What to Put Behind a Wood Burning Stove: Essential Safety Measures for Optimal Performance

What to Put Behind a Wood Burning Stove?

When it comes to what to put behind a wood burning stove, a heat shield is essential for safety and compliance with regulations.

The purpose of a heat shield is to protect and enhance the wall behind the stove, as well as to reflect and direct heat back into the room.

This is important because repeated exposure to heat can cause combustible materials to deteriorate over time, potentially leading to a drop in their autoignition temperature and the occurrence of pyrolysis.

Heat shields, which can be made from materials like brick, stone, tile, or vitreous enamel, are necessary if there is insufficient clearance between the stove and combustible surfaces.

They can reduce the required distance for safety and improve the efficiency of wood burners.

For the best results, the heat shield should protrude at least 300mm above the top surface of the stove, extend to the edge of the hearth horizontally, be affixed to the wall with an air gap of at least 25mm, and be open at both the top and bottom to allow the flow of cool air.

It is worth noting that heat shields are not needed if the stove is installed in a proper fireplace with a hearth, chimney cavity, and firebox.

Proper installation and regular cleaning, maintenance, and inspections are necessary for a safe wood burning stove setup.

Key Points:

  • Heat shield is essential for safety and compliance with regulations behind a wood burning stove.
  • Purpose of a heat shield is to protect and enhance the wall behind the stove, reflect and direct heat back into the room.
  • Heat shields are made from materials like brick, stone, tile, or vitreous enamel.
  • They reduce required distance for safety and improve wood burner efficiency.
  • Heat shield should protrude at least 300mm above top surface of stove, extend to edge of hearth horizontally, affixed to wall with 25mm air gap, and be open at top and bottom for cool air flow.
  • If stove is installed in a proper fireplace with a hearth, chimney cavity, and firebox, heat shields are not necessary.

Did You Know?

1. The material traditionally used behind a wood-burning stove to protect the wall is called a heat shield, also referred to as a stove board or stove mat.

2. In addition to its practical purpose, a heat shield behind a wood-burning stove can also act as a decorative element, adding style to the room. There are various designs and patterns available to suit different aesthetics.

3. A popular and effective material used for heat shields is ceramic or porcelain tile. These tiles are often glazed, making them resistant to heat, which is perfect for the high temperatures generated by a wood-burning stove.

4. Another option for a heat shield behind a wood-burning stove is heat-resistant cement board. This material is specifically designed to withstand intense heat and provides excellent protection for the wall while maintaining a sleek and minimalist appearance.

5. When installing a heat shield behind a wood-burning stove, it is essential to maintain a proper air gap between the shield and the wall. This gap allows for air circulation, preventing excessive heat buildup and reducing the risk of fire.

Related Post:  Is Parchment Paper Flammable? A Safety Guide

1. Importance Of Heat Shields For Wood Burning Stoves

Wood burning stoves are a popular choice for heating homes due to their warmth and charm. However, ensuring safety measures are in place when operating these stoves is crucial. One essential safety feature for wood burning stoves is the heat shield. Heat shields play a vital role in protecting and enhancing the wall behind a wood burning stove.

Heat shields serve two primary functions. Firstly, they reflect and direct heat back into the room, maximizing the heating efficiency of the stove and effectively warming the room.

Secondly, heat shields provide essential protection to the wall surface. When combustible materials like wood are repeatedly exposed to high temperatures, they deteriorate over time, a process known as pyrolysis. This can lower the autoignition temperature of these materials, increasing the risk of a fire starting in the wall. Heat shields act as a barrier, preventing pyrolysis and protecting the wall from potential damage or fire.

2. Types And Materials Of Heat Shields

Vitreous enamel heat shields are popular for their reliability and attractive appearance when it comes to achieving their objective. They are made from non-combustible and heat-resistant materials like brick, stone, tile, or vitreous enamel. These shields provide effective safety and aesthetics for homeowners.

  • Non-combustible: Vitreous enamel heat shields will not catch fire.
  • High-temperature resistance: They can withstand high temperatures, offering robust protection for surrounding walls.

It is worth mentioning that high-quality vitreous enamel heat shields, such as those offered by Vlaze, come in various sizes and colors. This allows homeowners to choose a shield that seamlessly blends with their interior decor while ensuring optimal safety performance.

3. Installation Guidelines And Safety Compliance

When installing a wood burning stove, it is crucial to adhere to safety guidelines and regulations. Heat shields are a necessary component for safety and compliance with these requirements.

The heat shield should protrude at least 300mm above the top surface of the stove, ensuring ample coverage. Furthermore, it should extend horizontally to the edge of the hearth, providing comprehensive protection.

To affix the heat shield to the wall, it is important to maintain an air gap of at least 25mm between the shield and the wall. This ensures sufficient airflow, preventing overheating of the wall and potential damage.

The heat shield must also be open at both the top and bottom, allowing cool air to circulate behind the shield. This constant flow of cool air helps dissipate the heat and prevents any buildup that could lead to combustion of nearby materials.

