Fireplace Grates - Why Every Wood Burning Fireplace Needs One
anyone experiencing the joy and satisfaction of a fireplace for the
first time, it can be tempting to just throw some logs in the hearth
opening and simply start a fire. However, not only is a
fireplace a potentially dangerous feature in your home when used
improperly, it also requires a great deal of effort and dedication to
operate. So before you just toss some wood into the
fireplace, here are a couple of things to keep in mind that will help
you and your family enjoy the full benefit of your new hearth.
is definitely a reason why you cannot simply toss logs onto the floor
of your fireplace and start a fire—oxygen. In order
for a fire to function properly, it needs to breathe. A fire
draws the majority of its oxygen from below which is why you need fireplace
grates or perhaps andirons. A grate elevates the
wood off of the floor of the hearth so a fire can breathe and continue
addition, while your fireplace has been designed to fully contain a
fire safely, burning wood on the floor of your hearth may cause
irreversible damage. Ultimately, you may end up spending
hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars repairing the floor of your
hearth. Therefore, never start any fire directly on the floor
of the fireplace.
size of your grate will depend upon the size of the hearth
itself. Some fireplace
grates are designed to hold more wood but most will allow 5-6
medium-sized logs to sit inside. You want the length of your
grate to be at least 4-6 inches shorter than the actual size of the
hearth opening so that oxygen can feed the fire properly.
grates are also designed so that they are self feeding making tending
to the fire a breeze. As the wood burns down and becomes ash,
the logs above automatically fall into the center of the
grate. This allows for a more complete burn without the need
to constantly use the poker and readjust the logs.
because grates will be enduring high temperatures for hours at a time,
you want to be sure and invest in quality. Diamond steel is
the best material for grates and it will definitely stand the test of
time so that you can enjoy using your fireplace for years without
worrying about needing a new grate.
with a grate in place, you will still need a set of fireplace tools to
remove the ash from beneath after a fire. If too much ash
builds up, you will choke off the oxygen to the fire and have a hard
time keeping it going. You should make it a standard practice
to clean the floor of your hearth after every 2-3 burns for optimal
there are a lot of details that need to be kept in mind when operating
a fireplace, the truth is that the hearth will probably bring you more
joy and satisfaction than any other fixture in your home.
Just be sure to always use a fireplace
grate or andirons to elevate wood off the hearth floor and
then to keep the area clean using your fireplace tools.
Remember, a clean hearth is a happy hearth!