When wood burning stoves are installed within existing fireplaces, the chimney typically needs to be lined with a flue for safety and efficiency reasons. The chimney also needs to be capped off with a register plate.
So what is a register plate for wood burning stoves?
A register plate is a metal sheet that’s installed at the base of a chimney when a stove is installed within an existing fireplace. A register plate seals the throat of the chimney for aesthetic purposes and to ensure that all airflow within the chimney is going through the stove.
A register plate was fitted to our chimney when our multi fuel stove was installed within our living room fireplace, and I’ve explained in more detail below what a register plate does and what it looks like.
What Is A Register Plate For Wood Burning Stoves?
A register plate is a metal sheet that fits across the base of your chimney, just above where a stove would be installed.
A register plate can also be referred to as a chimney register plate or stove register plate, as they are commonly installed as part of the installation of a wood burning stove or multi fuel stove within your existing fireplace.
A register plate can also be known as a closure plate. A register plate and closure plate are essentially the same thing but serve slightly different purposes depending on the situation.
If you’re having your chimney lined with a flue then you’ll only need a closure plate to help seal off the base of the chimney for aesthetic purposes.
Closure plates can be more common than register plates because many stove installs include a flue liner to help with draw on the stove.
If byproducts from your wood burning stove or multi fuel stove are being exhausted straight into the chimney (and not into a flue inside the chimney), then you’ll need a register plate. The register plate also needs to be sealed so that waste gases and smoke don’t come back into your home after passing through the plate.
Register plates can also be found with hatches to sweep the chimney through.
For the purposes of this article and to prevent confusion, I’ve referred to both register and closure plates as register plates because the term is more commonly used.
We had a multi fuel stove installed within our living room fireplace a couple of years ago. The entire length of the chimney had to be lined with a stainless steel flue liner from top to bottom. A cowl was fitted at the top of the chimney, while a register plate was fitted at the bottom.
Here’s what the register plate looks like installed within our chimney:
The stovepipe sticking out the top of our stove connects to the flue through the register plate.
What Does A Register Plate Do?
A register plate or closure plate is installed at the base of a chimney for a number of reasons:
- To help prevent heat generated by the stove from being lost out of the room and up the chimney.
- To help prevent any falling debris from falling down into the fireplace or onto the stove.
- To guide the stovepipe up into the chimney before it’s outlet into the chimney or being connected to the flue.
- To provide a tidy finish for the base of the chimney once a wood stove or multi fuel stove is installed.
- To help maximize the draw on the stove by providing a smaller channel for waste air to go through.
- When the stovepipe is venting directly into the chimney and there’s no flue liner, to ensure no waste gases from the fire escape back into the room.
What Is A Register Plate Made Of?
Register plates must be made from a robust and non-combustible material, and so they are typically made from stainless or galvanized steel.
Our register plate is made of steel:
Both register plates and closure plates need to be made from metal to help prevent damage to the stove or fireplace if an item such as brick falls down from the inside of the chimney.
What Size Register Plate Do I Need?
You’ll need a register plate that fits the size of the opening at the base of your chimney.
Register plates typically come in standard sizes (certain widths by lengths) and so you’ll need to find one that fits the internal size of your chimney.
If your chimney opening isn’t a standard size then you’ll need to get one that’s the next size up and then cut it down to fit.
You’ll also need to find a register plate that has the right size opening to suit the stovepipe (the pipe that sticks out the top of your stove). Some register plates can be bought flush and you can cut your own hole in the plate to suit, but many come with prebuilt holes and adapters to suit the standard diameters of stovepipe.
Does A Register Plate Have To Be Sealed?
A register plate (needed where the stovepipe discharges directly into the chimney with no flue liner) must be sealed to ensure that byproducts of a fire in your stove don’t return into your home once vented out of the stovepipe.
A closure plate (required where the stovepipe connects directly into a flue inside your chimney) also should be sealed but not to such an extent as required as for a register plate.
Even if a closure plate fails then waste smoke and gases from a fire will can’t enter your home because they will still be sealed within the flue.