stone hearth suggestions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by thebugguy, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. thebugguy

    thebugguy Not just another fungi

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Location:
    KS
    Folks-

    I'll probably have to call around for some local advice, but who knows- someone here might have some good ideas/information...

    I'm considering using one or two big chunks of local limestone (called "ledgerock" around here) as a hearth of sorts upon which to place my woodstove. Timing is something of the essence as the internal framing for our barn/house is scheduled to be completed this week, and once that's done, I won't be able to fit a bobcat in there to place the big stone(s) in the correct spot (we're talking a chunk or two about 12-18" thick totalling maybe 8 square feet).

    My question is, have any of you used one big piece of native stone as a hearth, and does anyone know the thermal properties of limestone? I mean, do I have to worry about water content in the rock being a problem as it heats? I know certian rocks tend to "explode" when heated due to latent water content, and I'd rather that not happen in my house!

    Any advice/experience humbly appreciated...

    cheers,

    tbg
     
  2. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,069
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    I have done it before. We set large slabs of limestone in a mortar bed for a fireplace hearth. It's been 15 years with no problems so far. The exploding stone problem is more common with actual river rock. I have had that happen with a campfire ring.
     

  3. Stillponds

    Stillponds Active Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    North Arkansas
    My Lopi wood stove sets on a hearth made of smallish stones and mortor. The stones only get luke warm because the Lopi has side and bottom heat shields. In fact, I store my wax fire starting chunks underneath the stove and they don't even melt. I don't see how the rocks would ever get hot enough to explode if you install a stove with a heat shield on the bottom.
     
  4. thebugguy

    thebugguy Not just another fungi

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Location:
    KS
    Stillponds-

    Point taken. I should mention that this is a soapstone stove- theoretically it heats up/cools down slowly and would rarely get bizarrely hot. Still, even apart from the "exploding rock" problem, I'd be afraid that the constant heating/cooling of the limestone would eventually cause it to fracture, requiring expensive (and annoying) replacement with something a little more practical.

    Still, it'd be pretty darn neat to set the stove on some big old hunks of limestone borken off a shelf where our waterline went through...