July 4, 2010 by Brian Klipfel, under Fire Works Masonry News.
The owners of this new home in Allentown, PA designed the house to accommodate their growing family, reduce their energy bills, as well as include a fireplace as the centerpiece of the main living area. After researching clean burning, efficient fireplaces they decided on a masonry heater.
This masonry heater is an an ideal place: roughly centered in the home, dividing the kitchen and main living area. The kitchen side is faced in brick while the living room is faced with natural, local fieldstone. The kitchen will have access to the rear white bake-oven. the living room side will have a long heated bench and a convenient large wood storage area.
Viewed from the balcony above the living room, the masonry heater’s design includes brick for the bench and heater cap, granite for the mantle and wood box cap, and local Pennsylvania fieldstone for the facing material. About a quarter of the stones used were from the property’s excavation. The chimney will transition to a metal pipe above the masonry, carrying the fireplace exhaust gases safely through the home.
The masonry heater’s white bake-oven is opposite the firebox, centered in the kitchen.
All masonry heaters start with the high temperature core. This Finnish contraflow design uses a Heat Kit core. The core below is wrapped in a fiberglass blanket. The blanket acts to provide a paper thin slip gap between the hot core and the heater’s stone facing. The firebrick heated bench and block chimney base are also completed, awaiting the 4-5″ thick stone veneer application.
Once the core is completed, the brick facing in the kitchen is completed.
Fire Works Masonry