Masonry Heater

Also known as masonry stoves, kachelofens, Russian fireplaces, Finnish fireplaces, Swedish stoves, tile stoves, contra-flow fireplaces, radiant fireplaces and mass-storage fireplaces.

Why Use A Masonry Heater?

Inside, masonry stoves burn hotter than metal wood stoves and their winding maze of flue (baffles) warms the surrounding masonry, which then emits heat for 18 to 24 hours. The temperature can reach 2000 degrees inside some masonry heaters (vs 700 inside a metal stove), yet they stay comfortable to the touch on the surface. At these high internal temperatures, the hydrocarbon gases ignite, leaving very minimal pollution.

How Masonry Heater Works

When burning wood, about 30% of the generated heat is supplied by the wood solids and 70% of its heat is contained in released gases. If the volatile gases are not fully combusted, they escape as wasted heat and polluting particulate emissions. Igniting and then drawing the heat out of the combustion gases turns almost every ounce of wood into energy. A slow burning, low temperature, low oxygen fire produces tar and hydrocarbons, a fast, hot, air-fed fire burns the pollutants up. Add a storage battery (the masonry) and you have a very efficient, non-polluting heating system. A metal stove gives out its heat rapidly, thus never allowing the inside combustion temperatures to achieve the 1100 degree F plus needed to ignite all the gases.

A Masonry Heater Uses Less Wood

Because the stored heat radiates slowly from the masonry, it is only necessary to light a fire once a day in most circumstances. In really cold conditions, you might need to light two fires a day. Metal wood stoves must be tended to continually and fluctuate from peak high temperatures, to no heat, when the fire is out.

If you tamp down the flue on a metal wood stove you increase the emissions of pollutants as the combustion of the wood is incomplete. A masonry heater always burns wood at the highest heat, if you desire less heat, you simply use less wood. In a well-insulated home, a masonry heater will use 1/3rd (or much) less wood, then a home heated with an old fashioned metal wood stove. A well-designed masonry heater can easily outperform most all EPA rated metal wood stoves. And like a wood stove, a masonry heater can exhaust through a metal flue pipe.

The Masonry Heater: An Ancient Green Technology

The masonry stove has been around in many different forms in almost all ancient northern cultures, from the 7200 year old Kang bed stove in China to the Hypocaust in ancient Rome. In northern Europe, 500-600 years ago, a long-lived cold spell caused local wood to become scarce and masonry heaters became common due to their efficiency.

In the past hundred years dirty coal, then oil replaced the masonry heater. Wood is a renewable resource and absorbs CO2 as it grows. Burning releases about the same amount of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane as would occur if the wood were decomposing naturally on the forest floor.* Yet wood is a sustainable energy source, only when proper wood lot management is employed and when its energy is extracted efficiently and cleanly.

Although these effective heaters were and are still popular in Russian and northern Europe, the United States has never had a wood shortage, so the masonry heater has been pushed aside for the wood guzzling metal stove. Considering that masonry heaters are efficient and emit little pollution, the United States should take a closer look.

How To Mimic A Masonry Heater

Surround your heater core with stone, brick, stucco or tile. Although kits are available, this is not a project for one new to masonry (see resources section). In the meantime, before I build one, I am simply going to pile large rocks around the wood stove.

36 Amazing Masonry Heater Inspirations

1) Kachelofen


Masonry heater – new stove based on an old design. A Kachelofen is a ceramic tiled wood stove which has mazelike, masonry channels within. The meandering exhaust gas warms the surrounding masonry which then slowly radiates its heat. A small windowless door allows the fire to burn very hot inside the heater. High heat and the addition of a second combustion chamber, burns up the polluting volatile gases and efficiently turns them into heat. For more examples go to

2) Kachel Tiles


Tiled Kachelofen by Special ‘kachel’ tiles surround the internal fire brick.

3) Stucco And Tile


Stucco and tile masonry heater. Additional information can be found at

4) Old-Fashioned Heater


Old fashioned masonry heater clad in stucco and tile. Fliesen+Ofenbau Ritter GmbH, have additional information on their website.

5) Rustic Masonry Heater

With a black trim, this masonry heater adds a touch of class to any room.

