IMPORTANT WOOD STOVE HEARTH PAD REQUIREMENTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Do you need a wood stove hearth pad? and what is the wood stove hearth pad requirement specified in fire codes?

In this article, I will help you understand if you need hearth protection for your wood stove, and if you already have one we will look into whether your hearth pad is large enough for your wood-burning stove.

We will also look at fire codes when installing a hearth pad, what kind of materials it can be made of and I’ll give you some tips when installing an old one or replacing a hearth pad with a new one, and lastly, we will talk about how to make a DIY wood stove hearth pad.

So we are going to get started talking about all of the sizes and dimensions that your wood stove hearth pad size needs to be, especially if you live in Canada or the USA.

Pay attention to your wood stove certification label

As a disclaimer always follow the indications for clearances to combustibles specified on your wood stove certification label or owner’s manual, if your wood stove doesn’t have a label it will be considered an uncertified appliance, and your wood stove floor pad clearances change considerably.

Wood stove hearth pad requirements

You may be thinking why do I need a wood stove hearth pad, well fire codes state that one is needed over any combustible surface, like wood floors for example, and really most people have one under their stove but some questions we will answer during this post are, do I have the right hearth pad for my stove size and is it made of the right materials to be code compliant,

If wood stove floor protection is not coded compliant it could void your fire insurance at the time of a claim, no one wants that, also having the right size and proper hearth pad materials make your wood-burning stove safer for your family.

WOOD STOVE HEARTH PAD

so continue reading if you or anyone you know has a wood stove and needs a solution to this problem, and feel free to share our content with others with the social buttons at the top of the page.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty and talk about wood stove hearth pad requirements and all the sizes and details you need to follow to have a code-compliant wood stove

Wood stove hearth pad size

Wood burning appliance test standards started in the 1970s and have evolved drastically since then, and modern-day stoves are very safe to use when installed correctly.

Floor pads have been an important part of that testing over the years, to know what to expect for clearances to combustibles with your wood-burning stove you should first take a look at the certification label on the back of it.

Generally, to find it you just need to look for a label that is usually black with gold or silver lettering and you will see indications on it that show the clearances to combustibles, you should always use these clearances because your wood stove was tested in accordance to them.

Also, the clearances for distances to a wall or anything combustible like a ceiling are also on your stove label and in your user manual and they are different from the standard wood stove hearth pad requirements.

How to size your hearth pad

These are standard measurements according to the W.E.T.T certification (standard in Canada)

and the NFI National Fire Institute being the (standard in the USA)

As a disclaimer, make sure you always do your own investigating on these authority websites that set the standards and always take into consideration what your wood-burning appliance owner’s manual says because every stove is different in size and specs.

So with that said let’s take a look at some information and ideas so you can decide what you need for floor protection under your wood stove.

Regular wood stove hearth pad size

Remember these measurements are only showing you how much space your minimum floor protection needs to be, note that this can be larger than what is shown in the diagrams, and remember this is not showing clearances to a combustible wall or ceiling it is only showing where to situate a wood-burning stove on floor protection.

Wood burning stove hearth pad size

Regular hearth pad size

The standard distance extended from the back of the wood-burning appliance is 8″.

The standard distance extended from the sides of the wood-burning appliance is 8″.

The standard distance extended out of the front of the wood-burning appliance is 18″.

This distance is larger because the front of the stove is where the doors open and hot coals need an ember pad to fall on to.

Hearth pad size for a wood stove with two doors

Wood burning stove hearth pad size with side door

With a side door

The standard distance extended from the back of the wood-burning appliance is 8″.

The standard distance extended from the sides of the wood-burning appliance is 8″.

The standard distance extended out of the front of the wood-burning appliance is 18″.

Now if you have a side door or second door you also need to leave an 18″ distance for your hearth pad on that side also.

Corner hearth pad for a wood stove

Wood burning stove hearth pad size corner

Corner installation

The standard distance extended from the back of the wood-burning appliance is 8″.

The standard distance extended from the back corners of the wood stove to the edge of the sidewall of the hearth pad needs to be 8″.

The standard distance extended out of the front of the wood-burning appliance is 18″.

This distance is larger because the front of the stove is where the doors open and hot coals need an ember pad to fall on to.

