We are getting a wood stove. This was Kirk’s idea, mostly. I liked the idea of having one, but may not have tackled the project for a long time. But Kirk has been burning a lot of the old barn wood, and feeling badly that it could be better used to heat the house, instead of just for recreational burning. And, I think he just likes to burn! 😉 So, he organized a bid from a local fireplace store. We did not get multiple bids, because we know enough about this place to know they are good, and they are local. The price was reasonable, and we liked their stoves.
The hard part was deciding where the stove should go. Our old 1929 house has kind of a weird floor plan. A previous owner had a wood stove in the living room, but this made a stovepipe go up directly in the middle of the upstairs bedroom, which we did not desire. We ended up choosing to sacrifice some space in the was-dining room. This room was eaten up by the winder staircase that was added more recently, anyway, so it no longer has enough floor space to act like a dining room.
It’s really become more of a strange foyer, I guess; since there are French doors exiting this room that we use constantly as a farm in-and-out door. This, unfortunately, brings a lot of dirt into the central part of the house (as can be seen in the photo!). Eventually, we’d like to repair the laundry room door (which is currently stuck shut) such that we can use that as the dirty farm door access, and leave our piles of boots in there. I think in the end, our floor plan will turn out to be very practical, if not unconventional. But, right now, everything in the house is just weird.
So, back to the stove. The floors are all old-growth fir, and we’ll eventually get around to refinishing them. We were tasked with choosing a hearth pad before the stove is delivered and installed. We considered the prefabricated ones the stove place sells. But, they were very boring tile jobs, with huge, unattractive grout lines. We wanted something a little more original. We honestly considered pouring some kind of concrete pad right on the floor, and a little web searching led us to believe this is a realistic option.
But, Kirk has a friend who does a lot of different fireplace design artwork, I guess you could call it. We ended up deciding to have this man make us a custom hearth pad. He makes his projects out of wood (in this case, 2×4’s, plywood and cement backer board), and then covers them with some kind of concrete product he has developed. It’s kind of a stucco look. We made him a paper pattern, and told him we wanted it to be slate-colored (to compliment the enable black vintage-looking stove); we’ll see what he comes up with!
This is a corner installation, and we settled on a round-shaped hearth. It had to arc back tight enough to not interfere with the French doors. But, of course, there are specs on how far out it must come from the front of the stove. So it was tricky figuring out what kind of circle arc to use. We ended up making the center of the circle offset from the corner and not 45° out of the corner. Oddly, a non-centered circle looked best in this corner, since the sides are not symmetrical– with a door on one side, and a plain wall on the other.
The picture shows some tape lines on the floor of different options we considered. We thought about embedding tile into the wood floor and running it in front of the door. But, we were a little afraid to make such a bold alteration, as it would have made a lot of work to change our minds later and put the fir floor back! And, our friend’s heath pad, we think, will give the stove more centerpiece attention and hopefully echo the rounded nature of the winder staircase we eventually plan to build.