6) Influenced By Asia


Tiled masonry heater with Asian influence. Only special ‘kachel’ tiles can touch the inner firebrick, all other tiles must be spaced away from the inner masonry, otherwise they will crack. Additional images can be found on

7) Heater With Stucco


Stucco and tile masonry heater. The small door keeps the heat inside, so high combustion temperatures are reached more easily.

8) Diagram Of A Kachelofen


Inside a Kachelofen. Channels or baffles are efficient at removing heat from the exhaust.

9) Finnish Masonry Heater


Tiled masonry heater in Finland. The Finnish government encourages the use of masonry heaters with tax incentives, the program has been so successful that 90% of new homes have masonry heaters. More inspirational photographs like this can be found at

10) Kakelugn


Swedish stove or kakelugn. Interior has masonry baffles, exterior is clad in curved tile. There is actually lots of masonry inside there to soak up the heat. Contura has other great examples on their website.

11) Heated Bench


Brick masonry heater with heated bench in Denmark. A heater with a façade thickness of 3-4 inches, gives a moderate heat transfer, not too fast, not too slow. By Lars Helbro,

12) Mountain Heater

A masonry heater can be a great way to keep a cabin or mountain home heated. Not only do these heaters provide an eye-catching centerpiece, but they are efficient.

13) Cozy Reading Nook


Brick masonry heater in Denmark by Lars Helbro. For additional ideas visit

14) Heating Wall


This masonry heater acts as a wall between two rooms in Quebec, Canada. By maconneriegillesgoyette.

15) Reclaimed Brick Heater


Brick masonry heater made with reclaimed brick, sand and lime mortar, lilac bluestone and a Heat-Kit heater core. By William Davenport. turtlerockheat. To reduce stress, masonry heaters in North America are usually built with a double-wall system; a refractory core including firebox and channels or baffles, and a separate, unattached masonry veneer. Otherwise the heat of the firebrick might crack the façade, although brick is least likely to be stressed.

Masonry Heater Circulation


Directing the hot flue exhaust through a series of baffles heats up the surrounding masonry. The baffles can meander in numerous directions. Some stove’s baffles take the exhaust side to side, some up and down, some front to back, and vice versa. There is always a source of air coming in the base of the heater to feed the fire. Yet, flues that are too long and convoluted might restrict the draft through the system, as each change of direction creates resistance to the gas flow and decreases the suction of the chimney draft. This diagram and information was originally found at “energybible. com/bio_energy/masonry_stoves.html”.

16) Carsten Homestead


Masonry Heater with wrap around heated bench, direct fire oven (on kitchen side), and wood storage by Carsten Homstead of Massachusetts. More designs by these builders can be found at

17) Rustic Heater


This masonry heater in Burlington, Vermont has a bake oven on the kitchen side. Masons: William Davenport, Spencer Blackwell, Norbert Senf. Turtle Rock Heat has more information and ideas on their website.

18) Heater With A Core


Stone masonry heater with a heatkit core. If there is too much façade mass, 5″ or more, the mass can slow down the heat exchange. An efficient heater should produce heat at the same rate as the heat is given off (emitted). The firebox size should also match the size of the heater and home.

19) Indoor Heat


It is not efficient to put your heater on an exterior wall. When on an exterior wall, that portion of the masonry facing toward the outside, will simply be heating the outside air. This heater is an interior wall. Vermont masonry heater by smithandvansant.

20) Heater From Canada


A masonry heater’s chimney can be ceramic or metal. Large fireboxes reduce combustion efficiency and generate higher emissions. Keeping the window small means the heat gets absorbed into the masonry. Canadian heater by bien-o-chaud-portail-poeles-et-foyers.

21) Soapstone Heater

Soapstone tiles give a modernized style to this masonry heater.

22) Brick Heater


Brick masonry heater. There is no reason why some heaters can’t be low and long. There is a wood fired cookstove on the opposite side of this heater. More images can be found at

23) Centralized Location


Masonry heaters are best positioned in the center of the home. The kitchen side of this heater is faced in brick. Massachusetts heater by Steve Bushway, ultimateridgehook. Core by heatkit.

24) Slate Heater


Local slate covers this masonry heater in Vermont by William Davenport. The heater has doors on both sides. Turtle Rock Heat has more information on their website.

