What is a riddling grate?

A riddling grate is a grate featuring a mechanism that allows the bars of the grate to be moved.

The benefit of this is that the bars to be tilted to allow ashes to be tipped directly into the ashpan without you having to worry about facilitating that particular journey.

A riddling grate will be found on a multi-fuel stove, rather than a wood-burning stove. Wood burns best on a flat bed of ashes, so many wood-burning stoves do not incorporate a grate or an ashpan. Please note: other woodburners are designed to have a grate – often a non-riddling grate – so if you have an appliance that has a grate it is important that you continue to use one.

Many modern multi-fuel stoves will have an externally controlled ridding grate, which is even handier for the user. With the mechanism to move the grate bars accessible via a handle on the outside of the stove body, ashes can be tipped into the ashpan without the need to even have the door open. That helps with limiting the amount of dust that gets into the room, but its key benefit comes when the stove is in use…

Smokeless coal, which is the type of coal that should be used on multi-fuel stove, burns best when there is a good supply of air from beneath. This air supply could become limited if cinders and ashes start to block the gaps between the bars. You can immediate alleviate this problem by riddling the grate and clearing some of the ashes. This task is much easier to accomplish with the aid of the external controls, which can be easily used with the aid of a stove glove and avoid the need to access anything inside the firebox.

More wood-burning and multi-fuel stove jargon-busting here.

Woodburners to match 2017 interior design trends

Are you redecorating your home this year? If you renovations include installing a wood-burning stove, here are some examples of appliances that work well with some of the most popular 2017 interior design trends.

Jungalow

Invicta Modena 12 kW Yellow Enamel Wood Burning Stove

The jungalow trend is all about bringing a tropical look into your domestic settings. There’s a little bit of Palm Springs, a little bit of Ibiza and lots of plants and animals involved. Something like the Invicta Modena 12 kW in yellow animal ought to match a tropical palette and sit nicely alongside your ferns, crocodiles and other exotic finishing touches. Have a closer look.

Greens

Carron 4.7 kW Green Enamel DEFRA Multi-Fuel Stove
Carron Green Wood Burning Stove
Green is tipped as the must-have colour for 2017. The colour specialists at Pantone, plus a host of interior design experts, are preaching that leafy tones are the ones to go for. If you’re following that trend, the dark green enamel finish on this Carron appliance should be very much in-keeping with your room. It’s an DEFRA exempt appliance, which means it can be used in smoke control areas. Have a closer look.

Art deco opulence

Invicta Ove 10 kW Wood Burning Stove
Opulence is in for 2017, but in the form of classic art deco looks rather than brash nouveau riche decor. That means soft shapes and gentle curves aplenty, which makes the Invicta Ove the perfect woodburner to complement the look. A grand design feature in its own right, it also benefits from that curvaceous body and rounded glass window. Have a closer look.

Carron Dante 5 kW Black Enamel DEFRA Multi Fuel Stove
Carron Dante Wood Burner
If the Invicta Ove is a bit too big, in stature or heat output, for your requirements, the Carron Dante would make an excellent alternative. It too boasts an art deco inspired curved design. A flat front gives way to the gentle curves of the stove body and its base to create a sort of half-cylinder look. Very on trend. Have a closer look.

Geometric

Invicta Ch’ti Poele 8 kW Wood Burning Stove

In contrast to the curves of the art deco look, another interior design trend for 2017 is the geometric look. If points, angles and triangular shapes are what you’re looking for, look no further than the gloriously asymmetrical Invicta Ch’ti Poele 8 kW Wood Burning Stove. It works equally well if you’re continuing last year’s industrial chic. Have a closer look.

Not found what you wanted? Click here to see more stoves.

Can you put a woodburner flue through a polycarbonate roof on a conservatory?

Can you put a woodburner flue through a polycarbonate roof on a conservatory

One of the most frequent questions we are asked by people who are interested in installing a wood-burning stove in a conservatory is: can you have a woodburner flue running through a polycarbonate roof?

