Masonry Heaters for Small Spaces

Hi Max, thanks for this forum🤗
I’m currently building a tiny home @400sgft plus a loft here in Ont :canada: I have been told that the space is just too small for a heater with a bake oven. I’m wondering if it was on an outside wall with a south facing greenhouse attached to absorb some of the heat? My design is for it to be incorporated into the staircase and potentially include a cooktop and domestic water loop.
Does this idea have the potential to work effectively?

Welcome @Billy and thanks for your great question.

I wouldn’t rule the possibility out and this could be an interesting forum to develop the idea.

In some ways, smaller spaces are more ideal for masonry heat than wood stove heat because you are less likely to overheat yourself and maintain a nice steady warmth. On the other hand, it is important to know that the masonry heating choice is going to be best for a space that is truly a living space in which you are living from one day to the next. A space which is used intermittently and needs a quick heat up like an occasionally used studio space or guest house may be more suitable for a wood stove.

Here are some doodles from this morning:

It is an interesting direction to try to combine your staircase to the loft with the heater to consolidate those two volumes. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a design article we published on the subject: Masonry Heater Staircases.

Let us see if we can recruit other designers and keep this discussion going! :slight_smile:

Hi Max, thanks for the input, yes it will be for a full time use. I’m going to learn the sketch up app so I can send my idea, or I will draw it up old school on graph paper. Lol
How accurate will I need to be on determining the heating needs for the spaces to determine the size of heater?
I think my inspiration for the stairs was from seeing an image of the stone one you built several years ago, if I’m not mistaken.

Hey max, you have mentioned water coils, is it possible to utilize that and transfer the heat to an earth heat sink, like an earthen floor or the beds of a greenhouse? Would that in turn reduce the size needed for the masonry heater?
Or would you be best to just put the flue though the earth? I’m assuming that would be most efficient, but that would restrict distance and design more.
Cheers from a lovely snowy day in Ontario :snowman: