The Heart of the Home

I’ve been curious about soapstone stoves for a long time, but had ruled out the possibility of owning one because I’d read that they were veryexpensive. Then, Lars and I walked through the doors of Kootenay Woodstoves. I saw the soft blue hue of the Hearthstone woodstove collection.  And we discovered that the price tag for a small soapstone hybrid stove is the same as for a cast iron stove-between $2,500 and $3,000.

Exciting! Doable!

Our Mandala is 2,300 sq.ft. , but it is so well insulated,passive solar and energy efficient, we can use a smaller stove , the efficient Tribute, which normally heats up to 1,000 sq.ft.

The tongue and grooved blue-hued soapstone panels (surrounded by a maroon enamel clad cast iron frame) are 1 1/4 ” thick.The firebox is also made out of soapstone , which wears longer than metal boxes.

This is called a hybrid soapstone stove because the frame and legs are enameled metal

This glass-fronted, freestanding stove has a max. log length of 16″. It has remarkable thermal stability, with a burn time of 5 hours and a heat life of up to 7 hours. This means that the stove is still softly warm when we wake up in the morning. The air temperature in the house was 20 C at bedtime and 19 C at wakeup time.

Soapstone stores more heat for it’s weight than any other naturally occurring material. And the surface temperature is noticeably less hot than a metal stove -you can sit quite close to the stove. I experience the heat as more “soft” than the heat that emanates from the more traditional cast iron stoves that I’ve used.

The glass door has a coating that makes it easy to keep clean and bright.


I love having a wood heater because we live in a heavily forested part of the world so fuel is plentiful and renewable. I like the feeling of independence that comes from knowing I can cook a meal on our stove and heat the house with it-no matter the availability of electricity or propane.

We installed an outside air adapter because our home is very airtight. This stove is extremely clean burning and is one of the most efficient stoves on the marketplace today -with 36,000 BTU’s and an 83% efficiency



There is the BEAUTY of soapstone.

It’s easy to see images and pictures in the natural veining and colour patterns of the stone.

Natural shapes, veins, blue, grey and smoke colours in the stone

And, the blue colour of the soapstone deepens as you use it.

I can’t wait…….


Dancers and Forests, Gardens and Mountains. What do you see?