No chimney? No problem!

Installing a freestanding stove in your home without a fireplace.

With the development of contemporary home heating systems, the traditional pre-fabricated fireplace and chimney system has taken a back seat as the home's primary source of warmth. But let's face it, a lot of contemporary radiators aren't particularly pleasing to look at and we often find ourselves positioning them as discreetly as possible so as not to detract from our décor schemes. The appeal of a wood burning stove and its warm, inviting flames have continued to drive the popularity of this appliance as an additional source of heat - and subsequent centrepiece - within home interiors. But what happens if your property doesn't have an existing chimney space? Does that mean you can't install a freestanding stove? The answer is no, quite the opposite! Any space has the potential to house a wood burning or multi-fuel stove so read on and discover what you need to consider before making the purchase. 

There are many factors that play a role in determining the suitability of your space for a stove installation. Before considering anything, we highly recommend that you have a registered member of a Competent Person Scheme carry out a full site survey and advise you on the right product. It is a legal requirement that the installation of wood and solid fuel appliances is the subject of notification to your building control body. Alternatively, there are several Competent Person Schemes in the UK, whose members can self-certify on completion as compliant with the requirements of the Building Regulations in England & Wales.



Depending on where you're planning to site your stove, you will need to consider where the flue will exit the building and whether you want it to run internally as an extended feature of the stove, or on the outside of the building. Depending on your room's architectural structure, there are many part options including various lengths, bends, supports and flashings to connect your stove to a safe termination point (the place at which the flue exits the building's structure). The minimum chimney height recommended for wood burning and multi fuel appliances is 4.5 m from the top of the appliance to the top of the chimney.

You will need to check that the termination point material is suitable for the flue and flashing kit to be fitted; wood, metal and brick would be ideal, but for obvious reasons, glass and plastic would not. We often get asked if it's possible to install a stove into a conservatory - the answer is yes, howeveryou'll need to replace a section of the glass with an appropriate panel to accommodate the flue exiting the structure.

Twin-Wall Flue:

With the actual flue itself, a twin-wall insulated system is a must, rather than a single, skinned flue pipe. This stainless steel, dual-pipe construction is separated by a layer of high-grade insulation, which ensures that the exterior wall does not get hot enough to cause damage to the surrounding structure or people that come into contact with it. This type of flue is used when a stove is fitted into a structure that has no masonry chimney, and as a result can run internally or externally as an exposed flue, depending on preference. All of our stoves come with the option for a rear or top flue outlet, so that you can choose the final look of your wood burner.


Safety should be a primary consideration with regards to shielding the stove’s heat from the surrounding structure, particularly if flammable i.e. wood and fabric. You will need to place the stove on a non-combustible hearth, be it stone or toughened glass, with a minimum thickness of 12mm, (approved appliances only) and ideally extending 300mm in front of the stove doors, the minimum being 225mm.

Minimum Distance / Heat Protection Shields:

Alongside a hearth, the surrounding vertical surfaces will need to be protected from the heat. When it comes to fitting a stove into a pre-existing fireplace opening, there is no legal minimum distance required between the stove and the surrounding material; brickwork or masonry is considered non-combustible and doesn’t carry the fire risks that combustibles have. However, when installing a freestanding wood burner without the protection of a chimney surround, you’ll need to consider its distance to any combustible surfaces around it. The distance between the stove and flammable materials depends on the model and its kW heat output. At Arada, all of our stoves are tested to ascertain this distance. As a minimum, we suggest that no stove is left with less than 150mm at either side and 75mm at the rear in order for it to work effectively. You can purchase non-combustible heat shields, which can be positioned to the back and sides of the stove to provide further protection. Alongside reducing the fire risk, the more space you can provide around your stove, the better the heat will disperse into the room.

Need some good advice for lighting your stove?Quick Start Guide

Written for the first-time stove owner in mind. In just a few easy-to-follow steps, you'll go from a cold, absolute beginner to a cosy master of a great flame in no time! Great advice for stove veterans too!

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Wood Burning Guide

Is your wood fuel as efficient as it ought to be? Need some handy hints about maintaining your stove? Get some good, solid advice on choosing the best fuels for your wood burner with this guide.

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Visit the Burn Well for all the latest news and articles with a focus on responsible wood burning stove ownership. All good, solid advice, no matter which wood burning stove you own.

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Posted by Rebecca Daniels
6th February 2019
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