Building Wood-Burning Tiled Stove

Not that long ago, it was easy to find a tiled stove in almost every home. However, nowadays, you may come to the conclusion that a wood-burning tiled stove is something that passed into history. This is not true! In fact, tiled stoves have been a bit forgotten for the last two decades, but they are back in favour again. Actually, they are doing really well! What should we know about this kind of wood burning stoves? How to build your own tile stove step by step? You will find the answers in this article. Enjoy reading!

What Is A Wood-Burning Tiled Stove?

A tiled stove has many different names. It is also known as a cocklestove, ceramic stove, brick oven, masonry heater or a masonry stove. It is a device which warms an interior space through radiant heating. It captures the heat from periodic burning of wood (or different fuel, but in this article we focus on wood-burning tile stoves). After that, it radiates the heat at a constant temperature for a long period.

Masonry heaters can have different designs. There are antique Swedish stoves with a length of about 10 metres and more modern looking ones. Some can be built from ceramics, while others can be made of porcelain or mosaic. Interestingly, the tiled stove can be not only wood-burning, but also an electric oven. Several years ago, lots of people decided to install central heating instead of using ceramic stoves. Some of them regret this decision now.

Why Is It Worth Using Tiled Stoves?

Masonry stoves can be divided into two types. There are freestanding stoves and kitchen stoves. The former are mainly used for heating the room. It can be concluded that they serve as fireplaces. The latter are equipped with a special grate allowing you to cook dishes.

Regardless of the type of the stove, it’s worth using them, knowing that the proportion of wood-fired heating systems in the total fine dust emissions is only 10-20%. It’s worth having a tiled stove because of one more advantage – cold air is easily sucked in the base area, heated in the flue pipes and the tiled stove insert, and it flows through air ducts or grates into the desired rooms. How convenient it is for you to have something like this in your house!

What Does The Wood-Burning Tiled Stove Have In Common With A Fireplace?

We have already mentioned the connection between wood-burning tile stoves and fireplaces. However, it’s worth emphasising that a tile stove cannot be treated as a basic heated system. According to the construction law, a tiled stove functions as an “additional source of heat”, just like a fireplace. Nevertheless, a tile oven can be a much more convenient option for heating at least some parts of a house than a metal wood stove.

Masonry stoves capture much of the heat of the exhaust and fire in a large thermal mass. That’s why we can call them even more efficient than fireplaces. It’s worth knowing that it’s possible to add a water jacket to the tiled stove. Thanks to that, the heat from the stove can be distributed throughout the whole interior, not just throughout one room. This is a helpful tip before starting to build the stove.

What To Pay Attention To While Building Free-Standing Tiled Stoves?

If you would like to have your own free-standing tiled stove, you don’t necessarily have to buy it. You can build it! You can try doing it on your own, or ask a professional stove fitter (a person who builds and maintains fireplaces and stoves) for help.

In order to build this kind of stove, you need to know how to work with materials such as cast iron grate or tile. You also need to know that you should never ever fix the grate to the stove walls. The reason is simple – you cannot do that, otherwise, the stove could be blown up. All of this because when the temperature inside the stove grows rapidly, the volume of the cast iron grate increases. One can’t lead to this kind of situation.

While building a free-standing tiled stove, which plays the role of both a tiled stove and a fireplace, you should bet on a transparent pane of glass that will enable you to watch burning wood. What’s more, don’t forget that a solid construction made of high-quality tile accumulates heat for long hours, and, at the same time, it looks very elegant.

What To Pay Attention To While Building Kitchen-Stoves?

Some would say that old-fashioned tile stoves do not fit modern kitchens. It kind of makes sense, however, there are people who still want to have such stoves in their kitchens. Not only that, they can make it all look really stylish and coherent. Why not build something like a kitchen stove then?

By writing a kitchen stove, we mean a tiled stove with grates on which you can cook. Actually, stoves like that are impossible to find in DIY markets, so the only way to have them is to build them or to delegate the building to a previously mentioned local stove fitter. The choice is yours!