25) Heater With Concrete


Masonry heater that extends to room on other side of wall. Custom concrete slabs, steel, black walnut wood box top, bluestone, lilac bluestone. By turtlerockheat.

26) Tulikivi Heaters


Soapstone masonry heaters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Soapstone has thermal properties that exceed all other stone, brick or stucco. These Tulikivi heaters are at the virginiaradiant showroom. Pictures of a Tulikivi being put together:

27) Heater With A Window


Masonry heater with large see-through windows. A large firebox reduces combustion efficiency and generates higher emissions. See-through heaters also increase the amount of heat escaping the firebox and therefore lowers combustion temperature and generates higher emissions. Visit for additional information.

28) Heated Bathroom


Masonry heater in a bathroom by peacedesign. If the distance from the core to the surface of the stove is very thick (5″ or more) or complicated (many layers), the heat will radiate out very slowly. An efficient heater should produce heat at the same rate, as the heat is given off (emitted). A massive heater will also be much slower at responding to changes in temperature.

29) Mosaic Heater


Stucco and mosaic masonry heater. Core is by Heat-kit. More information is available at

30) Heater In New York

Grey colored tiles have a clean appearance, making them great for a modern style.

31) Wood Stove


Wood stove on the bottom, Kachelofen tile on top. This stove will give you fast, direct heat passing through the metal, and the slower, radiant heat from the upper masonry baffles, whose surface has been tiled. Yet because the metal gives off heat so rapidly, this stove may not reach the internal temperatures necessary to burn off all hydrocarbons. Other wooden stoves can be found at

32) Masonry Heater For A Two-Story Home


In a two story home, this is one of the best locations for a masonry heater. A complete gallery of this heater is available on

33) Miodula Hotel


Masonry Heater in the Via Miodula Hotel, Poland. You can find more images at

34) French Stove


Masonry stove in France by Remember if there are no flames, half the wood is being wasted as smoke…

35) Heater With Earth-Clay Plaster


This masonry heater is veneered with the same earth-clay plaster used on the walls of the main floor. A heated bench topped with sandstone makes for a warm perch on winter days. By Gimme Shelter Construction. More photographs and descriptions can be located on

36) Paving Slab Heater


A masonry heater made from paving slabs. But, this heater most likely will not pass code in the U.S. You can learn more about this heater at

How A Contra Flow Heater Works


Scheme of a contra flow heater:
As the fire burns, air is drawn in through the primary air intake (b), passes up through the grate in the firebox floor (c) and feeds the burning wood. Due to the design of the fire box and its angled ceiling, heat radiating from the fire is reflected off the firebox walls back onto the fire, helping obtain firebox temperatures of 600 Degrees C. a prerequisite for secondary ignition. Air from the secondary air intake (d) located in the loading doors, the flame and unburnt gases rush up through the narrow throat in the firebox ceiling (e) and enter the secondary combustion chamber (f). Due to the angled ceiling, the flame, air and gases are pressurized slightly. Once through the throat they expand, tumble and mix, allowing secondary combustion and temperatures in the region of 900 degrees C ( 2,200 degrees F). The hot gases pass over the top of the side walls of the secondary combustion chamber into the vertical flues on both sides of the heater.(g) Drawn by the draft from the chimney, the hot air flows down the flues transferring its heat to the flue walls before entering the chimney at the base of the heater (g). Via:


Note the drawings on right, the channels (baffles) can meander up and down, side to side or both. Graphic originally came from “ com/realestate/news/articles/2009/01/11/masonry_heaters”.

Mark Twain on the Masonry Heater (Kachelofen)

“Take the German stove, for instance – where can you find it outside of German countries? I am sure I have never seen it where German was not the language of the region. Yet it is by long odds the best stove and the most convenient and economical that has yet been invented. To the uninstructed stranger it promises nothing; but he will soon find that it is a masterly performer, for all that. It has a little bit of a door which you couldn’t get your head in – a door which seems foolishly out of proportion to the rest of the edifice; yet the door is right, for it is not necessary that bulky fuel shall enter it. Small-sized fuel is used, and marvelously little of that. The door opens into a tiny cavern which would not hold more fuel than a baby could fetch in its arms. The process of firing is quick and simple. At half past seven on a cold morning the tender brings a small basketful of slender pine sticks – say a modified armful – and puts half of these in, lights them with a match, and closes the door. They burn out in ten or twelve minutes. He then puts in the rest and locks the door, and carries off the key. The work is done. He will not come again until next morning.

