Wood stove heat shield requirements are located on the certification label found on the back of your wood stove, this label states clearance reductions to combustibles when you are installing a heat shield. If there is no label on your stove, it is considered uncertified and needs to follow NFPA 211 standards in the USA and CSA b365 standards in Canada.

A woodstove heat shield on your wall will allow you to move your appliance closer to the combustible wall.

Jonathan A

Do you need a wood-burning stove heat shield? Great question right? You may have seen one and are wondering if yours needs one too.

This all depends on what kind of wood stove you have, and whether it is a certified wood stove or an uncertified wood stove, during this post we will talk all about important aspects of wood stove heat shields.

YouTube video
Take a look at LIFE ON THE 49TH’s video titled (How close can my stove be to the wall)

Some of the things we will discuss are if you need protection or not, will talk about the proper sizing of a heat shield using the proper specifications, and also different materials you can use to build yours, making it aesthetically pleasing by giving you some wood stove heat shield ideas.

Also, we will talk about the reduction of clearances to combustibles that you can achieve by having one installed in your home, and lastly will talk about how you can build your wood burning stove heat shield DIY project.

So please continue reading to find out more.

If you would like to share this article with a friend, feel free to do so.

Also, take a look at my post on Important wood stove hearth pad requirements if you are unsure of your hearth pad size this is a great guide.


This post should not be construed as a definite guideline for installation. Installation requirements are not exhaustively detailed.  The lack of a description of a requirement does not indicate a lack of that requirement. As this is merely an overview, many details and requirements are omitted.  Every installation is unique with a different structure, layout, and components to take into consideration. As mentioned above, it’s best to contact me or another Certified professional prior to installation in order to ensure proper installation.  I assume no liability for any actions taken based on what is written in this post.

Does a wood stove need a heat shield?

Lets to go through a few steps to find out if you need a wood stove heat shield.

  1. Look on the back of your stove and you should see a wood stove certification label, it is normally black and has silver or white lettering.
  2. This label will have the dimensions of your wood stove and information about flue size, hearth pad size and most importantly it will tell you what your clearances to combustibles are, this part is very important when installing your wood stove heat protection.
  3. Now if you have this label you probably won’t need a heat shield but can still install one to reduce your distances to combustibles or in simpler terms move your stove closer to the back or sidewalls.
  4. If your wood-burning doesn’t label considered an uncertified stove and doesn’t have a certification label on the back of it, then it is considered an uncertified appliance and falls under different jurisdictions, in this case, if you live in the USA you must follow: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances NFPA 211 and if you are in Canada you will need to follow the CSA B365 Installation code for solid-fuel-burning appliances and equipment.

How does a wood stove heat shield work?

For wood stove heat protection to work, it will need to have an air space between it and the combustible wall of at least 7/8″ generally people just leave 1″ of air space.

This air space between combustibles and non-combustibles will protect you from possible fires.

You also need the heat shield to be 1″ off the floor so air can flow in the bottom.

This air space is needed to allow cool air to flow from the bottom of the shield upward, this allows the shield to naturally cool and protect your back wall or surface from any heat transfer.

Wood stove heat shield spacersPin
Woodstove heat shield, air circulation, and clearances

As you can see this is simple science because heat rises causing the air to rise and move behind your wood stove heat shield.

Clearance distance reduction using a wood stove heat shield can be a great way to move your wood stove back further and give your room a bit more space.

Wood stove heat shield requirements

There are two separate types of wood stove wall protection requirements, the first one we will look at is for a certified wood-burning appliance and the second one is for uncertified appliances.

Always look for a certification label

Look at the label on the back of your wood-burning appliance and follow the guidelines from the manufacturer before making any changes, you can also find more information about your wood-burning stove on the manufactures website, and if you don’t have the manual you can download it there.

If your wood stove is certified, it will have a label similar to this one on the back.

If your wood-burning stove doesn’t have a label on the back, it will be deemed uncertified, for more information about this type of wood burning stove heat shield installation you will need to refer to the correct standard in your country or area.

In Canada, you need to refer to the CSA B365 Installation code for solid-fuel-burning appliances and equipment.

For an uncertified wood stove in the USA: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances NFPA 211

Wood Stove Certification LabelPin
The label on the back of your wood-burning appliance should look similar to this one, it is normally black, with gold or silver lettering.

Sheet metal or Cement board heat shield Installation

Spacers and screws are a great way of fastening a metal wood stove heat shield.

1. First, you need to find the wall studs, then mark the position of where your channels or spacers.

2. Second, screw the channels or screws in vertically. (if using spacers, you will need to screw through the shield and spacers at the same time)

3. Third, center your shield and screw it onto the channels until it is snug. (remember to leave a 1″ air space at the bottom of the heat protection so that it has the proper airflow)

I like this method because it gives you a more minimalist look, especially if you use spacers and screws.