Now if you have a side door or second door you also need to leave an 18″ distance for your hearth pad on that side also.

It’s important to note that these measurements can sometimes be slightly different on the certification label of your wood-burning stove, some may say 6″ on the sides and 16″ of the front or side doors.

How thick does a hearth pad need to be?

The standard for a hearth pad thickness is a minimum of 3/8″ or 8mm, and this can be thicker depending on the noncombustible material used, something that is important and not always stated on stove labels is that the hearth pad should be a continuous surface.

Floor protection continuous surface

You may be asking why should wood stove floor protection be a continuous surface? well the answer is simple, think about a hearth pad made of bricks or ceramic tiles, if they are laid directly on a combustible wood floor for example there will be gaps between each brick or tile and if by chance an ember falls out onto the floor and between those cracks you could have a serious fire on your hands, you may not even notice that an ember fill out and it could smolder there for hours or even days till it catches fire.

Rustic wood stove hearth pad
As you can see this rustic wood stove floor pad is not fancy but it is one continuous surface (no gaps)

The solution is always a continuous surface like a piece of sheet metal or cement board below the tile or brick that has gaps

Wood stove hearth pad material and shapes

Here are some of the most common materials to protect your floor from fallen embers, and there are a variety of shapes you can choose from, or you can buy a pre-made pad to your liking.

Hearth pad materials

Hearth pads can be made with many different materials to suit your preference and needs, some of the most popular are listed below:

  • Steel
  • Granite
  • Slate
  • Glass
  • Brick (or brick faces)
  • Stone
  • Ceramic tile

Just remember if you use any of these materials make sure they are stuck to a continuous non-combustible surface like cement board or sheet metal.

In the section below I talk a little more on this subject.

Hearth pad shapes

Hearth pads also come in a variety of shapes, such as the ones below:

  • Rectangular
  • Square
  • Circular (middle of a room)
  • Triamgle (for a corner instalation)
  • Octagon
  • DIY size and shape (this can be done when following intications stated on the certification lable of your stove

Check out some different hearth pad sizes and shapes at American Panel and Hearth Products

Under your hearth pad

You will need protection under any materials that have gaps like tiles, bricks, or anything that is not a continuous surface as I have mentioned above, so under any of these materials you need a continuous piece of metal or cement board that are the total dimensions of your calculated hearth pad size, this is to prevent any embers from falling between the cracks possibly causing a fire, and this also makes the surface ridged and stronger.

Wood stove ember pad
This pad is cut into the wood floor so it sits flush, this is a great way to add ember protection and you won’t stub your toe on it.

This is a useful point if you are building your own DIY hearth pad, but if you buy one pre-made from a manufacturer you don’t need to worry about this because it will be built to code.

Hearth pad trim

Some people call this a wood stove ember pad and the name makes sense because the reasoning behind it is to stop embers from falling on your wood floor and so on, and some people ask if this is an ember pad can I use a wood trim around the outside edge to finish it, and the answer is yes you can as long as you are 18″ distance from the front or any secondary door, and 8 on each side and back, but id you van finish yours with a metal edge it can be a little safer, and most store-bought ember pads or hearth pads come with a finished metal edge.

Wood stove hearth pad Ideas

There are so many choices and ideas when buying a wood stove hearth pad si below I thought I’d give you a few ideas and if you want to make your own as a DIY project then the video below is a great place to start and you can also follow the guidelines I have given you in this post.

Build a wood stove hearth pad DIY

Building your own pad can be very cost-effective, generally costing between $150 to $250 depending on the materials you use.

If you go the route and want to build your own wood stove floor protection just make sure you measure correctly and take into consideration the points mentioned above to build it correctly.

Lisa”s video is a great introduction for anyone wanting to make their own DIY wood stove floor pad so check it out.

Buy a wood stove hearth pad

If you decide to buy a premanufactured hearth pad you can expect to pay around $400 to $700+ depending on what you are looking for.

There are some great ones on amazon, or you can also buy one directly through your local fireplace store

If you do decide to buy a premanufactured hearth pad, make sure you take into account your wood stove size and take into consideration the size of floor protection you need.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading and I really hope this information was useful, please feel free to share this post with friends that might need it, also leave a comment below if you found this post interesting.

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