How to Turn a Fireplace Into a Woodburning Stove


Wood stoves are a more efficient method of wood-based heating than open fireplaces. Much of the heat of an open fire will escape into the chimney masonry or out of the chimney itself, but a wood stove will project much more of its heat into the house. Depending on the size and location of the stove, it should be able to heat at least a room or area of the house, if not the whole house. This may be less costly than oil, electric or gas heating.

Things You'll Need

  • Woodstove
  • Stovepipe
  • Heat-resistant material
  • Sheet metal screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Furnace Cement
  • Clean and inspect the chimney attached to your fireplace, and make any necessary repairs. If in doubt, have a certified inspector take a look.

  • Consider installing a stainless steel liner inside the chimney. This liner will improve safety, draft, and ease of cleaning. Make sure the chimney top is capped.

  • Protect the area below and around where the stove will be with heat-resistant material. Commonly-used materials include concrete, pre-made stove boards or mats, and bricks or tiles over concrete or cement. Make sure the heat-resistant material extends at least 12 inches past the sides of the stove, and 18 inches beyond the front-loading doors.

  • Place the stove on top of the heat-resistant material. Securely attach the stovepipe to the stove and the chimney. Use sheet metal screws to join the pipe pieces together, and furnace cement to seal between the pieces of the stovepipe. Keep flammable objects such as furnishings at least 18 inches away from the stovepipe.

Tips & Warnings

  • None of the advice above is intended to replace the information in your stove owner's manual.
  • Regular cleaning (sweeping and inspection) of the stove flue is essential for safety.

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  • Photo Credit wood burning stove image by Paula Gent from
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