Guide To Distance to Combustible Materials

If the position of your stove is close to a combustible material; be it a timber studded wall, plasterboard wall, wooden mantel piece etc then there are several options for you to still have a compliant installation.

When looking to have a stove installed there are two separate distances to consider. The first is from the manufacturer of the stove and it is how far they say their appliance needs to be from any combustible materials. The second is stated in building regulations and refers to the distance any stove pipe must be from combustible materials, which is three times the pipe’s diameter.

Below you will see the most common issues faced and how to overcome them.

Wooden Mantel Piece and/or Surround.

The most common issue when looking to install a stove in a fireplace is that there is an existing mantelpiece or surround made of wood. On occasions the distance from this to the stove and pipe is sufficient enough that no action needs to be taken, however this is a fairly rare occurrence.

This first measure that can be taken is to shield the wood. This cuts the distance required in half and may solve the problem however it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to looks. This is a good solution if both the stove itself and the stove pipe are too close to the wooden surround.

If the stove is a suitable distance away, but the pipe is causing the problem, then you can have a section of twinwall pipe in place of the standard stove pipe. The benefit of this is that this cuts the distance to the wood required down to just 50mm. However, looks may be the drawback with this option. On larger stoves, such as the Jotul F 305 or Charnwood Cove 2, the additional diameter of the twinwall pipe does not impact the overall look of the installation, but on smaller 5kW stoves this becomes a factor.

If your surround is too close to the sides of the stove then some models have options convection/heat shield panels that can be attached to the stove and cut the required distance. Good examples of this are the Charnwood Cove and Island ranges as well as the Jotul F 162 and F602 ranges.

The final option is to replace the existing wooden surround. You can get a traditional granite or stone surround or opt for a “timber effect” surround. These are made of not combustible materials so can be placed in any position around the stove. We have several examples of these in our showroom in Rochester.

Timber Studded and/or Plasterboard Wall

If you are looking to have a freestanding stove and the surfaces nearby are wooden or plasterboard then you can either look to shield the stove and pipe or the wall itself.

Nearly all good quality stoves available have an option for a rear heat shield which will significantly reduce the distance from the back of the stove to a combustible material. This allows the stove to sit nearer the wall and not encroach too far into the room.

A freestanding stove will be utilising a twinwall system. This can either be designed with a section of stove pipe between the stove and the twinwall flue, or with the twinwall flue connecting directly to the stove. If the combustible materials are too close, then connecting the twinwall directly to the stove is the best option.

Shielding the wall is the other option available. This can be achieved by utilising vermiculite boards, tiling or a product such as the enamel Heat Shield Panels by Vlaze. The advantage of the heat shield panels, other than being designed for this specific purpose, is that they can be customised not just in size but in colour as well as design. Vlaze Heat Shield Panels are produced by A.J. Wells who are the manufacturers of Charnwood Stoves. A Vlaze Heat Shield Panel is on display in our showroom and sits between our Charnwood Cove 2 and the plasterboard wall behind.

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