All day long and until past midnight all parts of the room will be delightfully warm and comfortable, and there will be no headaches and no sense of closeness or oppression. In an American room, whether heated by steam, hot water, or open fires, the neighborhood of the register or the fireplace is warmest – the heat is not equally diffused throughout the room; but in a German room one is comfortable in one part of it as in another. Nothing is gained or lost by being near the stove. Its surface is not hot; you can put your hand on it anywhere and not get burnt. Consider these things. One firing is enough for the day; the cost is next to nothing; the heat produced is the same all day, instead of too hot and too cold by turns; one may absorb himself in his business in peace; he does not need to feel any anxieties of solicitudes about the fire; his whole day is a realized dream of bodily comfort.

America could adopt this stove, but does America do it? The American wood stove, of whatsoever breed, it is a terror. There can be no tranquility of mind where it is. It requires more attention than a baby. It has to be fed every little while, it has to be watched all the time; and for all reward you are roasted half your time and frozen the other half. It warms no part of the room but its own part; it breeds headaches and suffocation, and makes one’s skin feel dry and feverish; and when your wood bill comes in you think you have been supporting a volcano.” — From Europe and Elsewhere, published posthumously in 1923.

How To Build A Masonry Heater

Missouri Mass Stove:

Design plans for small (cute!) cabin heater in brick: firespeaking

Lots of ‘inside’ pictures/designs/lessons: firespeaking

Manuals: mainewoodheat

Masonry Heaters: Planning Guide for Architects, Home Designers and Builders. By Alex Chernov.

Core construction manuals, kits start at $5400: heatkit

Cob masonry heater with bench, handprintpress

Masonry Heater Planning Guide: tempcast

Step by step photos:

Russian Steam Sauna!:

Masonry Heater Resources

Masonry Heater Association:
Good read:
Notes on combustion: -tested at 94.4% combustion efficiency. – Europe

Masonry Heaters: Doors

Kachelofen Plans

Certified Heater Masons

Modulars/Freestanding Masonry Heaters


Vintage Masonry Heaters

Gorgeous antique tiled stoves:

Pellet Masonry Heaters

Pellet burning in a masonry wood heater.

Masonry Heater Inserts

Vermont Castings
Wittus H530

The Best Masonry Heater Books

Masonry Heaters: Designing, Building, and Living with a Piece of the Sun by Ken Matesz

The Book of Masonry Stoves: Rediscovering an Old Way of Warming by David Lyle


Written by Keiren

Keiren is an artist who lives in New York City. A lover of animals, nature, science & green building. Keiren originally founded Inspiration Green in 2007, which merged with Insteading in 2016.


Leave a Reply
  1. Sorry, but two pictures with this text: ‘Brick masonry heater in France by’ are made by me, not feudebois, and they are not in france, but in Denmark.

    Jerome Previux do not have my permission to put his copyright on these pictures.



  2. Thank you for writing. Such beautiful work you do by the way!

    So sorry about that, due to the copyright stamp I thought they were by Feudebois. I have changed the credit and link to you…

  3. Kachelofen- Is there any information on the round, green and cream tiled stove pictured on this site? (Last stove pictured) And thank you for setting up such a nice site.

  4. Hi Ron, So sorry, I could not find any info on that stove… I try my hardest to find the source of images, but had no luck here whatsoever. If ever I find the source, I will definitely post. Thanks for writing. Best!

  5. We’re planning to install a ‘kachelofen’ into a home we’re building. I am looking for practical advice to allow meto begin imagining a potential design and the info on this site has been very helpful. Thanks very much!

    Are there any good publications dealing in depth with the internal flow design parameters?

  6. Hi Ken, Great project!

    I added one plan for a kachelofen above in resources…lots of youtube videos like this one:

    There seem to be more kachelofen plans on youtube than other places…but might take up a whole day to see them all… I think I should do a whole page on just kachelofen in the near future…please check back! Best!

