes' will cut straight lines on the tile for you if you mark them out.

1/4" spacers were used. And I put two layers of tile underneath the edge tiles because I didn't want them flush with the floor. 

Grout was then added in the cracks and lightly sponged off the tiles. After a couple days I also added grout sealer to prevent stains from oil and water.

Grout Sealer - Natural Look Penetrating Sealer I used this type of sealer. I didn't like the idea of the spray sealers since you end up just wiping most of it off the tile. And if you plan on doing any cooking on stove - you don't want to stain the grout if something splashes out of a pan. - They're cheap too.

The walls and base should have been done all at once. It would have made things easier. But, we had family coming for Thanksgiving and knew we couldn't put up the walls and the base beforehand. Therefore, we settled on just putting in the base and adding the walls later. 
Can't wait till it's all finished!

Let me know if you have any questions ;-)