Forming a recess for a wood burning or multi-fuel stove

Wood Burning Stove, Fireplace recess and hearth

Fireplace recess and hearth for a wood burning or multifuel stove.

Forming a suitable fireplace recess and hearth is arguably one of the most important elements of a stove installation.

This post offers information for those looking to install an appliance into a existing masonry chimney breast.

Sketch showing the ideal recess and hearth.

fireplace recess and hearth sketch view

Hot Box Stoves consider the formation of this element fundamental to all stove installations that we undertaken.

Our teams of HETAS registered installers depict this process of installing a wood burning stove in an informative time lapse video

Hot Box Stoves Limited, in this instance suggested a 5kw DG Ivar 5 to the customer, which can be viewed in our online stove shop or Live in our York Showroom

Furthermore, this video depicts the installation of a new lintel, new slate hearth and slate recess chamber. Thereafter, our fitters then made good the plaster to the face of the chimney breast before connecting the stove.

What do I need to do to form a recess and hearth?

existing recess and hearth

Hot Box Stoves are able to offer this service as part of any stove installation.

Some of our clients choose to undertake this element themselves prior to our arrival to install their chosen woodburner.

If you are considering tackling this element of the work then please bear in mind the following elements:

  • You should always apply temporary protection to the area of work prior to trying to create a recess.
  • Hot Box always tend to sweep the existing flue prior to forming any recess or hearth into an existing chimney breast.
  • Remove and existing fireplaces and have any gas supplies terminated by a qualified person.
  • Set our the fireplace recess, mark the proposed position on the exiting wall as a guide.
  • Try and work to minimum dimensions of 1100mm high, to underside of the lintel, by 900mm wide.
  • Cut away the masonry using a breaker or suitable set of hand tools, keep the area tidy as you go, there will be a substantial amount of rubble.
  • Use a suitable lintel, reinforced concrete lintels are suitable, Hot Box tend to favour oversized lintels, 150mm x 100mm being the minimum.
  • Install the lintel first and set into position using a strong cement mortar with suitable bearing to each side.
  • The hearth should then be set, always make sure that the existing substrate is stable, if not, stabilise and level it before setting the hearth.
  • You will need to cut a hearth to suit the recess from a suitable material, slate or stone are popular choices.
  • The inside of the recess will then need making good. Cement render is a good option as it will withstand the heat inside the recess and hearth area.
  • Finally, the external face of the chimney breast can be made good using plaster ready for decoration.

Your new fireplace recess and hearth is ready…

Time to install your flue liner and stove into it…..


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