Questions and answers regarding Sommerhuber tiled stoves and tiled fireplaces
Design of tiled stoves & tiled fireplaces: subtle harmony or conscious individuality?
Whether you are newly building your home or renovating it: the tiled stove/tiled fireplace is always the center of the living experience. It is your decision whether you want to accommodate your tiled stove/tiled fireplace to the harmonious room ambience or whether you choose it to be the center of the your living space. Our large assortment of tiles and variety of colors makes is it basically possible to realize any shape of tiled stove/tiled fireplace to match your taste.
What are the benefits of the Sommerhuber heat storage ceramics?
Our heat storage ceramics gives off heat in form of long-wave radiation heat in the infrared range. Due to their specific mass, tiles pass on heat to the room evenly for many hours. The gentle thermal radiation heats the surface of walls as well as of solid objects in the living space, but not the air. The resultant effect of radiant heat leads to a uniform room temperature without overheating. The air maintains its freshness as well as purity and the result is a healthy and pleasant indoor climate. Energizing heat storage ceramics means health-promoting thermal radiation in the infrared range. This heat verifiably encourages the blood circulation, eases muscle tensions and increases our overall well-being. Particularly profiting from this effect are people suffering from allergies because no dust is whirled up. The respiratory passages are relieved. The immune system is strengthened, the vegetative nervous center is calmed and the body is purged and relaxed. Our ergonomically shaped large-scale ceramics provide for the optimal physical relaxation. Learn more about the subject of heat storage ceramics.
Ceramic tiles or flags or plaster?
The optical design options are extremely diverse in case of both products. The ceramic tile primarily fulfils a heat storing function; it is mainly applied in living spaces and for surfaces which serve for body contact. Flags on the other hand are dense and do not store any heat. Flags mainly fulfill a hygienic function; they are applied in the bathroom, in the kitchen and for floor coverings in technical areas. Ceramic tiles are extremely easy to clean. It is sufficient to wipe them with a wet cloth. They do not whirl up dust and cannot crack or tear. Plaster surfaces, however, should be painted every year. Ceramic tiles as natural products give off a cozy heat because they have the natural property to store heat and to slowly and evenly pass it on to the room. Their glazed surface is soothing and as soft as silk and invites you to lean against. This cozy warmth influences the human organism in an ideal way and promotes relaxation and health. The variety in design, whether strictly cubistic or gently ergonomic, makes it possible to realize your desired unique tiled stove/tiled fireplace in your individual living ambience.
In which phase of (house) construction is it recommended to plan and set the tiled stove / tiled fireplace and what has to be taken into account?
It is recommended that you provide for stable foundation for the installation of a tiled stoves / tiled fireplaces already in the planning phase of your house. An average tiled stove weighs approx. 1000 kg, a tiled fireplace approx. 600- 700 kg. The tiled stove / tiled fireplace is set in the shell construction phase after the screed was laid but before wooden floors or flags are laid and before the paint work. Please consider an average delivery of 6-8 weeks and an assembly time of approx. 1 week. Depending on the different types you should generally provide for a larger chimney cross-section for tiled fireplaces (due to the visible fire) than for tiled stoves. The required dimensions of your chimney also vary depending on the type of stove, the ceiling height as well as the location of the house. For best solutions for your individual situation, please contact your master stove setter.
I am planning a low-energy house – What do I have to considered when planning the tiled stove /tiled fireplace?
n order to reduce heat output (kW) and avoid an overheating of the house it is advisable to aim for small visible fire surfaces and large ceramic storage surfaces. Those store the heat and evenly give it off to the room over many hours. Therefore please coordinate the heat output in proportion to the living space already in the planning phase of your house. Your master stove setter will be able to make recommendations.
Is heating with wood environmentally acceptable?
Carbon dioxide which is released into the air is generated if wood decomposes in the forest. The same amount of CO2 is released if wood burns in a tiled stove. The concentration of carbon dioxide of the air is not increased because it always releases CO2 into the air no matter whether it decomposes or burns. The combustion of other combustibles such as oil, gas or coal causes an increase of the concentration of carbon dioxide of the air. The use of firewood only demands those types of wood which are not used for other purposes. Without affecting the sustainability of the forest cultivation it would be possible to more than double the amount of wood used for energy purposes today. The harvesting and processing of wood is simple and requires only little expenditure of energy. The routes of transportation are short and the storage is unproblematic.
Learn more about the subject of the tiled stove/tiled fireplace and the environment.
How do I heat correctly?