  7. From an image search I deduce that the makers of the tiles for the green and cream stove are Iwona and Jerzy Jarmołowiczowie, from Lechów, near Bieliny, in south-cental Poland.

    jarmolowicz pl / category / media /

    More about the home with that stove:

    adelaparvu com / 2013 / 12 / 05 / a-dat-parisul-pe-o-casa-inconjurata-de-pini /

  8. What a nice page you made!

    For interested self builders: you can find pictures of the builing of our stove on

    It’s a finnish contraflow type in loam blocks, with a heat exchanger on top that powers our hot water supply and underfloor heating for the rest of the house.

  9. Since, in a ‘normal’ wood stove installation one has to have the chimney liner ‘swept’ periodically, I am wondering how the internal passages in these stoves are kept clear and free of creosote? I realize that they probably stay warmer than the usual chimney but we never run our wood stove overnight despite promoting condensation when it is started cold the next morning.


    • Creosote is made when wood fuel is not burnt efficiently, the is the hallmark of a ‘normal’ metal box wood stove. The main reasons is the lower combustion temperatures of metal fire box; they take as much heat out of the fire as quickly as possible and throw it out into the room, and when you shut the fire down because it’s too hot or to extend the fuel life, the temperature drops even more. This is a nightmare for pollution, and a great recipe for sticky hydrocarbons like creosote.
      Masonry heaters burn wood much hotter, they reflect heat back into the fire for more complete initial combustion, and then what isn’t burnt in the primary combustion is completed in the secondary chamber which has another air draw to light the hot gas mix, so they have very little of these hydrocarbon gasses that stick to the chimney. They solve the overheating of a room with thermal mass, so much hotter, shorter burns.
      In any case there is normally an access to secondary chamber / chimney, but from what I’ve read / seen, there is very little carbon buildup, it all gets burnt close to 90% efficiency.

  10. Anyone out there know of any masonry heaters that are also used to heat a sauna (up to 180 degrees) as well as multiple other living environments.


  11. Good morning.

    I want to build a brick stove with heat exchanger inside.The stove should be with smoke bell(s),not with smoke channels and the power should be 12KW:6kw for heat exchanger and 6kw for stove to heat two(2) rooms.Do you have free plans to find some ideas how to build a mass heat stove?Thanks.

    Best regards



  12. Good morning.

    I want to build a brick stove with heat exchanger inside.The stove should be with smoke bell(s),not with smoke channels and the power should be 12KW:6kw for heat exchanger and 6kw for stove to heat two(2) rooms.Do you have free plans to find some ideas how to build a mass heat stove?Thanks.

    Best regards



  13. Is anyone building these in the U.S,A. and can they meet the increasingly stringent regulations for wood stoves? Not that I think they would be unsafe just that the regs were written with a different sort of stove in mind.

  14. Great pictures! For a how to, see Thomas J. Elpel’s, ‘Build Your Own Masonry Fireplace’ DVD.

  15. I am Austrian trained in the calculation, design and construction of Austrian masonry heaters. We are located in British Columbia Canada but are happy to travel to install a custom built Austrian masonry heater.

    If anyone has any questions, about masonry heaters, please feel free to visit our website and email or call me.

    Sidl Masonry Heating

  16. What a wonderful consolidation of information!! The textured patterns on the sides made reading this even more pleasurable.

    I have environmental damage to my heart and lungs (metal thieves burning copper wire near my home!) and thought I’d lost the ability to heat with wood. Masonry heaters may be an answer.

    Thank you!

  17. Can anyone tell me the real differences between masonry and rocket mass heaters please? What is the difference in fuel efficiency?

