When you want to get the best out of the fire burning in front of you, you need a good fireplace grate. The best fireplace grate will ensure that you get enough heat to warm up and that you are safe.
But were you aware of the fact that there are multiple types of fireplace grates? There are differently manufactured fireplace grates, each one of them meant for a specific thing, so you have to choose one based on that and your requirements.
Picking one is troublesome unless you have knowledge of fireplace grates and the different products that you can find. To ease your job in that regard, we have prepared this buying guide for you. Moreover, we also have some fireplace grate reviews so you can see exactly how they work and how different they can be. Let’s get to it!
Why Have Fireplace Grates Been Invented?
A fireplace grate is a unit that is placed inside a fireplace – it’s meant to help with wood burning and creating a bigger fire. Having a grated design, it is able to hold wood and logs much higher, so that the fire itself will spread on a wider surface and thus generate more heat.
Aside from being used to burn wood and logs, these items are also used to improve airflow underneath so that the flame is more powerful. Not to mention that they can also hold coal, but only if the gaps between the bars aren’t too large. This applies in the case of steel bar grates.
The Need for a Good Fireplace Grate
You need a good fireplace grate because it can increase the efficiency of a fire. At the same time, this item won’t be damaged after being exposed to immense heat. A fireplace grate should be able to resist inside the fire without melting or warping over time, or else you risk having to spend more cash on replacements.
Also, good fireplace grates should always be suitable for the fireplace you own, and also have the ability to hold logs, woods or coal. With a quality item, nothing you put inside will roll – this way, you can maintain the size and quality of the fire burning inside the fireplace. It should be heavy, thick and made of good material, especially if you want it to last a lifetime.
What’s even better is that fireplace grates will make your cleaning task much easier. Since there are gaps between the bars, the wood won’t fall, except maybe the very small pieces that don’t fit. This will prevent too much ash from gathering, and the one that gathers will be finer. So, all you have to do is scoop it and the cleaning task will be instantly easier.
Moreover, having the fire off the floor will not allow smoke to go into the house. It will all be sent into the chimney, without polluting the room. The hearth’s lifespan will be increased too, as the heat is kept off the floor of the fireplace.
Check out our top picks of outdoor firepits, too.
What Advantages Can You Reap from Using a Fireplace Grate?
Just like with other heating units such as pellet stoves, for instance, there are some advantages to using a fireplace grate. If you want to see just how much these units are worth, then you have to be aware of the benefits.
The best fireplace grates will be able to bring you the following pros:
You will Have Less Work to Do!
If the wood is placed on the fireplace’s floor, then you’d have more work to do, due to the fact that you would constantly have to move the logs around in a central location. It is annoying, and nobody likes to constantly pay attention to the fire. With a fireplace grate, the coal or firewood will always be kept in a central location, thus making sure you can focus on other things while the house warms up.
Your Fireplace’s Floor Will Be Protected
When the fire is done with firewood on the floor, there’s always a risk of potentially ruining the fireplace. Basically, there is too much heat on the floor – in time, this will tear the fireplace. With a fireplace grate, you can prevent that from happening. Since the wood is placed higher, the heat will be kept off the floor, increasing the lifespan of the fireplace.
No Smoke Will Enter the Home
Burning firewood causes a lot of smoke, that’s a known fact. But it’s always frustrating when your fireplace sends smoke into your home, polluting the air. Well, you should know that a fireplace grate will be able to draft the smoke into the chimney, and no trace of it will be sent into the home.
This is because a grate will place the logs closer to the chimney so that the fumes are reduced as the smoke is being drafted away. More air will be put above and below the burning logs – that’s why there are fewer fumes too.
The Fire Will Burn Much Better
When the burning materials are kept on the ground, they will burn at 180 degrees, so they will take longer to provide you with the amount of heat that you need. Concurrently, if they are kept on the grate, more specifically off the ground, they will burn at 360 degrees. So, the flame will be much stronger and able to heat the house much quicker.
The Fire Is Easier to Start
Starting a fire on the floor would take longer because there is no space for air under the wood. Meanwhile, a grate will keep the firewood high enough so that air has enough space to circulate. Because of that, it is much easier to start a fire with a fireplace grate.
Nobody likes cleaning up too much after a fire is done, especially if you consider just how much ash can be produced. A fire on the ground will require some cleaning pretty quickly if you care about the aspect of your fireplace.
This is why a fireplace grate may greatly improve your life. You can make it easier for yourself to clean the place after a fire is done. There will be fine ash that you can just scoop and then clean with no issues.
