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Ugly Wood Burning Stove

We are in the process of buying a house that has an ugly wood burning stove on a tiled platform in the family room. We originally thought we'd have it removed, as well as the platform, and close up the hole where the flue goes out. See at:

We started to wonder if there was a way to replace it with a fireplace, or something that looks like a fireplace. Or even encasing it in something so that it looks like the stove, as it is, is actually a fireplace. It does come out a bit far into the room, but just wanted to get some advice to see what might be possible, and what some different options are likely to cost.


Re: Ugly Wood Burning Stove

An actual fireplace with masonry chimney will be the most expensive option by far. The possibility of installing one depends more on the structure of the house that we can't see from the photo; masonry fireplaces are so heavy they require their own foundations and generally are built from that foundation up.

If you're wanting to get away from wood heat, there are many nice options for lightweight gas fireplaces that can be made to look like a real fireplace, without modifying the structure or building additional footings.

As for wood heat, I don't know of any woodstoves that use a regular stovepipe but look like a fireplace. You might check with a local woodstove retailer. Pellet stoves are another option; they don't require as substantial of a stovepipe as woodstoves do.

By the way, woodstove flue temperatures are usually between 700-800 degrees F. Pellet and gas stove flue temperatures are typically between 300-400 degrees F. That's why the stovepipe requirements are different.

Re: Ugly Wood Burning Stove

I can't get to your picture for some reason, even after doing the dot-com fix. I assume, from your description that you had one of those ugly brown sheet metal clad wood stoves with a rear flue that went through a wall and up a fake chimney. The good thing about those stoves is that they can provide heat during a power outage and they don't have searing hot surfaces that could burn a child or pet.

There are nice cast iron wood stoves with a viewing window, but the cast iron can instantly sear the skin of a child that might touch it. A better alternative would be a soapstone wood stove. They get very hot, but are more forgiving to the accidental touch. Here are some nice examples.


There used to be a wood stove with a cast iron box and a surround made of ceramic tiles. It was made in one of the scandinavian countries and they were beautiful stoves, safe around children, nice view of the fire and very very efficient. I can't seem to find them on the internet so I wonder if they went out of business. They were quite expensive. My uncle bought one for the house he built in the late 60's and it was about $2500 then.

An alternative to a wood stove might be a vented gas stove. You want vented because an unvented model will require that you leave a window open for safety unless your house is really drafty. Many of these can provide heat during a power outage with having to run to the wood pile.



Re: Ugly Wood Burning Stove

Since I've been around here long enough, I can post the real link:


I forgot about soapstone stoves. Where I used to live, a neighbor had one. For a wood-burning fireplace, they are incredibly efficient. The link below is for the brand he had. This company also produces ceramic ones like Keith mentioned, and is based in Finland. It may even be the same company.


Re: Ugly Wood Burning Stove

there are zero clearance wod burning firepace units that can be built in as well as many very good looking free standing woodstoves. as for the comment about wood stove flue temps being 700 to 800 degrees that is wrong they should never get over 550 in the vent pipe 2 feet from the fire box. it would be a little hotter closer to the fire box but should never be 7-800. after start up you should drop the flue temp down to 400 or below

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