When choosing your wood burning stove or multi-fuel burning stove it is important to make sure the stove will physically fit into the room where you want it to sit. The information in the tabs below should help you understand the requirements.
Clearance Around Stoves
There are two reasons why you need adequate clearance around stoves.
1. Distance from combustibles.
The stove manufacturer will specify the minimum distance required from any combustible material. Stoves give out a huge amount of heat and a combustible material that is too close can catch a light just by getting too hoot. Brick,, stone, marble, granite, state and plaster on walls are not combustible. Wood obviously is as is wall paper and plasterboard (even heat resistant plasterboard can burn, it just takes a bit longer). A combustible material is any material that is not ‘A1 fire rated’ and no plasterboard is ‘A1 fire rated’. Stud walls are made of plasterboard and wooden batons, so entirely combustible.
Always refer to manufacturers recommendations regarding clearance from combustibles but it is good practice to allow the following distances between the stove and the walls around and above the stove:
Distance from top of stove to lintel / closure plate / register plate – 300mm (12 inches) Distance at the back of the stove 100mm (4 inches) Distance at the sides of the stove 150mm – (6 inches) Distance in front of the stove to the front edge of the hearth 300mm – (12 inches)
2. Distribution of heat.
A stove is a big solid steel or iron radiator. The fire inside produces a lot of direct heat into the room but it also heats up the walls of the stove which continue to provide heat, even long after the fire has died down. If a stove is placed inside a chimney breast right up to brick walls to the sides and back, a lot of heat will be wasted as it moves from the stove straight into the brickwork. There is no danger heating up bricks, its just heat that you are not getting the benefit of in the room.
Flue Pipe and Liners
The steel flue pipe or vitreous pipe that comes out of the top or the back of the stove and attaches to the flexible flue liner can also get very hot. As can the liner itself. Again the are regulations that specify the distance a flue pipe must be from combustible materials. Generally this is the flue pipe must be 3 times its own diameter away from combustibles. For example a 5 inch flue pipe should be 15 inches away from combustibles. The brick flue that the liner passes through shouldn’t have any combustible materials in it as its made of brick.
How To Be Sure
Your HETAS installer will check and confirm that there is the right amount of clearance around the stove and flue pipe from combustibles.
Stoves That Don't Fit In A Chimney Breast Recess
The stove must sit on a hearth and the size and thickness of the hearth are governed by building regulations. For stoves sat in a recess, i.e. inside a chimney breast, the hearth must extend out in front of the stove by a minimum of 300mm (12 inches) and it must extend out to either side of the recess opening the stove sits in by 150mm (6 inches). The thickness of the hearth is dependent on the stove and the materials the hearth is made of, you can find more information on this on our Building Regulations page.
For stoves sitting outside of a recess, if the stove has been independently certified not to heat the hearth underneath it to more than 100 degrees centigrade (most stoves are certified to this level and the manufacturer will specify this), then the hearth must be a minimum of 12mm thick non-combustible material. It must be a minimum of 840mm length x 840mm width regardless of the size of the stove. There must be a minimum 150mm of hearth at each side and rear of the stove and a minimum 300mm in front of the stove door.