If you’ve never used your home’s fireplace, you’re missing out on a lot of toasty, comforting nights. Maybe you’ve wished for a traditional and real fireplace, rather than an electric one
, only to discover that although your new home does have a fireplace, it’s too small or low and almost unusable. It might also be that that the heat is slowly damaging the floor of the fireplace, and you’re torn between saving the floor and indulging in the toasty fires on cold winter evenings. Whatever be the case, we’re here to ensure you get your roaring fire, save your precious floor and get as warm as you deserve.
Fireplace grates go a long way in creating a safe and efficient wood and charcoal burning in the house. Instead of burning fuel directly on the floor of the fireplace, you can place the wood or charcoal or any kindling of your choice on the grate.
The grate has several advantages over direct floor fuel burning. Apart from saving your fireplace floor from direct heat, it also makes for a better and bigger fire. The raised design makes it possible for oxygen to properly circulate from all angles and below, ensuring complete combustion of the wood or charcoal. This makes the fire burn brighter and bigger, providing more warmth and more importantly, less smoke.
It also makes for a beautiful complement to your firewood rack
, adding to the ambience of the room.
Some fireplace grate types are designed to blow hot air into different rooms simultaneously and are controlled by an in-built thermostat
A fireplace grate makes all that possible and more. If you burn wood or charcoal directly in the fireplace, you’ll wonder how you’ve managed without a grate once you’ve used one. And if you’re new to using real fireplaces, a grate is the best way to get started.
Outlining the uses or importance of a fireplace grate is just one half of the equation; getting to know what to look for when making your choice of a grate is the other half. The most important features to look out are the material, bar width, type or design of the grate, size and the price. Stay with us as we detail these features in subsequent sections.
Most brands design their fireplace grate to be highly efficient and heavy-duty. It’s also meant to be a long term investment if chosen wisely. The most important thing to look for is the thickness of the metal bar to suit your needs. If using your fireplace often, you’d do well to invest in a medium to heavy-duty grate. A ½ inch bar will cost less than a 5/8 or 1-inch bar but the latter will fare better through regular or prolonged use.
You can get a good fireplace grate for as low as $20.00, but if you’re looking for durable, heavy-duty grates, expect to spend anything from $70.00 to $150.00 or more. Our featured brands have products spanning different price ranges so you can find one that suits your needs and is budget-friendly. We came across some cheap fireplace grates with flimsy looking materials and welding, but we didn’t include them in our reviews.
Choosing the right fireplace grater is extremely important, especially if you will be using your fireplace often. You don’t want to end up with a grate that is unusable simply because you didn’t do proper research before purchasing. Here are some features to help you make the right decision:
- Size of the fireplace
- Grate construction material
- Type and design
- Bar width
Construction and Design
Before you begin shopping for your fireplace grate, consider the size of your fireplace. There’s no one-size-fits-all since different houses are built with different sizes and shapes of fireplaces. A small fireplace is limited to the size of grate it can contain while a large fireplace can take a small, medium or large grate. It all depends on how large a fire you’ll want to make.
Also, make sure the fireplace grate will fit into the fireplace with enough room to spare. This makes for better air circulation so kindling can burn better and brighter and reduce the amount of smoke produced.
The construction material of a fireplace grate can be steel or cast iron. Steel fireplace grates are best suited for wood burning while cast iron grate is great for coal burning. The assignation of purpose is based on the design of the different grates.
The size of a steel grate is determined by the bar width and number of the bars on the grate. Note that the thicker the bar width, the better and more durable the grate is. Heavy-duty steel grate have steel bar widths of 5/8 to 1 inch or even more.
Most grates have a V-shape or U-shape design that securely holds the log of wood or coal safely so you don’t have to worry about it falling off.
Performance and Ease of Use
The fireplace grate is designed for comfort and safety of the home and its inhabitants. It’s easy to set up and use. And depending on the type, most of the cast iron grates are constructed from one-piece heavy duty cast iron material that requires no set up.
The steel grate usually comes in an easy-to-setup kit with pieces well aligned and precisely cut for easy assembly. They also come with well detailed instruction manual and the required hardware to ensure a stress-free assembly and installation.
In terms of design, a steel fireplace grate is designed mainly for wood burning with widely separated bars that can hold lots of wood and allow the easy passage of embers and coals down to the fireplace floor. The wide space design is so that oxygen can circulate since a log of firewood will require plenty of oxygen to get it crackling. Cast iron fireplace grates are designed for coal burning with smaller spaces.
Another type of fireplace grate is the one designed to heat up a hollow metal which then uses an in-built fan to blow the hot air out from the metal, heating multiple rooms up at the same time. This type of fireplace is expensive but the cost evens out in the long run.
Whichever type you choose, consider how often you’ll be using the grate. If the grate is to be used on rare or special occasions only, then you can go for a lightweight steel or cast iron (depending on fuel source) grate. There are medium grates that are good for frequent use.
On the other hand, if you’re a daily wood or coal burner, then you’ll need the thickest, heaviest and most optimally welded grate within your budget.
Choose your fireplace grate wisely according to how often you’ll be using it and the type of fuel burned.
To make things easier, some brands design their cast iron fireplace grate to be used with both wood and coal. Also, make sure the grate has good clearance from below, so oxygen can circulate freely from underneath and allow hot coals to fall from the grate.
Now that you have taken time to read our buying guide of fireplace grates, we hope that you have sufficient information to enable you choose the right grate for your fireplace. We have, therefore, taken time to highlight the features of grates from 5 top brands with the hope that one of them will be the grate for you so, go ahead and take a look at them.
Grate Wall of Fire has built a reputation of making top quality fireplace products over the course of the years. It is known for high quality products with innovative designs that always produce a positive result. Its specially built grates will change your perception of burning wood in a fireplace. They reduce wood consumption dramatically and lower the risk of pesky "spark popping fires". Furthermore, you can say bye-bye to a burning log rolling out of the fireplace. To crown it all, when the logs are burned completely, they leave a nice, neat pile of ashes. The Model M-5 High Efficiency Smoke Free Fireplace Grate, which is one of the best in its collection, has all these benefits and more.
The Model M-5 High Efficiency Smoke Free Fireplace Grate is, as the name implies, a highly efficient grate that allows a magnificent wall of warmth, producing fireplace embers which develop at the base of the grate, while firewood burns slow and controlled from above. It has a wide range of sizes so it can be used in almost any fireplace.
It is usually placed at the extreme rear of the fireplace, thereby preventing smoke from spilling into the home. When burning in the M-5, the wood burns completely without fire moving in a gravitational, nearly automated fashion, resulting in a steady, heat-efficient fire.
By now we hope you’ve found the fireplace grate that resonates with you, go ahead and place the order and enjoy the benefits it will bring to your fireplace.