Heat resistant plaster around wood-burning stoves

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One aspect of wood-burning stove installation that can be overlooked is the nearby walls and, in particular, the plaster on those walls.

Regular gypsum plaster often cannot cope with the heat generated by a woodburner and may begin to crack or peel off, either almost immediately after the stove is lit or through gradual wear and tear. In either case, the result is that the plaster will not stay on the wall.

The way to overcome this is to use a specialist heat resistant plaster. For obvious reasons, it is best to plan ahead and perform any necessary plastering during the installation process and before your stove is in situ.

Heat resistant plaster works in exactly the same way as normal plaster and gives an equally smooth finish, but it is made to be able to withstand far higher temperatures, which are usually up to 500ºC.

Areas of plaster that are susceptible to problems include:

  • Chimney breasts around wood-burning stoves.
  • Chimney breasts surrounding inset stoves.
  • The inside of opened fireplaces where recessed freestanding stoves are installed.
  • Where flue pipes pass through ceilings and floors.
  • Where flue pipes pass through walls.

But any difficulties can be overcome be using heat resistant plaster in its place.

Plastering the whole wall
In theory, you will only need the area directly around the appliance to be heat resistant. In practice, it can be hard to retouch just a small area while maintaining a good finish that matches the rest of the wall.

You might prefer to strip back the entire wall and start the plastering process from scratch to ensure consistency.

Letting the plaster dry
Whether you use heat resistant plaster ahead of stove installation or further down the line as a replacement for gypsum plaster that has peeled off, it is important that the new heat resistant plaster is allowed plenty of time to dry before the woodburner is used.

If you light the stove before the plaster has dried properly, the intense heat from the woodburner will cause it to crack.

Buy heat resistant plaster.

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