Setting Clearances & Installing Heat Shields for your fireplace

As the cold season is fast approaching, many homeowners are rushing to prepare for the winter, and one effective way is to get your fireplace ready. As you will be aware, the fireplace serves to keep you and your family warm and comfortable during the winter months. Whether it’s a wood-burning or multi-fuel burner, it produces controlled heat that can warm your home’s space.

However, did you know that a vital part of the overall equation in your wood-burning stove is the heat shield? As the name suggests, it is typically installed behind your stove and it is designed to protect your wall from heat damage. However, know that while most wood stoves come with heat shields, some don’t have one.

In this article, we’ll specifically cover how to set clearances and install heat shields for wood stoves:

Have adequate clearances

When it comes to a wood stove, there are two key safety features you must keep in mind—sufficient clearance and material used. A properly installed and maintained wood stove can ensure the safety of your appliance. Yet, inadequate clearances can be extremely dangerous for your home.

The Fire Protection Association recommends that the common radiant-type stove must be spaced out by 900mm (36 inches) from a combustible wall although different wood burning stove manufacturers will offer their own tested safe distances. It is extremely important to take note of these figures as your wood stove can get very hot when in operation. As a result, combustible materials too close to the stove can catch fire. By cheating on your wood stove’s clearances, you can potentially create a fire hazard.

Reduce wood stove clearances

On the other hand, know that you can reduce the clearance of your wood stove without compromising your home safety. Although you cannot completely eliminate the clearance, you can significantly reduce it. There’s only one solution to this, and that is to install a properly constructed heat shield.

For your reference, there are various types of heat shields you may want to consider for your wood stove. Be sure to follow the guidelines set forth by the HETAS for the heat shielding requirements, from the appliance selection down to its actual installation.

Vitreous Enamel heat shields

When it comes to wood stoves, installing a heat shield is an excellent way to reduce clearance and promote home safety. The vitreous enamel heat shield is a great solution. Vlaze Heat Shields are designed to protect and enhance the wall behind a wood burning stove creating a modern fireplace. The vitreous enamel panel features a dual skin that provides thermal protection and an effective convection system that distributes heat back into the room. Using our rail mounted system the heat shield is quick and easy to install and is available in 3 sizes and over 30 of our luxurious glazed finishes. When installed the shield reduces the stoves distance to the face of the panel to 95mm and in the case of a Charnwood stove to just 75mm – a vast improvement on HETAS regulations.


At this point, you now know several valuable tips for your wood stove. As mentioned above, be sure to have adequate clearance or reduce wood stove clearances by installing heat shields. Furthermore, it’s best to deal with a reliable manufacturer when purchasing and installing a heat shield for your wood-burning stove. Doing so will help you make the most of your stove, protect your home, and keep you warm during the cold season!

Are you looking for heat shields for your wood stove in the UK? We’ve got you covered! In addition to this, we have a wide collection of vitreous enamel furniture and bespoke surfaces for kitchens, bathrooms, and fireplaces. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!


Do I need a heat shield for my stove?

The Fire Protection Association recommends that the common radiant-type stove must be spaced out by 900mm (36 inches) from a combustible wall. Using a heat shield can reduce the space required to 95mm as stated by HETAS. However, when using a Vlaze heatshield with a Charnwood stove you can reduce this space to just 75mm. It’s important that the heat shield is designed properly and that you follow the rated clearance reductions and manufacturers guidelines as your wood stove can get very hot when in operation and combustible materials too close to the stove can catch fire.

What can be used as a heat shield?

Whilst brick, stone, tile, and cement board can be used, Vlaze offer the original and best wood-burning stove heat shields available on the market today. Vlaze is made from vitreous enamel and offers superior heat resistance. As a result, Vlaze reduces the clearance requirements more than any other material, which gives more flexibility when positioning your stove and allows for a sleeker finish. Rather than just absorbing heat like other materials, it reflects heat back into the room providing much greater energy efficiency. It’s the most durable heat shield on the market, while Vlaze is considered an eco-friendly material that is fully recyclable. Vlaze comes in a wide range of colours, patterns and textures which means you can design a fireplace that suits your room perfectly.

What do you put under a wood burning stove?

A wood burning stove needs to be placed on top of a constructional hearth or heat resistant hearth plate. Hearths should extend 150mm on the sides and 225mm to the front of the appliance. They should be made of suitable non-combustible material and provide sufficient support for the weight of the stove and chimney system. Vlaze offer a range of vitreous enamel hearth plates to suit most stoves. These boast a 12mm depth that conforms to UK building regulations for non-constructional hearths.

Can a wood stove sit on a wood floor?

You will need to install a heat resistant hearth or chamber plate between the flooring and your stove. It will need to extend 150mm on the sides and 225mm to the front of the appliance and should be a minimum of 12mm in thickness. They should be made of a suitable non-combustible material. We advise speaking with your dealer to discuss your requirements.

What is better open fire or wood burner?

A modern wood burning stove is far better for the environment and your family’s health, producing 90% less PM 2.5 particulate matter than an open fire. Wood burners keep the fire enclosed and stop stray embers from falling onto the carpet or other flammable environments. Charnwood have recently designed the Cranmore stove which is the perfect size and aesthetic to replace your open fireplace.