How Much Room Do You Need Around A Small Wood Burner?

This article will explain how much room you need around a small wood burner. Although everybody loves to sit and watch a warm, cosy fire whilst it flickers away in your small wood stove, there are a few regulations that you will need to comply with to ensure that your stove is installed safely. After all, the fire in your wood burner can reach several hundred °C! You might be wondering how much room you need to have around a small wood burner, as it’s crucial that your stove isn’t placed too close to any other surfaces, for obvious reasons!

Sifting through lengthy official documents can be confusing, overwhelming, and quite frankly boring! That’s why we’ve done that bit for you. As a result, we’ve put together this guide to make it quick and easy for you to find out how much room you need around a small wood burner.

There are 4 main factors to consider:

  • The distance between your small wood burning stove and any combustible materials.
  • The distance between your small wood burning stove and any non-combustible materials.
  • The size of your hearth.
  • How your flue pipes are going to be arranged.

In this article, we’ve also suggested a few solutions to help you install your small wood burning stove into an especially small space! If you don’t have much room around your small wood burner, then it’s definitely worth taking a look at our heat shield options, and our custom off set kit for your flue pipes, and you can read more about these options below!


How Much Room You Need Around A Small Wood Burner – Combustible Materials

Firstly, the distances that you’ll need to maintain between your small stove and any combustible materials, such as wood, are probably the most important thing you’ll need to consider. Your tiny wood burner shouldn’t be positioned too closely to any combustible surfaces, as the stove itself can get very hot. You also don’t want to run the risk of any logs or embers falling out of the firebox when you go to refuel your small wood stove.

However, there’s no need to panic! As long as you keep your small wood burning stove at least 400mm away from any combustible material – and providing that you take the appropriate care and attention when it comes to lighting, refuelling and operating your stove – then you don’t have anything to worry about.

You can find more guidance on how to use your small wood stove by visiting our help section, or by reading the instruction manual for your Hobbit, Hobbit SE or Little Range Cook Stove. To help prevent any fuel from falling out of your stove when you go to refuel it, you could also equip your Hobbit stove or Little Range Cook Stove with our coal bar option.

How Much Room You Need Around A Small Wood Burner – Non-combustible Materials

Even if your small wood burning stove is going to be placed next to a non-combustible material, such as metal, then you will need to position it a certain distance away from these types of surfaces. To comply with Approved Document J Building Regulations – and in order to get your stove installation approved by a HETAS installer or a building control officer – your small wood burner will need to be placed at least 200mm away from any non-combustible material.

The Solution

The Hobbit is one of the smallest wood burning stoves that’s available, but you still might find it difficult to maintain this much room around a small wood burner depending on where you’re looking to install it. Our small wood stove is often installed in small Victorian fireplaces, but the Hobbit has also found its home in canal boats, shepherds’ huts, campervans, tiny homes, and lots of other small spaces!

Our heatshield option is incredibly useful if you’re looking to install your small wood stove into a particularly tight space. By equipping your small wood burning stove with heat shields at the sides and at the back, you will greatly reduce the amount of room that you need to maintain.

If your Hobbit stove is equipped with this heatshield option, then your small wood burner can be placed just 150mm away from combustible materials at the sides of the stove, and 100mm away from combustible materials at the back of the stove. You can also choose to shield your walls as well! If you shield your fireplace and the stove itself, then your Hobbit stove can be positioned 100mm away from non-combustible materials at the sides of the stove, and 100mm away from non-combustible materials at the rear of the stove.

These distances apply to whichever side(s) you have your heat shields fitted to – you might choose to have a heat shield on just one side of your stove, or just at the back, or you might choose to have heat shields on both of the sides and at the back of your small wood burning stove!

It’s worth noting that these distances are measured from the body of the stove itself, rather than from the heat shields. So this option really enables you to squeeze your small wood stove that bit closer to your walls, without compromising on safety. You can see what they look like below.

Small wood burning stove with heatshields 1Small wood burning stove with heatshields 2Small wood burning stove with heatshields 3

If you’ve already purchased a Hobbit stove and you’re looking to move it somewhere where there won’t be as much room around your small wood burner, then our heat shield option can still be retrofitted to your existing stove! Please feel free to contact us, so that we can talk you through the process of how a new set of heat shields can be fitted to your existing Hobbit stove.

If you’re fitting your small wood burning stove into a small fireplace, then you might need to pull your stove out of the recess slightly to ensure that you have a good flow of air around your stove. You can check out our fireplace installation document for more information about fitting your small wood stove into a fireplace, and this document will also show you the clearances that you will need to maintain. You’re also more than welcome to email us a photo of your fireplace with some measurements, and then we can advise you on how a Hobbit stove or a Little Range Cook Stove can be installed into your fireplace!

