A do-it-yourself wood stove surround crafted from faux rock adds a custom touch to a room’s decor. The color of the rocks, their shape and size determine the surround’s impact on a room’s design. Faux rock panels are easy to install, and generally create the same effect as real rock.
Before you begin, screw a piece of cement underlayment board onto the floor the appropriate distance from the walls. Your stove manufacturer’s instructions include how far from the wall the stove should be to prevent fires. Install the board so that it extends at least eight inches around the sides of the stove, under the stovepipe and 18 inches from the door of the stove. The cement board protects the wood floor, which may start to smolder and burn as the stove heats up. Install ceramic tile in a design of your choice on top of the underlayment, add grout and allow the ceramic tile to cure for at least a day.
Consider installing cement board on the walls behind and to the sides of the stove before beginning to build the faux rock walls. If the stove is placed the proper distance from the walls, this may not be imperative, but it’s a wise option. Determine where the studs are in the walls with a stud finder, and mark their position high enough on the wall that you can reference them after the cement board is in place. Use deck screws to screw the cement board in place on the wall. Leave a ¼-inch gap at the bottom so the board and floor can expand and contract as the humidity in the room changes.
Faux stone comes in panels that resemble brick, stacked stone, river rock or tile. Begin with the bottom row. Apply a bead of contractor’s adhesive to the back of the first panel and press it into place. Use a single 2-inch wood screw to hold the panel in place until the adhesive sets. Continue adding panels until you’ve completed the bottom row, or rows if you’re doing a surround behind and to the side of the stove. If the end panels need to be cut, use a jigsaw, circular saw or utility knife to trim them to the right size.
Some sections of wall may have electric outlets that you want to preserve. Measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of the outlet cover and mark the panel at the distance. Then measure the sides and top of the outlet, transfer those measurements to the panel and cut out a hole for the outlet. If the faux stone extends above the hole for the stovepipe, use the same method to cut a hole in the panel.
Continue gluing and pressing the panels into place until you reach the top of the faux stone wall and cut the pieces if necessary. Cover the heads of the screws with a dab of matching paint if they’re noticeable. Set the stove in place on the ceramic-tiled cement underlayment and install the stovepipe. Give the adhesive a day to set before using the stove.