Never use an excessive amount of combustible. The following rule applies in this case: Better once again but not too much at a time. On the other hand you should not permanently operate your tiled stove/tiled fireplace at “low flame” otherwise the required temperature for a clean combustion is not achieved. Please study the operation manual in any case or ask your stove setter for the optimal amount of wood. When heating up, supply enough combustion air, i.e. open the air slide completely at the beginning. After approx. 20 min, please slightly reduce the air supply. The combustion air is closed completely as soon as the combustible is burnt through. In case of hot air tiled stoves/tiled fireplaces, it shall always be made sure that the hot air may escape from the tiled stove/tiled fireplace. The pipe doors and blinds shall always be open for this purpose. Store firewood for at least 2 years at a sunny place with circulation of air. The humidity shall be reduced to less than 20% in this process. Before using the wood for heating purposes, store it in the house for 2 – 3 days. The dryer the wood the better is the combustion quality and the more beautiful is the flame.
Which combustible shall I use?
Newspapers, paper and other domestic waste must not be put into the tiled stove/tiled fireplace. Most firing installations are nowadays designed for the combustion of pure wood. The wood should be untreated and should not have any residues of paints, lacquers or similar substances. It should be air-dry, that means it should be stored for a corresponding period of time. The combustion of coal is possible in certain inserts. In doing so, it has to be taken into account that the combustion of coal requires considerably more oxygen and that the accumulation of ash is also larger than when burning pure wood. What we would not recommend is the combustion of hard coal or anthracite coal because in this case high temperature would reduce the service life of your tiled stoves/tiled fireplaces and lead to damages of the installation. Most heating inserts are nowadays designed for the combustible wood. Wood leaves hardly any contaminants in the environment and burns CO2-neutral. Wood does not incur debts with nature and it is the only regrowing combustible. The wood should be seasoned, usually 2 – 3 years so that it is adequately dry. Not every wood is equally suitable for every purpose. Here a brief overview of appropriate types of wood:
- Beech – lasts long, produces a lot of embers, perfect firewood.
- Ash – can be put on a level with the beech but is less common.
- Birch – good firewood for tiled fireplaces (blue flame due to essential oils in the wood), burns faster than the beech.
- Spruce/pine – coniferous wood tend to produce flying sparks due to their high resin contents. Only use those types of wood in closed stoves. But it is a very good kindling in form of chips.
- Alder – burns down quickly, not very long-lasting, therefore a good summer wood if it is already hot enough.
- Oak – produces only little embers, some flying sparks and little flame. But it burns very long e.g. in the tiled stove.
Store the wood for at least two years then you have the best calorific value. But don’t store it longer than four years because the calorific value will decrease. When heating the tiled stove / tiled fireplace for the first time, please pay attention to the following: after the drying time of approx. 2 weeks, the new tiled stove/tiled fireplace should be heated up carefully. That means do not put in too much wood at a time and set the combustion air to high. Better heat more often with a small amount of combustible than overheating the tiled stove/tiled fireplace. With this way of heating in the first eight days you will avoid any formation of cracks. It is in any case required to observe the operating manual.
What do I do against thick smoke and if the window of my tiled stoves/tiled fireplace becomes black?
Smoke is usually caused by a lack of draft in the chimney. Your tiled stove/tiled fireplace may be supplied with an insufficient amount of combustion air. Therefore always open the combustion air lever completely when heating up. The combustion air is only reduced as soon as the wood burns properly. The reason may also be a lack of draft, often due to a cool air column in the chimney. This column is often generated in the transitional periods in spring or autumn on sunny days. The air in the chimney is then colder (i.e. heavier) than the air in the open. This leads to a lack of negative pressure in the chimney, it doesn’t draft. Here a little trick: you open the chimney door, burn a sheet of newspaper there or in the combustion chamber and this way heat the air column directly. The heating gives the chimney its natural lift (draft). Congested flue gas outlets may also be the cause of draft problems and smoke nuisance. Please also pay attention to a regular maintenance of your tiled stoves/tiled fireplace by a specialized company. All combustion processes produce residues in form of soot and ash particles which may of course stain a windowpane. However, modern heating inserts are equipped with an integrated window rinsing system which minimizes the contamination of the window. The reasons why the window could still become dirty are as follows: the quality of the combustible. Did you burn anything which must not be put into the tiled stove/tiled fireplace? Is the wood possibly too wet? The tiled stove/tiled fireplace shall exclusively be filled with clean well-seasoned wood. The wood’s residual moisture should be less than 20%. This is achieved by storing the wood for 2 to 3 years. An incomplete combustion will also increase the sooting of the window. Pay attention to an adequate supply of combustion air and check the chimney’s draft. Your chimney sweep is a competent advisor in this regard.
There are cracks in the plaster or the joint!
Your tiled stove/tiled fireplace is exposed to intensive variations in temperature, that means is it heated up and cools down frequently. The used materials are exposed to great strain. In order to avoid stress cracks as much as possible we process high-quality fireclays and special plasters. Small cracks may sometimes appear because it is not possible to overrule the laws of physics of the expansion of warm objects. But those cracks do on no account impair the stove’s function. Small hairline cracks are therefore absolutely normal and no reason for a complaint. They will usually shrink up when the tiled stove/tiled fireplace cools down.