How to Level a Floor With Brick for a Wood Stove

Wood stoves provide internal home heating and typically sit in a central location of the home. When installing a wood stove, a perfectly level floor is required to prevent it from tipping or rocking. You can level out uneven floors by installing a brick hearth. In addition to leveling out the floor, the brick hearth meets fire safety standards and prevents the floor from catching on fire. When installing the brick hearth, careful planning and layout is required.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • Utility knife
  • Hand-held oscillating tool (optional)
  • Cement board
  • Power drill
  • Wood or masonry screws
  • Premixed mortar
  • Trowel
  • Bricks
  • Level
  • Rubber mallet
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    • 1

      Figure the size of the brick pad needed by measuring the wood stove width and length and adding 36 inches to both measurements. This provides an 18-inch clearance on all sides, which is the minimum required. If desired, you can make the brick hearth larger.

    • 2

      Mark the square on the floor using a tape measure and a chalk line tool. Make sure the square is at least 18 inches from any walls or other objects.

    • 3

      Cut out the flooring material inside the chalked perimeter, using a utility knife for carpet or linoleum and a hand-held oscillation tool for wood floors. Remove any padding under the flooring material as well.

    • 4

      Cut down 1/2-inch-thick cement board sheets so they fit inside the floor cutout. You can cut the cement board by using a utility knife to score it and then breaking it off. Lay the cement board into the floor opening, butting the edges up closely. Secure it to the floor using a power drill and wood or masonry screws, depending on the subfloor materials. Space the screws every 12 inches along all perimeters of the board.

    • 5

      Open a plastic tub of premixed mortar, and scoop it out, using a hand trowel. Spread the mortar on top of the cement board until it forms a 1/2-inch-thick layer.

    • 6

      Apply mortar to the bottom and three sides of one brick and press it into the edge of the mortar bed. Repeat the process with an additional two or three bricks, butting the edges so there is a 1/4-inch gap of mortar between them.

    • 7

      Place a level across multiple bricks to check for the floor levelness. Tap the tops of bricks that are too high with a rubber mallet to sink them lower into the mortar. Continue installing bricks and leveling out the floor until the brick hearth is complete.

    • 8

      Scrape off the excess mortar, and wait 24 hours to allow the mortar bed to harden.

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