Building a kitchen stove is especially recommended for gourmets – people, who love cooking and searching for the best tastes. To be fair, this kind of cooking takes a long time, but it doesn’t seem to be an obstacle for people passionate about food. Indeed, cooking on fire adds a unique flavour to dishes. Building a kitchen stove is a game worth playing! It’s really worth using a masonry heater which, in fact, takes quite long to heat, but once warm, the tile stove will radiate this heat at a much lower temperature than a metal stove, for a much longer period of time.

How To Build A Wood Burning Tiled Stove In Stages?

We’re not going to lie, building a wood burning tiled stove isn’t the easiest thing in the world. You have to go through several stages to see the final result. Find the best location for your stove, buy the right materials… What’s next?

Find The Right Location For Your Tiled Stove

Ask yourself how and where you are going to build your ideal tile stove. Will it be the kitchen or maybe the middle of the living room? Think about your needs, expectations, and personal preferences.

Equip Yourself With The Highest Quality Materials

You will never build a good tiled stove without good and suitable materials. Choose the ones that are long-lasting and sustainable for any design of tile stoves and enjoy durability for years! What might come in handy? Here are some of the materials to build tiled stove:

  • stove ropes,
  • stove glass ladder tapes,
  • self-adhesive tapes,
  • heat-resistant tile adhesives,
  • heatproof screed.

Build a Foundation

Carrying out measurements is essential to make sure which place is the best to lay the first tile. But first… your tiled stove needs a foundation. Use a concrete mortar to fill in the foundation. You will need a spade, concrete, and water. Just in case, equip yourself with sieved sand. It can be useful in the case of using too much water.

Try to create a solid surface, without any gaps. The goal is to lay everything evenly. The foundation should be covered by granite rubble. Unfortunately, you will have to wait for your foundation to dry out, even for a few weeks.

Build The First Row Of Bricks

When the foundation is dry, you are free to start building the first row of bricks. Remember that you can use different types of bricks. You are free to use red bricks or clay bricks. When the row is ready, you have to check everything with the use of spirit level. With this kind of equipment, you will build straight walls, and you’ll avoid disproportionate angles and uneven surfaces. Align the first row if necessary.

Build Upwards

After that, it’s time for the second layer. The first two rows have to be really solid. The next one should have special openings for a blower. You should also remember to make an additional opening for cleaning the chimney. The openings should be closed with a metal door. Don’t forget about that while building!

Prepare The Door

You ought to drill holes in the corners of the door. Then, you need to put the pieces of wire inside the holes. What’s more, the door frame has to be wrapped with an asbestos rope. The previously mentioned pieces of wire have to be laid in the mortar, between the bricks.


Remember About The Details

The fourth row of the stove must necessarily be built from clay bricks, taking into account that the hearth starts there. You should place a grate above the opening. The fifth row should be built in the same way as the fourth one. While building the sixth and the seventh rows, remember to leave a gap – a special place for the door.

Build The Row Above The Door

Just like in the title, you need to build a row above the door, and this row will be the base of your stove. A cast iron hob is something you ought to put at the top of the stove. Then, continue laying side walls and a chimney channel. It will all take the next six or seven rows. Leave a gap for a free passage of smoke and for a chimney pipe. Then, fit your stove with the chimney.

Build A Fire In The Finished Tiled Stove

Open the throttle and build a fire in the middle of the stove. Close the inner hatches when the fire is going. Be sure that the little ventilators are open. Then, you should see white smoke coming out of the chimney. Later you ought to put another log on the fire.

When the fire is fully lit, you can adjust the throttle. Remember not to strangle the fire! After that, it’s time to gradually close the ventilators. And although we are slowly finishing, it is not the end. Keep trimming the throttle and close the other ventilator. Don’t forget to close the outer hatches, too. The tiles of the stove should be getting warm. Make sure you feed the fire every five or six hours. That’s it, you got it!


You should arm yourself with patience and perseverance in order to try your hand at building your own wood-burning tiled stove. Finding the right location, buying the best materials, building the foundation and all the rows, remembering about details such as doors and chimney… It all takes time and requires a lot of your effort, but it’s definitely worth it.

News Reporter