The completed masonry heater.

May’s Landing, NJ: Dry-Stack Stone Finnish Contraflow Heater.

The completed masonry heater.

This Finnish contraflow heater warms the center of an open floor timber frame home in Southern New Jersey. The heater surrounds the comfortable space the family spends most of their time and also provides a direct view of the heater’s vibrant flames from the kitchen and dining room. The rear wall of the stove provides a vertical floor to ceiling radiant heat panel in the master bedroom behind masonry stove.

After reviewing the client’s house design and discussing his and her preferences for the look of the heater, several concept sketches were drafted and reviewed. Starting with the heater optimum location in the home’s floor plan.

The client expressed an interest in the convenience of the woodbox to store a few days supply of wood as well as the comfort of a wrap around heated bench. Rough sketches were refined to a final design plan.

Dry stack masonry  heater concept sketch#1

Dry stack masonry heater concept sketch #2

The heater and chimney footing, foundation, and hearth pad were built to support the masonry mass. The large foundation also serves as an ash dump for the heater. It will be several seasons before any cleaning of the fine ash is needed.

May's Landing Foundation

Next the Heat-Kit core is positioned and assembled.

The completed Heat-Kit core.

Once the core was finished the outer heater shell and chimney are started. This heater is faced with firebrick on edge and will later be covered with the natural thin stone veneer. The masonry chimney base has begun and the clay flue tiles for the wrap around heated bench have been roughed out.

Completed firebrick shell and the start of the masonry chimney.

After the firebrick shell and chimney base are completed, the entire surface is coated with a fiberglass reinforced stucco in preparation for the thin stone veneer.

The heater shell and chimney base are coated in stucco for the natural thin stone veneer.

The stone veneer continues.

The finished heater burning a charge of wood.

Completed heater a few minutes into a burn.

A view of the completed heater from the upstairs balcony.

The heated bench and capping slabs are colorful Tennessee sandstone.

A close up view of the heater's Tennessee sandstone heated bench top.

Fire Works Masonry