Below you will find what you need to fasten your wood stove heat shield for wall with combustibles.

Wood stove heat shield spacers

Below are examples you can use similar items to complete this task as long as you use non-combustible materials, the wood stove heat shield spacers below are just regular copper pipes couplings which are my preferred way to install one.

Touch the picture below to buy what you need and see more options.

Installing a wood stove heat shield with a furring channel

Wood stove heat shield channel stand offsPin

Installation with furring channel

The most popular method of installing wall protection is using channeling, this is a simple and easy way to do it yourself, and it is the proper way to do it also.

As you can see in the picture, the channeling is installed vertically so the warm air behind the shield can rise and escape out the top.

If you want to disguise them a bit, you can also paint the outer channels with high-temperature paint.

What channeling should I buy?

Galvanized furring channel is perfect for installing your wood stove heat protection.

They cost around $10 for a 12″ length

They can be easily cut with a simple metal hacksaw

You can buy galvanized furring channels at your local hardware store, common measurements are 7/8 in. x 10 ft. 25 gauge metal, and cut them to the length needed.

Galvanized Furring ChannelPin

Clearances for a freestanding wood stove heat shield

Most modern wood-burning stoves have a certification label like the example shown above.

This testing allows the appliance to be installed in accordance with country laws and these rigorous test standards are to assure there safe to be installed in your home, but this label is only valid if you install your stove as the manufacturer intended.

Each stove and model has been tested, so each certification label will have different measurements for your hearth pad size and clearances to combustibles.

Wood stove lablePin
This Lable is generally black with gold or silver lettering

Note that you cannot take measurements from the label of one stove and apply them to another stove that is a different make or model.

On the label, you will see clearances without a shield, also clearances with a shield, and clearance reductions, and there will also be measurements for a heat shield for wall next to stove

This is the same idea as a normal heat shield on the back wall, with a corner installation you will need to follow the indications on the label.

What is a good heat shield for a wood stove?

If you are making your own wood stove wall shield these are some of the materials you will need to build it to code.

The best wood stove wall shield out of the three options is the metal and cement board.

  • Sheet metal (can be painted with high-temperature paint)
  • Cement board (can be tiled or finished with other non-combustible materials for aesthetics)
  • Brick wall shield (this is the least common form of building a shield because it is more work for most people because you need some masonry skills)

Wood stove heat shield ideas

If you are thinking of making your own wood stove heat shield you can try something that has become very popular and makes your stove the centerpiece of your home it will also be a custom wood stove heat shield, what you can do is try covering the shield with tin ceiling tiles.

Click to see more examples of heat shield ideas.

If you want a custom wood stove heat shield and its matching hearth pad there is a company that I highly recommend for their stylish heat protection, the company is called Vlaze, touch the link to take a look at their web page and get some creative ideas.

Does a wood stove need a heat shield?

A wood stove does not need a heat shield, but a properly installed shield will allow you to reduce your clearances to combustibles.

What is a good heat shield for a wood stove?

A heat shield made with sheet metal, and cement board are a good option, they are the most practical and easiest to install with furring channel or pipe spacers.

How close can a wood stove be to a heat shield?

If your wood stove has a certification label on the back of it, the distances will be stated there, each wood stove model is different so the distances on the label need to be followed closely, if your stove doesn’t have a certification label it will be considered an uncertified appliance and needs to follow the directions in (NFPA 211 if you live in the USA), and (CSA B365 if you live in Canada).

What should I put on the wall behind my wood stove?

You don’t need anything behind a certified wood stove as long as you obey the clearances to combustibles on your certification label that is located on the back of your wood-burning appliance.

Let’s wrap things up

So in review, remember to always look for the woodstove certification label and follow the clearances stated on it, the same measurements can be found in your owner manual, and if you don’t have one you can usually download one online from the manufacturer’s website.

If your stove does not have a certification label it will be deemed as an uncertified appliance and you will need to follow the links below:

In Canada, you need to refer to the CSA B365 Installation code for solid-fuel-burning appliances and equipment.

For an uncertified wood stove in the USA: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances NFPA 211

If you are still unsure how to install wood stove heat protection then you can always call a local chimney sweep and they can help and even install it for you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post if you found it useful please share it with others and please leave a comment below if you would like.


  1. If we are using tiled hardie board set off one inch from the drywall…how do we trim the tile AND the hardie board but still give it a nice, clean edge?

    • Hello Lisa, thank you for sending me this question, the trim can be made of a metal bullnose, or a flat finishing edge, you can buy this in your local hardware store in the ceramic tile section.

      I suggest bringing a tile with you so they can measure the depth, that way it will fit flush with the tile.

      Also, measure all 4 sides of the shield so you can buy the right amount that you will need to go all the way around it.

      I hope this was helpful, I’m doing my best without seeing it for myself.

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