On the other hand, if you’re looking to install your small wood burning stove into a cabin, a garden room, a summer house or a shepherd’s hut which has wooden walls or cladding, then you can also shield this combustible surface so that your small wood stove can be installed into a tighter space.

Hobbit small Stove

You can achieve this by fitting some fireproof boarding or hardiebacker board onto your wooden surface. Either material is fine as long as it’s at least 25mm thick. This can be positioned in front of your wooden surface by using some spacers on a 12mm air gap. This is one of the most common ways to install a small wood burning stove into this type of space, and you can quite easily source these types of materials from Vitcas, which is a manufacturing company based in Bristol.

Alternatively, you might want to use a different non-combustible material which might look more attractive to you, such as wriggly tin. This type of material is becoming a lot more fashionable to use, and it adds a rustic flair to your fireplace. This makes it a great option if you’re looking to rent your space out as an Airbnb! If you’re lucky, then you might even be able to source these materials cheaply from Facebook marketplace, Gumtree, or from your local recycling centre.

Hearth Space

Your small wood burning stove is also going to need some sort of platform or plinth to provide it with a flat, even and sturdy base for it to sit on. Your hearth will also need to meet certain specifications in order for it to comply with the regulations – our small wood stoves have to be placed on a hearth which is made out of a non-combustible material that’s at least 12mm thick. This is known as a non-constructional hearth, and this can be used for both the Hobbit stove or our Little Range Cook Stove.

Your hearth can be made from any of the following non-combustible materials, or there might even be other non-combustible materials that you can use which we haven’t covered! You can source these materials new, but it’s better for your pocket and for the planet if you can source second-hand or reclaimed materials to stop them being thrown away! Your hearth could be made from any of the following materials, providing they’re at least 12mm thick:

  • Glass
  • Slate
  • Metal sheeting
  • Concrete
  • Patio tiles
  • Marble

Whatever non-combustible material you decide to use, you will need have at least 225mm of room from the front of your stove to the front of your hearth. This can be measured from the stove doors rather than the footplate, which sticks out a bit further. We would also recommend you to have at least 150mm of hearth space at either side of your small wood stove.

Painted Hobbit Small Stove and Stand            Small Wood Burning Stove In a Campervan 4           Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Flue Pipes

After you’ve figured out how much room you’ll need to have around your small wood burning stove, then you’ll also need to consider how your flue system is going to be arranged, as this will also determine where your small wood stove can be situated. This is because there is a certain amount of room that you will need to maintain around your flue pipes too.

Our single wall vitreous enamel flue pipes by Midtherm can be positioned 3 times their diameter away from combustible surfaces, and 1.5 times their diameter from non-combustible surfaces. This means that if you’re using flue pipes with a 100mm/4” diameter, then these pipes can be positioned 300mm away from combustible materials and 150mm away from non-combustible materials.

Due to these distances, your flue pipes might not be able to exit straight up from the top of your small wood burning stove and through the section of roof directly above it. Although this would be the easiest way to install your small wood stove, this isn’t always feasible if your flue pipes are going to be positioned very close to other surfaces, or if they’re going to be positioned close to a window.

If you find yourself in this situation, then make sure you take a look at our custom off set kit. All you need to do is select the angle of elbows you need, and any particular lengths of flue pipe, and this can easily be added to your cart with a few simple clicks. If you’re not sure about what angle of off sets you’ll need, or what lengths or flue pipes you’ll need, then feel free to email us some details and a picture of where you’re looking to install your small wood stove, as we offer a bespoke flue consultancy service free of charge! You can visit our contact page to drop Mark an email, or you can call our office to talk through how your small wood burning stove can be installed.

On the other hand, your twin wall flue parts can be positioned just 50mm away from combustible materials, as these components are well-insulated. If you find that a single wall flue system would not be possible due to the space that you will need to maintain between your flue parts and any combustible or non-combustible surfaces in your room, then substituting these parts with twin wall flue components might solve this problem!


Single wall flue pipe (pictured to the left), in comparison to a twin wall flue pipe (pictured on the right-handside).














Alternatively, you might want to consider exiting through the wall of your structure, before going straight up in twin wall flue. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that twin wall flue parts are considerably more expensive than single wall flue components, and you might have a preference of one over the other when it comes to the aesthetics – some people prefer the slimline appearance of single wall flue parts, whereas others prefer the stockier look of twin wall flue.

We’ve designed a wide range of installation kits for your small wood burning stove, so that you can get your tiny wood burner installed quickly and easily, regardless of whether you’re looking to install it into a shed, a Victorian fireplace, a campervan, shepherd’s hut, tiny home, garden room, or a canal boat! Most of our flue kits exit your small wood burning stove in single wall flue, but there’s also some twin wall flue kits and wall exit kits to fit almost any type of installation.

