Basic safety and building code requires removing all flammable material from a certain area around any wood-burning site, whether fireplace, cast-iron stove, or masonry heater, and this area includes the floor under and the wall behind those things. Therefore, we have to cut out the heater’s/stove’s footprint from the floor and remove the studs from the wall behind. The footprint will get a poured concrete slab insert and the wall will become a masonry wall – in this case, cement block. (I decided against brick just to keep visuals to a minimum, and to make installing bathroom tile easier.) This masonry wall will have the positive value of transitioning from an uninsulated air gap splitting the split-cape house, to a warmth radiating core of the house.
Plumbing gets diverted with temporary PEX tubing and electric wires get cut out, and the chimney-surround gets framed.