With the cold season right around the corner, you are probably writing your shopping list for the fire. To ensure the best performance from your fireplace, here are some useful accessories.
Fireplace grates are more than just a decorative element in your fire area. They contribute to a better air circulation, which means your fire burns more and better. Improved airflow helps get more heat and reduce the smoke. So, cleaner air and a warmer home are some of the benefits for using a fireplace grate.
We prepared a quick guide for you to avoid burning a hole in your pocket. From benefits to the most important features, we tell you all about fireplace grates. And once we get you pretty fired up with the topic, we bring to your attention our top picks. We have seven grates ready to take the fire from your place up a notch.
Well informed decisions mean you don’t play with fire around your budget. Check out the recommendations below to find the best fireplace grate for your home.
Why Do You Need A Fireplace Grate?
As a fireplace owner, you probably know by now there are several steps you have to do yearly. To ensure the optimal performance from your heating system, regular maintenance is key. Doing an annual inspection and cleaning guarantees your fireplace is safe to use. Yet how about something that can enhance its performance?
A fireplace grate plays this role successfully. They are usually made of heavy duty steel or cast iron, for added durability. These items are, by design, meant to provide support for the burning wood or charcoal. Place them inside the mouth of your fireplace and let it work its magic. That is, keep the fire in place and help it burn stronger and protect the fireplace floor.
As the grate elevates the burning logs, the fire benefits from the improved airflow. In other words, the flames burn higher, stronger, while the smoke and gases go up the chimney easier. And you can see the difference right from the beginning, as even lighting up the fire gets easier. Plus, as the wood burns, the grate keeps it together, avoiding the hot embers from spreading all over.
The fireplace floor is, by design, durable and capable of facing high temperatures for a long time. But what if we tell you that you can make it last even longer by using a fireplace grate? Keeping the intense heat above the floor reduces that wear and tear effect. Not to mention that it will make cleaning it a lot less tricky.
What Makes A Fireplace Grate Great?
To take your fireplace performance to the next level, your chosen grate has to meet some criteria. Among the aspects you should consider, we mention the construction material and size. Warranty can also be something you want to check, along with the maintenance guide.
According to the size of your fireplace, you need a grate that fits just right. If it’s too small, there is a risk it cannot accommodate the full amount of wood you normally use for a fire. On the other hand, if it’s too large, it will simply not fit. Measure your fireplace several times, to avoid any errors and ensure you get the right size.
- Construction Material
There are two main materials used for fireplace grates. Cast iron grates work best for charcoal, as they can’t support too much weight on top. Even though they can be also used for wood, manufacturers don’t always recommend it.
The second type of construction material is steel. Steel grates have only bars, so they cannot hold coal properly. They are ideal for log fires, being able to support their weight well.
Usually, fireplace grates are durable and made from fire-resistant materials. However, the low-priced models may not last for too many seasons. That is why we recommend you to consider investing in more high-end products. These usually come with a lifetime warranty. As the manufacturer’s promise of quality, this makes you feel more at ease. You know the product will last and if issues appear, you are safe from extra costs.
When you decide to get a fireplace grate, the last thing you want is to have to spend more time cleaning. So, look for a model that is easy to upkeep. Avoid models that seem to get clogged easily, as these are prone to damage. Hard to clean means difficult to keep in best conditions and leads to less durability.
Our Top 7 Favorite Fireplace Grates
We hope we got you a bit on fire with the idea of investing in a fireplace grate. And to spark your imagination, we share up next our top picks from the market. This is our list of seven most recommended fireplace grates for the 2020 winter.
Made to endure fire over the years, the Amagabeli Fireplace Log Grate is more than a decorative piece. This heavy-duty solid steel grate is what you need to keep your logs burning for longer. Measuring 24×20 inches, this piece expresses strength through its welded metal structure. It has four sturdy legs to fully support the wood weight.
The seven bars allow plenty of airflow among the burning logs and reduce the chimney floor wear and tear. Feel free to use it indoors, in your wood burning fireplace or in your outdoor fire pit. Light up the fire with ease and delight yourself with the glowing flames. No extra adjustments are necessary, as logs stay together in this V-shaped grate.
- sturdy, durable structure
- no assembly needed
- heavy duty solid steel construction
- easy to clean.
- limited warranty (only three months)
- lower than stated clearance from floor (according to some buyers)
- frequent complaints for defective or low quality finish.
The Uniflame C-1552 Hex Bar Grate keeps your flames on a roll, while it prevents the logs from rolling. Ideal for large fireplaces, this item measures 36 x 36 x 8 inches. The sturdy, heavy construction makes it great for supporting big wood pieces. The stylish design proves there’s more than what meets the eye.
With an elegant, black finish, the grate is at the same time durable and practical. Improve the airflow and add extra-protection for your fireplace floor. All this is possible with the help of this steel structure. The product comes with a one year warranty, but is, by design, created to last a lifetime.
- sturdy construction
- good log grip (spiking bars top)
- long-lasting steel structure
- ideal for large fireplaces
- elegant black finish.