In this article, we will answer that question for you.

Conservatories are very popular places to install stoves. Given that they are living rooms in which people want to spend time relaxing, yet can become cool in autumn, winter and spring given the amount of glass, it is very appealing to add a boost of warmth that makes it a comfortable environment all year round.

Understandably, a major concern before going ahead with an installation is the safety concerns about putting a flue pipe through the plastic roofs – usually polycarbonate – that tend to be used on conservatories.

The good news is that it is safe to pass a flue pipe through a conservatory roof as long as you follow these steps…

Use a twin wall flue

Sometimes called an insulated flue, a twin wall flue is a flue pipe surrounded by a layer of insulation, surrounded by another pipe. It will not got as hot as a single wall flue and is therefore safe for use with the polycarbonate roof.

Use rubber flashing

You probably won’t be able to screw or fix a lot of flashing options to the polycarbonate roof. If this is the case for your conservatory, simply use rubber flashing sealed onto the roof with silicone to keep rainwater out. If this looks unsightly from inside the conservatory, you can place a cover plate at the top of the flue before it exits the conservatory.

Consider the Building Regulations

The place at which you choose to put a flue through your polycarbonate roof might be influenced by the Building Regulations. For example, Document J of the regulations states that a flue must terminate at least 2.3 metres away from any window horizontally. Make sure you’ve studied the regulations and given due consideration to the position of your appliance within the conservatory before starting to make a hole in the conservatory roof.

Where are Carron Stoves made?

If you are considering buying an appliance from the Carron Stoves range you might be wondering where they are made. They are renowned for their high quality build, stylish design and exciting range of colour options, but where are Carron Stoves made? Let’s find out…

Carron Stoves are made in China.

The Carron brand has a long history dating back to the 16th century. The Carron Company was an ironworks established in 1759 on the banks of the River Carron near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire. It produced cannons, engines, pillar boxes, red telephone boxes and, of course, wood-burning stoves and ovens. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin is rumoured to have left a stove design at the Carron factory during a visit to the works.

The current generation of Carron woodburners is not related to the original company, which went into liquidation in 1982. They are made in China and imported to the UK and distributed by JIG UK Ltd, which is based in Lincolnshire.

What does that mean for you?

The fact that you’re looking for information about where Carron Stoves are made suggests that you have in mind that you like to buy a stove that was made in a particular country. For most people reading this blog that will be the UK, since that’s the market we serve. If that is true in your case, you might be interested in this article on British made wood burners.

Equally, if you were hoping to read that Carron are made in the UK, please don’t be too disappointed to learn that they are not. They are still excellent appliances that operate very well and look the part in any room. If finding out where Carron Stoves are made had led you to question buying one, please read the customer reviews on the model that you were thinking of getting. This should set your mind at rest because these are fantastic wood-burning stoves.

Have another look at the Carron Stoves range here.

Best British made wood burners

Do you like buying British when possible? If so, you would probably prefer to buy a British made wood-burning stove. The good news is that there are plenty of great options on the market when it comes to British made wood burners. In this article, we will look at some of the best stoves made in Blighty.

GBS Mariner 5 kW Multi Fuel Stove

As British built appliances go, the GBS Mariner is very reasonably priced. This 5kW model is available for just £295. It boasts a stylish, modern design and a high-quality steel body with clean lines. The stove body is covered by a 10-year guarantee. Have a closer look.

NB: The GBS Mariner is also available in a 4kW version.

Hamlet Solution 7 kW Multi Fuel Stove

The Hamlet Solution is another British made, contemporary stove with a stylish steel body. At the time of writing, it is available for £349.99. It too has a 10-year guarantee. Have a closer look.

NB: The Hamlet Solution is also available in 4.5kW DEFRA exempt, 9kW, 11kW 5kw inset, 7kW inset, 12kW inset, 9kW inset, 12kW boiler, 16kW boiler versions.

