By Abbie Digel Explorebigsky.com Editor
LIVINGSTON–“It’s just better,” is the typical reasoning behind heating a house
with a Tulikivi fireplace.
The structures, made in Finland out of soapstone, are a more efficient and environmentally
friendly way to heat any home or space.
Ron Pihl, owner of Warmstone Fireplaces and Designs, opened his business in
Livingston in 1981. A resident of Paradise Valley and a mason since 1979, Pihl
has become the largest distributor of Tulikivi fireplaces in the Rocky Mountain
Tulikivi fireplaces are the top-selling products out of Pihl’s showroom in Livingston.
When these masonry heaters are burned three to four hours a day, they put
out as many BTUs (a British thermal unit used to measure heat) as a wood stove
would all day long, Pihl said.
The soapstone stoves burn wood hot and fast, capturing the heat and slowly
releasing it as radiant heat.
It’s a more comfortable and safer kind of warmth, Pihl said, comparing it to radiant
“It’s like sunshine,” he added.
Pihl’s business imports the Tulikivis from Finland, where they’re manufactured
and tested. Having adapted to a radically cold climate, the manufacturers have
found that using soapstone for the fireplaces is “genius. It captures heat and uses
wood more efficiently,” says Pihl.
Pihl visits Finland every other year to learn about the newest Tulikivi heating
“They have all kinds of research
on utilizing natural
products and measuring the
payback on emissions,” he said.
Long time Big Sky contractor
Packy Cronin has a respect for
quality products. He also has a
Tulikivi fireplace in his home.
“My house is my castle,” Cronin
said. “I want it to be plush,
and this stove fits right in with
that mentality and quality of life.”
The stove is usually the centerpiece
of family gatherings,
Cronin said. Some models come
with built-in benches, and
those spots next to the stove are
Pihl has a Tulikivi with a builtin
a cook stove, and says his
family makes wood fired oven pizzas, roasted turkeys, prime ribs and vegetables.
At annual baking demonstrations in his showroom, Pihl teaches clients
how to best utilize use their ovens.
The best part about the business, Pihl says, are his customers. He’s made
friends along the way, and says his customers are there for life. He has a growing
clientele in Big Sky made of working families and aging baby boomers who
want a quality, environmentally conscious way to heat their homes.
Warmstone also sells wood stoves, soapstone countertops and sinks, and maintenance.
Contact them at (406) 333-4383 or visit their showroom in Livingston.