The international exhibition for Kachelofen (Masonry stoves) Austria, January, 25th – 27th, 2017.

This was the biggest exhibition of modern Masonry Stoves (Kachelofens) in the world. We considered it worth a fact finding mission. We were not disappointed.


Kachelofens on display at the KOK Austria 2017.

A huge number of the most modern designs were on display with a large crowd attending. With temperatures dipping to -17C outside the need for reliable, efficient heat was clear.

The revealing displays ranged from traditional to futuristic. At one I was invited to take a virtual reality tour:

Kachelofen-Masonry Stove

Taking a virtual tour of the future of wood heating.


I was very happy to be literally surrounded by both ancient and modern Kachelofen/Grundofen/Masonry Stoves.

Many of the participants were experienced stove builders. Those I met in the very warm atmosphere were very ready to share their knowledge with me. Most had never seen a Brit there before and treated me with great hospitality..
Practically all of the big exhibitors gave away Austrian beer and wine along with samples of their produce so as the day progressed the event got gradually jollier.

The latest modifications revealed.
This from Pisla Oy Finland.
An excellent, robust new secondary air design.

The Thursday had many arriving in traditional costumes and was capped off with a huge dinner and a catwalk of pretty girls and boys looking like they had just stepped off a set from the sound of music…
I was introduced to some real experts including Stefan Polatschek who is famous as a Kachelofen builder and designer. He in turn introduced me to Christian Sommerhuber who is from the family who have been designing and making these heaters since 1491. He invited me to visit his factory and showroom which was something I had been looking forward to for some time. In spite of its slightly remote location I recommend it highly as a Museum of the art of Kachelofen design:

Many of the designs are quite ornate as they realized that the larger surface area would radiate more heat:


This has a Christian motif. A Beautiful design featuring some of our Saints.

Sommerhuber ancient Kachelofen

Antique domed heater with tiles depicting musicians on the corners.


Older ceramic masonry stove tiles tend to be glazed green or blue. The colors multiplying over the years.(Copper, Tin, Cobalt or Lead glazes)







The Sommerhubers are wonderful hosts, they put another log on the fire and a hot coffee in front of me. It was bitter cold outside, -17C, let alone the wind chill. The heater in the background is a very modern design. The three sided door slides up.


Masonry stoves work well in wood framed buildings as they don’t over heat the beams.

The trip was a resounding success having made some new friends and gathered lots of new sources of wisdom and materials. The company even won a prize of an airwash system worth £400 which will be compatible with our Homeheaters! I look forward to going there next year as an exhibitor.My thanks go out to all the Austrians who were so welcoming.

by Guy