It is essential to note that heat shields are unnecessary if the wood burning stove is installed in a fireplace with a proper hearth, chimney cavity, and firebox. In these cases, the existing structure provides the required protection from heat transfer and ensures compliance with safety regulations.

Related Post:  How to Clean Ashes From Fireplace Without Mess

4. Benefits Of Using Heat Shields

The use of heat shields in wood burning stove installations offers several noteworthy benefits. Firstly, heat shields reduce heat transfer to surrounding walls and materials, thereby preventing cracks and minimizing the risk of fire. By deflecting the high temperatures emitted by the stove, heat shields act as a barrier and safeguard against potential hazards.

Additionally, heat shields enhance the efficiency of wood burners. By reflecting heat back into the room, less heat is lost through the walls, resulting in improved heating performance. This increased efficiency can lead to significant reductions in fuel costs, making wood burning stoves with heat shields an environmentally friendly and cost-effective heating option.

Moreover, heat shields are an essential safety feature. When correctly installed, they create a safe distance between the stove and combustible surfaces, reducing the likelihood of accidental fires. In some areas, the installation of heat shields may even be a legal requirement to ensure compliance with safety standards.

5. Specific Requirements For Heat Shield Placement

To ensure optimal safety and compliance with safety regulations, specific requirements exist for the placement of heat shields behind wood burning stoves.

As mentioned earlier, the heat shield should protrude at least 300mm above the top surface of the stove, providing sufficient coverage.

Horizontally, the heat shield must extend to the edge of the hearth, ensuring comprehensive protection.

When affixing the heat shield to the wall, maintaining an air gap of at least 25mm is crucial. This gap allows for proper airflow, preventing overheating of the wall and reducing the risk of combustion.

To promote airflow, the heat shield should be open at both the top and bottom. This ensures the flow of cool air behind the shield, which aids in heat dissipation and prevents the accumulation of heat that could be hazardous.

  • Protrude at least 300mm above the stove
  • Extend to the edge of the hearth horizontally
  • Maintain an air gap of at least 25mm when affixing to the wall
  • Open at both the top and bottom to promote airflow

6. Maintenance And Regular Inspections For Safety

While heat shields provide essential protection and enhance the safety of wood burning stove installations, it is important to note that regular maintenance and inspections are necessary to ensure continued safety.

Regular cleaning of the heat shield surface is recommended to remove any buildup of soot or debris. This not only keeps the heat shield functioning optimally but also helps maintain the aesthetic appeal of the stove area.

Additionally, periodic inspections should be conducted to check for any signs of wear, damage, or deterioration. This proactive approach allows for timely repairs or replacements to be made, ensuring the ongoing effectiveness of the heat shield.

Heat shields are an integral safety measure for wood burning stoves. With their ability to protect and enhance the wall behind the stove, heat shields ensure safety and compliance with regulations. By reflecting and directing heat back into the room, heat shields improve the heating efficiency of wood burners. They are available in various materials, with vitreous enamel heat shields offering both reliability and appealing design options. Heat shields also reduce the risk of cracking or fire in surrounding walls and materials. By adhering to installation guidelines and conducting regular maintenance, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of heat shields while ensuring the safety and optimal performance of their wood burning stoves.

Related Post:  Do Gas Fireplaces Need to Be Cleaned Regularly for Optimal Performance?

Check this out:


Frequently Asked Questions

What do I put on the wall behind my wood burner?

When deciding what to put on the wall behind your wood burner, it is important to consider both aesthetics and safety. One option is to use firebacks, which not only add visual appeal but also provide a layer of protection between the stove and the wall. Another alternative is faux panels, which mimic the look of real stone or brick without the weight or cost. Lastly, heat shields are specifically designed to protect the wall from excessive heat and can be a practical choice for maintaining both safety and style in your wood burner area. Ultimately, the decision depends on your personal preference and the overall design of the room.

What is the best material for behind a wood stove?

The best material for behind a wood stove would be a combined non-combustible heat shield with a tile and metal backing. This option provides the best of both worlds by combining the heat-resistant properties of ceramic tile with the durability and insulation of sheet metal. The tile acts as a barrier against heat, while the metal backing adds an extra layer of protection and strength. This combination offers a safe and efficient solution for protecting the wall behind the wood stove from the intense heat it generates.

What is the best thing to put under a wood burning stove?

When it comes to selecting the best surface to place under a wood burning stove, one should consider ceramic or stone tiles for their numerous advantages. Not only do these materials possess remarkable strength and durability, but they also offer effective protection against the intense heat generated by the stove. By placing ceramic or stone tile under the stove, one can ensure long-lasting protection while adding an aesthetically pleasing element to the room. The combination of their robust nature and heat-resistant properties make ceramic or stone tiles an optimal choice for this purpose.

What do you put behind and under a wood stove?

One option for what to put behind and under a wood stove is a heat and fireproof floor made from recycled concrete patio blocks or house bricks. These materials provide a safe foundation for the stove and can be obtained at a lower cost if you look for used or cull bricks, especially if you live near a brick factory. This choice ensures both safety and affordability for your wood stove setup.

References: 1, 2, 3, 4