Ply Gem Durata Mortarless Stone as the primary non-combustible wall surface. My skills with stone and mortar are very limited, so I was happy to find this mortarless product that satisfies my aesthetic requirements. As you can see, we included insulation behind the stone to limit the heat loss through the stone and avoid any potential issues with a significant temperature gradient in the wall.
In this shot the top several rows of the stone have not been cut to size, and one can observe the plastic brackets used to anchor the rows of stone to the wall.
Several provisions were included before the gypsum board was hung in order to make it easier to trim around the stone, and insure the wall was sound.
As you can see in this image, the tile base for the stove was affixed directly to the concrete floor so the possibility of stubbing toes on that feature would be minimized. This image was taken shortly after the tile was laid, and before it was grouted. Our wall paint colors are also visible in this shot, although I can't vouch for the camera accurately capturing the shade of the green on the upper portion of the wall.
This final image shows the tile after grouting, most of the trim on the wall, and (obviously) the stove set in place. Gretel cleaned up some rust and chipped paint on the stove before we repainted it, since it could be difficult to paint it in the future. Although it has a coat of dust on it in this shot, it looks much improved.
As is typical, I learned a few things while mounting the stone, setting the tile, and repainting the stove, such that I could probably improve each of those activities in the future. But for now, I'm content with this section of the basement and look forward to the warmth the stove will radiate this winter.