FAQs - Your Questions Answered

FAQs

ABOUT WOODBURNING STOVES

There are many factors to consider when choosing a stove, the main ones being what size area you want to heat; what fuel you want to burn; whether you have an existing chimney; and whether your stove will be the primary heat source. It’s not all about aesthetics and style, although that plays a part too. You need to consult someone who is knowledgeable about heat output and other heating technicalities before making a choice.

If you have a modern home without a chimney you can still enjoy a woodburning or multi-fuel stove. You’ll need to have a stove with a twin-wall flue pipe system, which can be built to access any safe termination point outside the structure of the building. This enables you to have a freestanding stove installed anywhere in the room.

A multi fuel stove is different to a log burner because it will have a vented grate at the bottom, enabling the fire to take in air from below to burn coal. You can still burn wood efficiently in the stove if it has a removable grate. It’s important to use clean-burning smokeless coal in your multi-fuel stove to prevent pollution. Anthracite – hard coal with a high carbon content and few impurities – is favoured for multi-fuel stoves instead of regular household coal, but you could also opt for commercially produced smokeless briquettes. HETAS or DEFRA approved smokeless fuel is recommended for maximum flame and minimum emissions.

A multi fuel stove is different to a log burner because it will have a vented grate at the bottom, enabling the fire to take in air from below to burn coal. You can still burn wood efficiently in the stove if it has a removable grate. It’s important to use clean-burning smokeless coal in your multi-fuel stove to prevent pollution. Anthracite – hard coal with a high carbon content and few impurities – is favoured for multi-fuel stoves instead of regular household coal, but you could also opt for commercially produced smokeless briquettes. HETAS or DEFRA approved smokeless fuel is recommended for maximum flame and minimum emissions.

There are two types of logburners or stoves – inset or freestanding. Inset stoves are designed appropriately to be housed into a recessed or purpose-built fireplace surround, as long as it is made of non-combustible material like stone, and the stove’s dimensions fit into the opening. Freestanding stoves need to have air circulating around them and around half a metre of clear space above them, so they can be installed anywhere in a room as long as there is a gap between the stove and the wall.

HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme) recommends having chimneys or flues swept at least twice a year when burning wood or house coal, and at least once a year when burning smokeless fuels, to avoid the risk of chimney fires.

FAQs

ABOUT STONE MASONRY

A lot depends on your taste and your budget. We’d recommend the three most common choices. Granite is durable and has a good level of heat tolerance and comes in a huge variety of colours and grains to fit with any décor. Marble gives a more luxury look, suited to more opulent fireplaces. Limestone is soft, smooth and sleek, in neutral shades which blend in to a room rather than dominating it.

Granite is one of the hardest stone substances on the planet, resilient against scratches, etching, or warping and highly heat resistant – you can set a hot pot directly down on granite. It is, however, slightly porous, which means it needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Granite also comes in a wide variety of colours, with unique patterning and graining, giving it a distinctive look that will last for many years.

Quartz composite is engineered stone made by combining ground quartz (an abundant igneous rock) with synthetic resins and colourants under heat and high pressure. It produces slabs that are popular for use as counter-tops, difficult to distinguish from granite, marble or other natural stone. For added appeal quartz composite sometimes has glass or metallic flecks added. Quartz countertops are non-porous, sanitary, scratch resistant and extremely hard-wearing.

Outdoor limestone paving that is not sealed (and sealing is not always successful because it can be eroded away by the elements) is subject to discolouration and marks left by fallen leaves, berries and other detritus. This can be solved by cleaning it with an alkaline cleaner (gel form is best). Give it a good scrub and leave it for half an hour before rinsing off with plenty of water. If the paving is very dirty you may have to repeat the process for best results. The best way to keep your limestone paving clean is to wash it regularly. Never use acidic cleaners on limestone.

Marble is a porous stone, which means that it absorbs liquids and is prone to staining or “etching” – a corrosive chemical reaction to liquids containing acid that can cause physical damage to the marble.

So, marble floor tiles or counter tops are definitely vulnerable and need to be sealed. Over time sealants can weaken, so it is important to keep your marble well-maintained and make sure you wipe up spills quickly.

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