If you would like to arrange your flue kit differently, or if you have any questions when it comes to installing your Hobbit stove or Little Range cook stove, then please do not hesitate to contact us! We love hearing about each and every project where you might be looking to incorporate one of our small wood burning stoves.

Small Stove Review 9

Our Hobbit Stove Has Been Fitted!

"We had a Hobbit stove fitted this week by Alex Reay from Flues and Fires, and I just wanted to get in touch to say it is AMAZING and we love it! We have a lovely cast iron tiled fireplace which I was desperate not to lose when we installed a small wood burning stove, but until I found the Hobbit on Google, everyone told me it would be impossible to keep the fire surround. The Hobbit is perfect - not only does it fit very snugly, but it looks fantastic and the blue door complements the tiles very nicely. We are sitting enjoying a fire now and absolutely loving it! Thanks for creating such an amazing product."

Nicola Williams

Small Stove Review 10

The Best Stove Ever!

"It’s the best stove ever! It’s easy to light, very efficient, burns anthracite and stays in overnight (ours has been in for three weeks now). It even keeps a kettle of water at the ready for a cuppa! What more can I say, we love it! Just the thing to make our Yorkshire home cosy, and the cat loves it too!"

Lynn and Andrew, West Yorkshire

small stove review 16

First Small Stove Installation

Was looking for a small stove for my first self-install. Found Mark very helpful. Knowledgeable, friendly service. Stove burns well and generates lots more heat than the previous open fire. What is not to like?


Small Stove Review 15

A Huge Thank You!

"Dear Mark and Gill, a huge thank you for designing and making the Hobbit stove! We had two different London-based fireplace companies tell us that we simply had to knock out the old cast iron and tile fireplace to fit in a woodburning stove, and that there was no other option! Then we found you online. We are delighted with our little Hobbit, which swallows up logs and kicks out a good amount of heat. Perfect for the winter! I will also be writing to the London-based fireplace companies to put the Hobbit on their radar. Best wishes."


Small Stove Review 14

Delighted With Our Hobbit Stove!

"Mark, Gill, thank you for your assistance, we are delighted with our Hobbit! I fired it up this evening after taking all afternoon making a register plate to fit the opening."


Small Stove Review 5

It's Brilliant!

"Hi Mark, here's a photo of the Hobbit installed in my Yorkist grate. It’s brilliant! It also throws out a lot more heat than the grate did."

Roger T

Small Stove Review 3

Just to Say Thank You!

"I just had a chat with Gill saying how delighted we are with our little Hobbit stove, and to also thank you both for your attention to detail and excellent customer service!"


Small Stove Review 4

The Little Hobbit Has Stepped Up To The Challenge!

"We just wanted to say how impressed and how much of a life saver our little Hobbit has been! It was fitted a few months ago in our holiday home in Rhu, Scotland, which is a large open plan conversion in a Victorian house. This weekend our boiler decided it was not going to play ball. The little Hobbit has stepped up to the challenge, providing heat to a very large area, about twenty eight foot by twenty four foot with a high ceiling of about eighteen foot, keeping the room reasonably warm, warm enough for us not to use cardigans!”

Alan W

Small Stove Review 8

Very Pleased With Our Hobbit!

"We are very pleased with the stove and think it looks great! We restored our fireplace (it was hidden under plaster!) and the whole look is better than we hoped!"


Small Stove Review 2

Absolutely Delighted!

"Just had our Hobbit SE installed in our Victorian fireplace and we are absolutely delighted with the end result. We felt passionate about preserving our lovely fireplace!"


Small Stove Review 13

Our Pride And Joy!

"What a fantastic fireplace with the beautiful Hobbit stove. It fits perfectly into the small space and throws out a lot of heat. Here's a photo of our little stove, now our pride and joy and much admired by all who see and feel the warmth."

Chris and C

Small Stove Review 11


"Just to bid you all a Happy New Year and to say how much we’re enjoying having our Hobbit stove! It was easy to fit with the help of your excellent ‘how to’ videos and we’re just awaiting our inspection by building control for the certification. The Hobbit has fitted neatly into the hearth vacated by the old gas back boiler (with a little cosmetic rendering) and never ceases to surprise us how much heat it can deliver to the point that the new condenser boiler is having an easy life, thereby saving us on gas bills too! Everyone loves having a ‘real fire’ in the living room."

Philip Baird

Small Stove Review 6

A Brilliant Little Wood Burner!

"The stove we bought from you is really starting to come into its own as the weather cools down. Here is a photo showing how much one of our dogs is enjoying it!"

Small Stove Review 1

Brilliant Product!

"Just wanted to share a picture of our newly installed Hobbit. Absolutely delighted with it, and so pleased we were able to retain our existing fireplace as well. Brilliant product, thank you!"



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