Villager Bayswater 7.5kW Multi Fuel Stove

The Villager Bayswater neatly combines a sleek modern silhouette with some traditional detailing, which means it is equally adept at adding some heritage to a new-build home or a subtle modern touch to an older property. Among the traditional features are a beautiful double door design. The stove body is covered by a lifetime guarantee, which suggests you can put plenty of faith in the quality of this British build. Have a closer look.

Aarrow Ecoburn Plus 5 kW Flexifuel Multi Fuel Stove

Devon-made Aarrow stoves make some of the most popular contemporary stoves available, including the Ecoburn Plus 5 kW. As well as a stylish modern design, this appliance also boasts a large viewing window and a lifetime guarantee on the stove body. Have a closer look.

NB: The Aarrow Ecoburn is also available in 4kW, 7kW, 9kW, 5kW inset 7kW inset and 11kW inset versions.

Don’t get ripped off when buying logs for your woodburner

Moisture Meter Woodburner

When buying fuel for your wood-burning stove, choosing logs that have already been seasoned comes at a premium. Fuel retailers justifiably charge more for logs that have been cut, chopped and stacked for 12 months or so.

But how do you know just how well seasoned the logs you’re buying are, other than taking the word of whoever you’re buying them from that they are fully seasoned?

The easiest way to ensure you are not getting ripped off is to take a moisture meter with you when buying logs (or to have one handy when they are delivered to your home).

A moisture meter will tell you the water content of a log. A well seasoned log should have less than 25% moisture and might even be as low as 20%. If you find that the moisture content of logs you’re being supplied is much higher than that and they are being sold to you as seasoned logs, it is time to ask questions or find another supplier sharpish.

What’s the issue?

Aside from the possibility that you are being misled by the person selling the logs, green or freshly cut logs contain up to 45% moisture. When you burn logs that contain that level of moisture, a large amount of the energy created when you burn them is expended on evaporating the water rather than heating your room.

This also results in an inefficient burn, which creates more smoke. The lower temperature due to the poor burn can cause this excess smoke to condense while still in the flue and create a build-up of creosote. This further reduces your stove’s performance and increases the risk of chimney fires because it is flammable.

All of which means it is well worth investing a little over £20 to get your own moisture meter and check exactly what you’re burning on your stove.

Click here to buy a moisture meter.

Photos of a Mazona Rocky 6 kW multi-fuel stove installation

Thanks to Peter Morson, who recently bought a Mazona Rocky 6 kW multi-fuel stove and everything else he needed to complete his installation from us.

Peter wasted no time in installing the stove in his home in Durham and kindly shared a selection of photos with us showing the installed Rocky in situ.

The Mazona Rocky is consistently one of our best-selling stoves. It offers a sturdy cast iron appliance, a traditional yet timeless design and an impressive 6kW heat output – all for a very reasonable price.

When it came to installing his Rocky, Peter had a decorative fireplace recess to work with, but no chimney, so a twin wall flue up the external wall of the property was the appropriate option.

Our customer support team was able to guide Peter through the plans for his installation to ensure he had all the parts required.

He wrote to us: “I’d just thought you’d like to see what can be done. Thanks again to Robin for getting the flue parts.”

If we can help you to plan your installation, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on the number at the top of the page. If you like the look of the Mazona Rocky 6kW, click here for a closer look. Alternatively, a slightly smaller version, the Mazona Signet 4kW stove, is available here.

Last but not least, if you are interested in twin wall flue installations, we have put together a guide to some popular twin wall designs. Download the twin wall flue guide here.

Adorable photos of cats and their woodburners

Following the fantastic response to our gallery of dogs and their woodburners, we felt it was only fair that the cat community should get their own version.

With that in mind, we have started putting together a collection of photos of feline firebugs: cosy cats who love to spend time relaxing by their woodburner.

