Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Basement Remodel Project: Wood Burner Surround

This Lopi Endeavor wood burning stove was already installed in our house when we purchase it in 2007, but we've only used it sporadically since then.  Even so, it has been valuable enough to us that we wanted to include it in our plans to remodel the basement.

Even though much of the previous wall treatment was removed when I took the photo above, one can still appreciate the brick and tile surround the previous owner used as heat and debris protection on the wall and floor.  The platform under the stove is a small concrete pad topped with tile and ringed by brick.  Initially, I intended to leave the core of that platform and reshape and cover it with a different tile, but the further I proceeded, the more that platform appeared to have only one purpose: stubbing toes.

The updated version of the surround uses 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.


  1. Looks really nice. Your family will have to have a big party in your new family room so everyone can see it. :)


  2. Victoria, if we threw a big party would your family come to visit?

  3. Well, you would have to schedule it when there wouldn't be a snowstorm to travel through, but then it may not be the right season to put your stove to use. :)