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exiledgator 06-13-2011 12:31 PM

Tiling under a pellet stove
We're having a 375 pound pellet stove installed in our living room and I am taking up a small section hardwood and laying down porcelain tile directly underneath where the stove will sit. There will be only 2" of tile extending beyond the stove on the sides, and 6" extending in front of the stove.

Here's what I have:
  • 2" x 10" Joists spaning 12'
  • 1" x 6" pine on top of joists
  • 3/4" red oak flooring

I'd like to have the tile end up no more than 1/4"-3/8" above the level of the hardwood. I'm willing to mill a tapered piece of oak that will lay between the tile and the rest of the floor to have the transition be less of a tripping hazard/eye sore.

Obviously, I want to avoid cracking tiles. How best can I do this lay up? Could I lay down 1/4" ply and 1/4" backer with thin thinset between?

This would give me ~:

1/4 (ply) +
1/8 (thinset) +
1/4 (backer) +
1/8 (thinset) +
3/8 (tile) =
1 1/8" or 3/8" proud of surrounding floor.

This seems like a skimpy set up, but there would be no foot traffic underneath the stove and the 6" in front of the stove is directly above a joist. I feel like I just need to be able to endure the stove's focused weight.

Am I crazy for thinking of going this thin? Thoughts?

Blondesense 06-13-2011 04:18 PM

I admit I know nothing about pellet stoves, but I did do a bit of research on wood burning stoves and inserts before having our insert installed.

First thing I would do is check with the manufacturer. They should have the requirements for hearth, clearance, and instillation. You can probably find all of this online.
If not followed expect problems with your homeowners insurance. Also don't forget to let them know what you're doing. It can affect your coverage etc.

oh'mike 06-13-2011 04:40 PM

Are your floor joists 16" on center?

If they are your deflection is O.K. for tile--558--(360 is the minimum) I don't know about the 600# stove.

That 1x6 wood needs a minimum of 1/2" of ply wood on top.

1/4" has no structural strength and will allow the movement of the 1x material to move your tiles.

Do check codes for the size of the pad --that is to small for a wood stove---I know it's a pellet stove,however the codes will likely view it as a wood stove.---Mike---

exiledgator 06-13-2011 06:19 PM

I'll call my insurer tomorrow for sure. That's a good call. I'm already exceeding the manufacturer's recommendations for clearance of combustibles, flooring, etc., but you all are correct; I should contact my provider and my municipality.

Yes, the joists are 16" on center. So even though the tile will see no foot traffic, 1/4" will allow enough movement from elsewhere on the floor to cause cracks/damage? I was only thinking of carrying the 375# (not 600#) stove. What if I just asked everyone to tread lightly? ;)

Is there a certain type of ply I could use, or some other substrate that would provide the necessary structural strength at 1/4"?

oh'mike 06-13-2011 08:33 PM

Sorry I made your stove so heavy:laughing: My backs not what it once was and it felt like 6oo pounds.

You want 1/2" BC exposure 1. Very common. 3/8" is also approved ,but I don't trust it.

The solid pine 1x6s move with the seasons---they will lift and bow 1/4" ply and might spoil the floor.

Removing the pine slats and using 3/4" ply is a poor option,you don't want to disturb the hardwood.


12penny 06-14-2011 08:43 AM

how do as Mike suggests. Use 1/2" ply. I think you're off on your thinset dimensions. 1/4"x1/4" trowel will give more like 1/8".

And whos going to trip over a transition 2", or 6"" for that matter, from a wood stove?

Might not be a bad idea to double up a floor joist or two.

Sure would suk to have to move that 600# (another bad back) stove just to do what could be done now.

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