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Andirons - For Decorative and Functional Use

Click Here for fireplace andirons

Your fireplace is perhaps the most impressive decorative feature of your home which is why you want to take good care of it and use properly.  From learning how to properly build and maintain a fire to making sure the hearth is clean and working correctly, there are a lot of things that need to be understood before use.  

One of the most difficult things for people to master when first using a fireplace is how to build a good fire.  If the wood is stacked improperly or there is insufficient oxygen feeding the fire, then it will die out quickly and lead to considerable frustration.  In order for the fire to breathe, the wood must be elevated off of the hearth floor using either a fireplace grate or a set of andirons.  

While a fireplace grate will certainly elevate the wood off of the fireplace floor so that a fire can breathe properly, this hearth accessory can hardly be considered decorative.  Most grates feature some derivation of a “ribbed design” that allows the oxygen to feed the fire while allowing ash to drop to the floor.   Again, highly functional but hardly anything that will really enhance the look and feel of your hearth décor.

An andiron stands vertical and will always have some sort of shank running perpendicular that will hold the wood aloft from the hearth floor.  These unique fireplace accessories can have either long or short shanks.  A longer shank will hold more wood so that you can build larger fires.  However, while a grate is a stand alone hearth accessory, you need a pair of these unique and highly decorative wood holders.

Indeed, many of these wood holding accessories are specifically designed to enhance or augment your existing hearth décor.  For instance, a pair of cat andirons may feature reflective eyes that glow when a fire is roaring away in the fireplace creating a dazzling decorative effect that adds character to the décor.  

If glowing eyes are not your thing, then you can focus on the finish.  Just a few of the options you have to choose from include:  solid brass, satin antique solid brass, and vintage iron colonial.  Where possible, you will want to find a pair that have a finish that complements your other hearth accessories like the fireplace tools or log holder.

Truly, fireplace andirons are a far more decorative option than any grate you can find.  These ornamental accessories are also very functional and will help ensure that your fire gets enough oxygen to burn properly.  The only real drawback is that some grates are self-feeding and thus relatively low maintenance while you cannot find this feature on a set of andirons.  However, while this is very true, you will most likely be more pleased with a pair of these decorative hearth accessories and they will definitely enhance your home and bring you more satisfaction than any grate.