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Specifications & Guidelines for Installing an Indoor Wood Furnace

Cleveland Van Cecil

Installing a wood furnace in the home can help lower gas costs and lower your impact on the environment by allowing you to burn renewable sources. There are a few guidelines and specifications for installing a wood furnace properly that will keep your home safe.

Installation Requirements

Make sure, before installation, that the stove will have 36 inches on all sides clear from combustible surfaces. This is required to keep the home fireproofed against the stove. The stove pipe of the unit should have 18 inches of clearance from all combustible surfaces. You will also need to install a fireproof flooring underneath the unit to keep the floor safe. The chimney should also clear the outside roof by 3 feet to protect the roof from stray sparks or leaping fire. Check with your local building association or local government for variances in these requirements.


Every wood stove is required to have a chimney, so plan this in your installation. Generally you should build the chimney as large, and with as few bends, as possible. It is recommended that you cap the top of the chimney to keep birds and other animals from getting inside the chimney.

If you are building a masonry chimney for your wood stove, there are a few things to remember. Make sure that the flue liner of the chimney is the same size, if not slightly larger, than the stovepipe. It should be insulated with vermiculite and stainless steel pipe for maximum protection.

Floor Protection

The floor protection under your stove should be made of concrete slab, which is either bare or has had brick or tile installed over it. You can also install Underwriter's Laboratory- (UL) approved stove boards and mats to protect your floor from the stove's heat. These can be covered with ceramic tile marble or slate.