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Home is where the Hearth is…installing our Wood Burning Stove

chimney via glassslipperrestorations.com

Is that a fire? Quick!.. call 911!!! Relax, it’s just the wood burning in our new woodstove… in our living room!

WHAT? It’s 93 degrees outside??

Just Kidding… 😉 no, we are not burning a fire quite yet, but as soon as it gets below 50, or maybe 40, we can’t wait to smell that smokey goodness, wood… burning in our home!

 I am so looking forward to some cooler weather!

I can tell you this project was one of the easiest projects we have dealt with so far. Why? because we hired someone else to install it, and it only took one day!  This guy was a professional and he did an awesome job, just a little planning from me,  some assistance from Gary, and some of our hard earned money is all it took.

I even went out of town for two days and when I got home, it was done! How cool is that?

Normally, when we have hired someone in the past, it is always music to my ears to hear the hammering, drilling, sawing, etc. knowing that we were not the ones making all that noise. This time I wasn’t even here to watch, I’ll admit I was a little nervous though, only because I like to oversee things but I let go of the controls and trusted in my husband to oversee the install, he did very well and even took some pictures of the progress, for the blog! I knew I could count on him!

First, here is a before shot, over 10 years ago.

Chimney before renovations via Glassslipperrestorations.com

 There was a gas stove here and although the style was cool, gas is just not what we desired, so we removed the gas line, stove and pipe.

Chimney progress after plaster removal via glassslipperrestorations.com

and this is how it looked after we removed the pink plaster, the trim and the drywall…

Original chimney-before woodstove install via glassslipperrestorations

…and this is how it looked just a few weeks ago…

The stove is a Vogelzang Highlander high-efficiency woodstove that Gary purchased several years ago, and it has been sitting in storage collecting dust, patiently waiting to be installed.

After reading the installation manual and researching the pipe pieces and parts required to install, we decided it was probably a good idea to hire a professional to be sure it was installed properly and safely, and of course , without the stress and frustration. Before it could be installed, we had to have a hearth to sit it on and protect the floor from embers. So, following the manuals minimum clearance requirements and making  little adjustments (actually we designed it a little larger than required) we came up with this size and design.

Designing Hearth layout via glassslipperrestorations.com

Next, we had to decide what material to make it out of. After some debating on tile, brick, or metal and still not sure, I went to a granite and stone yard and took a drawing with the measurements, a brick sample previously removed from the chimney in the kitchen, and found a remnant of granite that went well with the brick color and had it cut to size.

Granite slab cut to size for hearth via glassslipperrestorations.com

I went out of town at this point but I got the story and though missing a few photos, I’ll do my best to describe.

First Jerry, the installer, after taking measurements and determining the center, drilled a small hole into the ceiling, through the ceiling and through the attic floor, then went upstairs and measured and cut out the hole in the attic flooring.

Cut hole for ceiling support via glassslipperrestorations.com warrow

The placement of the hole was right were a ceiling/floor joist happen to be, so he then cut the joist out using the reciprocating saw,

removed floor joist via glassslipperrestorations.com

he taught Gary a neat trick by plunge cutting into the plywood flooring, and then framed in the square hole.

Then they installed the ceiling support.

ceiling support installed via glassslipperrestorations.com

( I’ll need to cover up that ugly hole with something decorative )

Next they installed this chimney, storm collar and chimney cap,  (sorry, lighting is really bad here)

bottom section chimney flue via glassslipperrestorations.com

mid section chimney flue via glassslipperrestorations.com

upper chimney flue via glassslipperrestorations.com

Now your probably wondering why we didn’t use the existing flue in the chimney, well that was the original idea and it could have been done, but it would not be as efficient because of the 90 degree bends, and it will be much harder to clean, and a lot more expensive as well.

Then Gary and Jerry carried the 200lb granite slab into the house and the 300lb stove into the house as well. Glad I was not there to watch this, a little nerve racking…They laid thinset and the granite in place, then the woodstove on top.

Set woodstove in place via glassslipperrestorations.com

…and yes, I know what you are thinking, “Is that 500 lbs of extra weight going to fall through the floor?? ” I asked this of Gary and he assured me that the floor joists underneath are very strong and will hold this weight without a problem. Whew, OK then…

Here is the finished installation

chimney flue complete via glassslipperrestorations.com

highlander woodstove via glassslipperrestorations.com

We will install some wood finish trim around the edge of the hearth and stain it to match the floor

Soon, we will have our first fire!!!


So, what are you looking forward to enjoying this season? Soft sweaters? Cozy blankets? Hot chocolate? Family celebrations?

for me … All of the above!

“Fall” is such a wonderful time of the year!!

  • Lauren October 10, 2013, 8:04 am

    I love the granite under the stove, and the stove looks like you can cook on it as well as be warmed by it! My own experience, the wood burning stove is a magnet for family to be drawn to, yet mine I can’t cook on top of, yet we do grill meat and bake potatoes inside of it:)
    Very happy for you!

    • Cindy October 12, 2013, 10:16 am

      Oh Thank you Lauren, it’s always nice to hear from you! I never thought about cooking on it, that’s a great idea!

  • Jill Steffen October 16, 2013, 9:03 am

    What great before and After photos! It really looks beautiful! I’d be excited to use it too! It won’t be long now! I’m excited for you two to use it! Looks Grrreat!

  • Cindy October 19, 2013, 8:34 am

    Hey there Jill, thanks! Yes, we will be snuggling soon in front of a nice hot fire! It’s 53 degrees here this morning!

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