Had a big oops with the hearth, so I took down my previous blog entry until I can fix my mistakes. There were a few, and they were all pretty major.

1. I failed to put OSB beneath the layers of hearth material for support.

2. I got my clearance wrong on one side, so I have to knock the frame a bit further out.

3. I used fire-resistant gypsum sheets to build up the floor. This was a huge mistake. While it is fire-resistant, it is not approved for use under a wood stove.

To fix my mistakes I will tear off the drywall layers, pull the existing frame out about 16″ from the wall, build an extension to fill the new empty gap, install a sheet of OSB cut to fit the top of the frame, then cover the entire thing in a 1/2″ layer of Micore 300 that I ordered from a fireplace company online.

I’d like to thank the local staff at Menard’s. Three gentlemen at the contractor’s counter spent well over an hour trying to locate hearth-rated materials for me. They called every local and not-so-local building supply store in Wisconsin without luck. We had many leads and suggestions, but after calling the representatives of the companies who made the various suggested materials, we found that each and every one was not for use in a hearth application. Many suggested Durock cement board, but after talking directly to a Durock rep, I found out that Durock changed their formula two years ago to the improved “Next Gen” and as a result their product is no longer safe to use in a hearth installation.

I found out the hard way that there is A LOT of misinformation on the internet about this subject. Not only that, but dealers and specialists who should know better… didn’t. Many people seemed to have missed the memo that Durock is no longer safe for use in hearths, including the company who will be installing my wood stove next week.

So the lesson here? When installing a wood stove, don’t just take the word of a salesman that the product you are using is safe. Call the company who makes that product directly. Talk to their representatives. Better to be safe than sorry. And always double check clearances with the company who made your wood stove. Sometimes their diagrams can be misleading or tricky to interpret. It doesn’t hurt to ask for clarification if there is something you can’t figure out.

My materials should get here sometime Thursday. I’ll post a new blog once I get the hearth rebuilt correctly.