- prone to develop rust
- only one year warranty
- low leg height (according to some users)
- rather heavy (reduced portability).
If you want a suitable support for both logs or coal, opt for the Liberty Foundry G27-4-BX Fire Grate. Heavy-duty cast iron, shaped into a single piece makes this basket style grate last. Available in various sizes, it allows you to measure and choose the best one for your firebox. Long-term performance is the manufacturer’s promise.
Ready to use and easy to install as soon as you take it out of the box, this grate kicks your flames up a notch. Better air ventilation, secure coal and log holding are only some of the benefits it brings. It helps keep ash build-up under control and reduce unwanted fire risks.
- durable, heavy-duty cast iron structure
- suitable for both coal and wood (basket style grate)
- improves airflow
- helps reduce ash build up
- easy installation
- stylish design.
- one year warranty
- can be difficult to clean
- not suitable for intense burning (degrades quickly after prolonged use).
Strong, reliable structures can also be, sometimes, found in small sizes. That is the case of the SteelFreak Heavy Duty 13” Steel Grate. If origins matter to you, you may want to know this product is proudly manufactured in the USA. Sturdy, durable steel is the secret behind these heavy duty grates. You know you can rely on them to pass the test of time. Compared to their cast iron counterparts, these grates can handle the wear and tear of daily use.
They are ideal for both wood stoves and fireplaces. And their size makes them a match for modern homes, as they don’t take much space. You may be pleasantly surprised that they can fit in larger fireplaces and perform great. Thanks to their simple, yet versatile design, you can even combine two such pieces in a larger firebox.
- versatile, suitable for both wood stoves and fireplaces
- heavy duty all-steel construction
- reduced size for extra comfort in small homes
- curved edges for securing wood logs in place
- stylish and practical design.
- no information about warranty
- more than one item needed for larger fireboxes
- some users accused visible damage after several uses.
If you have a tapered fireplace, consider getting the SteelFreak Heavy-Duty 21” Steel Grate. Proudly made in the USA, this sturdy grate will last for many years to come. Thanks to its all steel structure, it can endure high temperatures for long periods of time.
The front part is wider, while the back is narrower, to fit any type of fireplace. You’ll appreciate the center legs that balance the whole structure and add stability. A sturdy grate, this model can secure big logs in place thanks to the curved ends of the bars.
- ideal for tapered fireplaces
- shorter center legs for extra-stability
- curved edges to secure logs
- durable steel construction
- open structure, airflow-friendly.
- embers or small wood pieces fall between the bars
- no warranty information available.
Indoors or outdoors, the INNO STAGE Fire Wood Log Grate keeps your fire in place. This seven-bar grate has a solid, long lasting structure made to impress. Most buyers recommend it for both fireplace and outdoor fire pit use. Crafted from cast wrought iron, it can handle heavy fires for seasons to come.
Give your fire the proper ventilation and enjoy the blazing flames for longer. The V-shape rack ensures your logs are all secured in place. The elevation provided by it also has a positive impact on the experience of lighting up the fire. Take it out of the box and prepare yourself for getting warm. No extra steps are necessary to install this fireplace grate.
- suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- great durability
- practical, stylish design
- V-shaped rack for better log support
- no assembly required.
- no details about warranty.
The HY-C Liberty Foundry G800-27-BX Fire Grate promises to keep you out of a vicious cycle. That means you won’t have to always be replacing your fireplace grate. This product is, by definition, meant to be by your side, for many fires to come. Forged from heavy-duty cast iron, this grate can accommodate both wood logs and coal.
The basket design ensures embers stay together, for increased burning performance. The four tapered legs contribute to a better ventilation. Your fire burns brighter and for longer thanks to this grate that elevates it from the floor. The manufacturer offers a year of warranty, to put your mind at ease.
- basket style design
- prevents ash build-up
- suitable for both logs and coal
- improved ventilation
- one year of warranty.
- not recommended for prolonged hours of burning
- prone to getting damaged (cast iron is less resistant than steel).
Time to draw the line before you get cold feet from too much information. Quick reminder – the key benefit of using a fireplace grate is a better airflow. Your fire is easier to start and burns brighter thanks to the extra-ventilation. At the same time, the chimney floor is safe from too much wear and tear. And of course, your costs with wood or coal decrease, as you get better performance for burning. A high-quality grate keeps the logs/charcoal together, for a more efficient combustion.
Fortunately, a fireplace grate doesn’t give you much trouble with installation. Most models are ready to use as soon as you take them out of the box. And in terms of maintenance, all you have to do is keep them clean after every use. Brush off the debris and ash often, to prevent any dirt build-up that can lead to an unwanted fire. Once a year, consider applying an extra-layer of coating or paint that prevents rust. Follow the manufacturer’s advice for proper upkeep. This way, you get the best results and even prolong the life of your fireplace grate.
Ready to get your fire started? Let us know in the comment which one of the seven products presented today caught your eye. Stay tuned, more ideas to improve your home heating system are coming. Don’t miss our next article!