If you know a cat who ought to be included, just submit your photo to us via the Gr8Fires Facebook page or Twitter account.

From Stephen Turner. Casper enjoying the warmth.

From John Russon. Good job it’s not lit!

From Anna Bartholomew. Chuckie queuing up at the fireguard.

From Anna Bartholomew. Monty wins the race on this occasion.

From Anna Bartholomew. Tommy’s turn.

From Sean Austin. The cheek of it!

From Sootbusters. A suitably soot-coloured cat.

From Martin Hayward and Stuart Douglas. A couple of kittens that come the bonus Jack Russells!

Is a woodburner hygge?

Hygge is a Danish word that famously has no direct translation into English. It has risen to prominence in recent years, aided by the popularity of Scandi decor and Nordic television programmes, and begun to enter the English lexicon (helped by the aforementioned absence of a literal translation).

The word describes the feeling or mood created by the pleasure of making regular household activities more meaningful, beautiful or special. It is often loosely translated as cosiness, though that doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head.

Denmark’s tourism website Visit Denmark says: “In essence, hygge means creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you.”

That’s good enough for us: on the basis of that explanation a woodburner is definitely hygge. Lighting a stove makes the atmosphere in a home more beautiful and special. It definitely creates a warm atmosphere and it encourages friends and loved ones to gather. Sounds pretty hygge to us.

The same source says that, although part of the Danish language since the 18th century, the word has its origins in Norwegian, where it meant something close to well-being. Given the warmth created, reduction in energy bills and environmental benefits of installing a woodburner in your home, a stove ticks that hygge box, too.

We’ve written previously about the social benefits that come from owning a wood-burning stove and there’s no doubt that contributes to some pretty significant hygge, too. Not least when cosying up together and getting wrapped up in warm clothing to go and collect firewood.

So, if you’re keen to add a sense of hygge to your home, a wood-burning stove is definitely going to be a step in the right direction. And if you want to really create a Scandinavian vibe to your living room, you might like to consider some of these Scandi style woodburners.

Cheap wood burners for sheds

Do you have a shed in your garden? A shed can be a fantastic extension of your home. It can be a home office, a hideaway, a workshop, a place to plan and prepare gardening and a host of other things. It can also be very chilly.

Whatever the many benefits of having a stove, cosiness is not usually one of them. Sheds are seldom insulated at all, let alone as well insulated as our homes, so they can feel draughty and chilly.

But that’s nothing that can’t be changed by installing a wood-burning stove in your shed. Given that we’re talking about a stove for an outbuilding rather than your house, you probably don’t want to break the bank. With that in mind, here are our recommendations of cheap wood burners for sheds.

Mazona Rocky 6kW


The Mazona Rocky is our best-selling stove. It’s also a snip at just £199 at the time of writing, which is excellent considering it pumps out 6kW of heat. It’s also a sturdy and traditional cast iron appliance. Click here for a closer look.

Mazona Signet 4kW


If you’re looking for a stove for a smaller shed, the Mazona Signet could be the right option. Its 4kW heat output is smaller than the Rocky, but it includes all of its main features, which makes it ideal for sheds in which the bigger stove would be overpowering. Click here for a closer look.

Mazona Olympus 8 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove


At the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’ve got a large shed to heat, the Olympus boasts an impressive 8kW heat output. That will provide warmth to even sizeable spaces. Click here for a closer look.

Evergreen Ashley 5kW


No electricity in your shed? No problem. The Evergreen Ashley has two hotplates on top, so you can keep a kettle handy, and maybe even treat yourself to a stew or a soup. It has a cast iron body in an eye-catching rounded design and generates a 5kW heat output. Click here for a closer look.

GBS Mariner 7kW


A more contemporary look is provided by the GBS Mariner, a sleek, steel appliance that generates 7kw of heat. Click here for a closer look.

Looking for something else? Click here to view more stoves.