  18. from buckarest-Romania

    I am a specialist in build execution with contraflow chanells,austrian sistem it s the best from the world!Why i say that,because i learn this works from italian big master in the Rome and Univesity of Bologna(only one years testing and experiments all the system stove masonry)and this italian has 45 years experience in this stove masonry!From Claudio(the italian big master)i learn everythink about this stove system and tell my a lot of secrets from this works,because a was handle works 6 month an 3 years like worker from himself supervising.After 14 years working in this stove masonry,in north of Italy,in the mountain zone,i can discover a verry good system after one years in experiments,with a boiler/register/ in the stove wich can make 60 kw heat for all the rooms from a big house,with an instalation wich has a pomp for recirculation all the termic agent,and make the heat in all the house uniform,from the radiators in each room.The real efficiency it s from 78-85% with small consumption.For example,at my house 125 sqm,i need 18 kw ,and at -25 gr Celsius,i have a consumption around 25-35 kg /day/24 hours,and 2-3 times to feed ,the register it s a revolutinary,i made a system with 3 air of nourishment in centre/focus(heart of the stove) and from 5 at 7 chanells for flue,and is working verry well.I am verry sory for my english writte,but i think you understend what i try to explain.The russin system it s russian rullet,big consumption more than 50 kg for 24 hours ,at maxim 6-7 kw,need a big place/space in the house,and it s verry dificult at execution an build,only the russian can build tis system ,has a lot of secrets and if you don t know the secrets, you can make only a big sheet!Russian system it s maybe equal with austrian system chanells,maybe only a good worker from russia can make this system in double bells or bell!Another good system it s coming from danish and scandinavia, around 78-84% efficiency,real not lyer,ok!If is it someone intresting about my system you can sent my an email at,or mobile 0040737755579,and maybe I can explain system better than here!Good luck,bye bye !Adrian

  19. I’m building a log home in the country & want to to heat ~2400 sq/ft (1200′ on two levels) with a Russian stove. No area masons are comfortable building one from plans so, I need to find sources for a prefab kit to be assembled on-site. Names & contact info. of kit suppliers please.

  20. Hi,

    This is a great resource! We’re interested in building a masonry stove for ourselves, but are struggling to find information about the specifics of the baffles to make sure that they draw correctly. Is there anywhere where you can get plans and measurements to understand more about how to make them properly?


  21. We are trying to find a source for glass doors appropriate for a masonry heater. Our firebox will be about 28 inches square, and we’d like to have as much of that area visible as possible. Does anybody have any leads?

  22. I had very good luck with building my own stove, designed by Alex Chernov of Stovemaster. See contact info above. Alex was very helpful with his email advice.

    I found many of my materials in Craigs List, and saved a good deal. My stove looks nice, works great, and it was the first masonry brick project that I ever built. I’d be happy to talk with you about it. Contact me at:

  23. This past fall we built a masonary heater using the heat kit design out of Quebec. We have a wrap around heated bench that the smoke goes through after it leaves the heater core before it goes up the chimney. We are having condensation problems in the last half of the heated bench. In the first hour of burn we get condensation in the bottom of thr heated bench that is made with 8’x12′ clay flue lineers. The water pools in the bottom of the flue linners in the heated bench and leaks out through the cracks in the joints of the linners used to make the heated bench. The liquid seeps out of the motor of the field stone facing at the bottom of the heated bench. Even though we have several inspection doors we can not get in physically to caulk all the joints in the flue liners in the heated bench. The flue linners were mittered and fitted well. The joints were motored with high temperature motor that has cracked after a month of burning it. The temperature in the first hour of burning is too cool in the heated bench allowing condensation. The liquid will start to evaporate after the first half of the burn if it has not leaked out already. Has anyone else had this problem and is there any way to solve this without dismantling the whole heated bench? Thanks for your help.

  24. regarding Dave’s condensation issue. You may not be heating your heater up enough. To light the stove at the start of the heating season, I make 2 small fires each day, 2nd day I go larger on the fires, till I have full load fires on the 4th day. After the 2nd day, there should be some heat beginning to soak through and in reality, the inside cores should remain hot (over 100C) for the whole heating season. There should have been instructions with your kit. Inside the firebox, by the 4th day, should only be bare white masonry, with only traces of black soot in the corners. The fires should be hot, and about 2 or 3 hours long.

    Condensation happens when stuff is cold. Either your heater never cured and dried out, or you have not heated it hot enough.

    Kits. We built our heater in California in 2012, after a year of red tape to get approval for the TempCast kit. Our model has a wonderful door that they may sell separately. tempcast com They sell core kits and ship them with excellent packing,

    And thanks inspirationgreen com for this informative page


  25. Dave,

    I’m no expert here but seems to me if you’ve been burning your stove for a month or longer it must have dried out by now. Are you sure your firewood is well-cured and dry?

