A fireplace grate is a device that holds logs directly on the fireplace hearth. It improves oxygen flow to the fire by lifting the logs, and allows ash to fall through the grate onto the hearth floor. This keeps your fire burning cleanly and healthily, and maintains higher burn temperatures.
Adding a fireplace grate offers numerous benefits, such as improving the longevity of your fireplace, enhancing the quality of your fire, and simplifying the maintenance of your fire. This is achieved as the grate facilitates efficient fire by enhancing oxygen flow, thereby producing more pleasing flames. Additionally, it helps to draft smoke directly into the chimney by keeping the fire off the floor, while also keeping the heat off the fireplace floor, thus contributing to the lifespan of your hearth. The grate's small gaps or holes between its bars allow only small sections of logs and embers to fall through, which burn down to a fine ash, making it easier to clean. The grate's upturned ends ensure logs fall toward the fire and not out of the fireplace, making your fireplace cleaner and more manageable.
Prior to purchasing a fireplace grate, it is important to consider a few factors. Firstly, you will need to obtain the appropriate size grate for your hearth. Additionally, it is necessary to determine the type of grate that would be most suitable for your needs. Once you have completed these steps, it is advisable to research the brand you are planning to invest in. You can rest assured, however, that we will guide you through this process in a prompt and effortless manner. To find the correct size fireplace grate, measuring is a straightforward procedure. If your fireplace or stove did not come equipped with a grate, you can follow these steps to establish the size of grate required. Begin by measuring the width at both the front and back of the fireplace opening. Next, measure the depth of the firebox. Finally, subtract six inches from each measurement. Armed with these numbers, you can commence your search for a grate that matches your measurements. It is imperative that the grate you choose is of a size that allows for at least a 3-inch buffer zone on all sides. If the measurements of the grate are too similar to the size of the firebox, opt for a smaller grate. It's that simple.
There are several types of fireplace grates available on the market. The most basic model is the Standard Steel Bar Stock Grate, also known as open grates. These grates consist of square steel bar grate fingers welded across support legs and do not have an ember mesh. Another option is the Stainless Steel Bar Stock Grate, which is similar in design but made of 304 or 430-grade stainless steel. These grates are ideal for outdoor use due to their durability against weather and fireplace use. The Diamond Cross Section Steel Grate with Ember Mesh features larger steel bars forged into a diamond cross-section for increased strength and longevity. An expanded mesh tray is welded to the bottom of the grate to hold coals close to the fuel logs for a better burn. Cast Iron Basket Grates are designed to work like an ember mesh tray, with small openings allowing embers to drop through to the firebox floor. These grates are ideal for wood burning or coal appliances and are usually single-piece designs, avoiding welds or fasteners that could fail. Finally, there are Purpose Built Self Feeding Grates designed to keep logs or coal moving to the center. These grates have a steep concave design, usually made of cast iron, and keep the fire compact and hot. Tapered steel bar grates are also available and perform the same function.
Instructions for Maintaining Your Fireplace Grate: To ensure your fireplace grate lasts as long as possible, proper care is necessary. First, it's important to know how long you can expect your grate to last. For standard fireplaces, steel bar stock grates typically last about three seasons before needing to be replaced. Diamond cross-section steel grates last approximately ten years, while cast iron basket grates last between five to seven years with wood and two to three years with coal. Self-feeding grates generally last between four to five years. Once you know the lifespan of your grate, it's essential to maintain it properly to prolong its life. (Note: If your fireplace receives heavy use, check for damage at least once a week.) Use these general care tips for your grate: first, knock off any large chunks of ash when cleaning. Then, use a wire brush to clear away smaller ash clumps. Dampen a rag and rinse any remaining material with water only, as harsh cleaning agents can leave a toxic residue when burned. Finally, let the grate dry.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fireplace Grates
Q: Does the use of grates differ for gas and wood fireplaces?
A: Gas fireplace grates are designed specifically to function with the burner and logs for that particular fireplace. It should be noted that they are not interchangeable.
Q: What is thee correct placement of a fire grate?
A: According to the manufacturers of the grate and the fireplace, it is recommended to install the grate with the wider area towards the front of the fireplace in order to align with the design of the fireplace, which is wider in the front than the back. This will ensure that the majority of the heat is directed towards the front of the firebox opening.
Q: If a gas starter, log lighter is being used under the grate, what should be the height of the grate?
A: The clearance between the grate and the top of the gas starter pipe should be at least one inch, and this distance is determined by the height of the pipe.
Q: What grate should be bought for a double-sided fireplace?
A: CJs Hearth & Home suggests a hexagonal grate because it maintains a consistent width and does not narrow towards the bottom.