  26. Thank you your replies. This heater is located in Western Canada in a unheated house. The house is around freezing when we have been burning the heater. I was hoping to use it to heat the house while we drywall and finish the inside of the house. The heater is on the main floor and sits on top of a 3 inch thich cement pad that is supported by steel floor trusses. The concrete pad under the heater and the basement is around freezing for temperature. There seems to be no difference if I burn 15% or 30% moisture wood. I still get condensation even on the second burn of the day when the heater core is hot. Even if the heater is hot the heated bench is luke warm to the touch. It seems I can not get enough heat produced to get the heated bench real hot. A 50lb load of wood heats up the core nice and the facing stones get quite hot. The air in the heated bench clay flue linners will finally warm up enough later in the burn to start evaporating the condensation. Is there any way to seal up the flue liners or spray in them to make them water tight or will we be faced to take the heated bench apart to get it sealed up properly? If a guy ends up redoing the heated bench is there a type of concrete that a guy can use instead of the clay flue liners so a person can have one continuous trough with no joints that can take expansion and contraction without cracking? Thank you for the help and suggestions?

  27. I have a Tempcast stove in my 1990 house. Living in the country, most of the fireplace professionals have no idea how to clean and maintain this stove. Since they don’t know, they tell us it’s not safe (and, of course, want to sell us another system, lol) We want to make sure that we are maintaining a safe heating source. I’m having quite a time trying to find out what is necessary to maintain a 25+ yr old masonry system. Any suggestions of steps, resources, etc. would be most appreciated.

    • there are some youtube clips on starting and maintaining the Ecco stoves that may help you and your sweeps.
      If anyone knows about a stove building course running soon in Europe? Similar to this one, which provided welcome heating to a rural school in Hungary.

      It would be nice to have some traditionally trained Hungarian builders on board too, even if just to visit and advise, like the group who came to the UK with expert skills and their locally available materials for this stove.

      I can understand why my previous post didn’t get past the moderator and should have been more positive. USA pot-belly stoves made sense at the time, an AGA made sense 100 years later, now things are evolving quickly and not everything regarding safety and DIY indoors is going to be perfect! The main thing is that having worked around hot furnaces and kilns, growing up with stoves, the idea of a solid fuel DIY ‘flue’ in the form of a masonry heater which all living spaces and bedrooms have access to is not dealt with by the current codes. I cannot understand why particulates matter, but children’s fingers and hot stoves and hot glass cosmetic doors do not! A mandatory fireguard would spoil the ‘cool’ image, but at least demonstrate a more responsible attitude to design principles in general. Children under 5 can’t read or always remember if told the Operating Manual, which is all that is required to pass EN code.
      I have the scars.

      • Mark, your link leads to an old site i allmost have forgotten.
        If you want to know about WS in Europe, look here:
        I havent yet updated for 2017, but the traditional WS on The little island Drejoe in Denmark will be there every year.

        Its not correct to call masonry heaters medival. Ive seen a stove in Catalonia build by the romans 2000 years ago. Of course they have improved since, not the least the last 30 years.
        I make work-shops everywhere on request, so if anybody have interest, just contact me.
        I allways use local materials if possible. Itsno help to teach how to build a good stove in Spain out of danish materials 😉

        Best Lars

  28. What a great source of information! I experienced living with this type of stove in Kitzbühel, Austrian Tirol, in 1959-60 and have always wondered why we didn’t/couldn’t have them in Canada. Now we are moving to BC (Vancouver Island) and I am hoping sometime next year we could consider having one installed in our new home, thanks to the explanations given here. But we would need an expert to do it, so I look forward to doing some more exploring on the possibilities described here. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this discussion!

  29. Best comprehensive article with resource links I’ve found during my quest to know more about this topic. Thank you!

  30. Good afternoon. I recently purchased a building and found the stove in the attached pictures inside. I’ll be demo’ing and remodeling the space and was wondering if you or one of your members could give me information about it? I have no use for it, but do not want to wreck it. Thanks…

    • Hey Mark,

      That’s pretty interesting, do you have photos you could share?

      You might want to try posting in one of the regional forums of, and see if it’s the type of thing anyone wants to salvage or purchase? Otherwise I’m not sure what you could do with it, other than demo or leave it as-is.

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