Best Fireplace Grates Comparison Chart
SteelFreak Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate
|View On Amazon|
Uniflame C-1546 Grate
|View On Amazon|
Amagabeli Garden & Home Fireplace Log Grate
|View On Amazon|
HY-C Liberty Foundry Basket Style Fireplace Grate
|View On Amazon|
Rocky Mountain Goods Fireplace Grate with Ember Retainer
|View On Amazon|
1. GO Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate
|View On Amazon|
Best Fireplace Grates – (Editors’ Choice)
1. SteelFreak Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate
Since you’re going for a product that will be in contact with fire, you need something durable. To achieve that, this SteelFreak product may be just what you need. Made of heavy-duty 3/8 x 1-inch thick solid bar steel, you don’t have to worry about it being ruined.
One aspect that we liked is the fact that this grate can fit most fireplaces. The grates are tapered to make this possible, meaning that you won’t really have to worry about the grate being too big.
Also, there are some center support legs that will be very useful. Your grate won’t be rocking in the middle and it won’t sag over time. So, it’s a very useful feature.
- Durable construction
- Center support legs that prevent sagging and rocking in the middle
- It improves the airflow to the fire
- Can fit most fireplaces
- The paint can melt off
2. Uniflame C-1546 Grate
This grate is really useful if you need something to keep the logs in place. It has a traditional design, so if you are going for a more traditional look for your fireplace, then this product may meet this requirement.
Also, it has a nice design thanks to the black finish. It will match most decors and it will be a total eye-candy. Also, for wider fireplaces, it will provide better airflow and thus make sure your fire is bigger and stronger.
Logs won’t roll either thanks to the grated design. Each log can be kept between the grates – thus, it will be stable and not move around. Aside from that, the connections are solid, and the bars are pretty thick. The grate itself is very sturdy and you won’t have to worry about it being damaged by fire as time goes by.
- It won’t allow logs to roll
- It’s very heavy and sturdy
- Has a very nice design
- Can improve airflow
- A little too big and may not be able to fit all fireplaces
3. Amagabeli Garden & Home Fireplace Log Grate
By getting this product, you will end up with a high-quality fireplace grate. You won’t have to assembly it as it comes ready to be used. It can be used for both outdoor and indoor fireplaces.
It is very sturdy. The product is made from ¾ inch square bar steel. Aside from being able to store logs high enough so that the fire is stronger, the air will also be able to circulate much easier around the logs. Meanwhile, the logs will be kept properly and not fall backward.
Also, there are four strong legs. All of them will be able to withstand the high temperature and thus prevent sagging, even if the firewood is heavier.
- It’s very sturdy and durable
- Has four strong legs that won’t allow sagging to occur
- It looks very stylish
- The front legs are a little too wide
4. HY-C Liberty Foundry Basket Style Fireplace Grate
If you need something that can efficiently hold logs and not allow them to fall back, then you can try this fireplace grate. This way, you can always be sure that your fire will burn properly – as a result, it will generate more heat and make you feel more comfortable.
The air circulation is being improved thanks to the height, as well as the overall design of the product. What we liked was the fact that no assembly is required before you start using the grate. You can immediately start using it with no issues.
It has a beautiful nice finish that will look amazing inside the fireplace – not to mention that the design itself is quite simple yet nice. It’s made of heavy-duty cast iron, so you can be sure that it will offer a long-lasting experience.
- It has a beautiful look
- Made of a durable and strong material
- Requires no assembly
- It will keep logs in their rightful place
- The product may start sagging after a while
5. Rocky Mountain Goods Fireplace Grate with Ember Retainer
This Rocky Mountain Goods fireplace grate will do its job properly, and for a decent price. We were, first and foremost, impressed by the quality of the material. The metal was heat-treated so it won’t warp or, even worse, melt. With that being said, even if you use it frequently and the fire is extremely powerful, nothing bad will happen.
The grate is able to hold wood and logs even of higher weight. It has a retainer design that will make the whole process not only more efficient but cleaner as well. Furthermore, it has a powder-coated finish, which will always make sure the grate looks impeccable and as good as new.
- Can withstand logs and woods of bigger weights
- It has a great look thanks to the powder-coated finish
- The grate won’t warp or melt
- Lifetime warranty
- No assembly is required
- It’s a little small
6. 1. GO Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate
What we liked about this product is its depth and width. It is able to hold enough logs thanks to the sides, while the depth makes sure they won’t roll. Also, thanks to its size, it can be used with most fireplaces.
We also liked the fact that the fire will be able to burn neatly and safely. This is thanks to the air that is able to reach the logs. It is quite heavy too.
However, the grate is not that durable. Although it’s said to be made of heavy-duty steel, it starts to warp very quickly. Therefore, it will become thinner and less efficient with time. We were quite disappointed with this aspect.
- Can fit most fireplaces
- Can fit a good number of logs
- Won’t allow logs to roll
- The airflow is increased and can improve the fire
- The quality isn’t too good as the product may start warping and melting
7. Landmann USA 97306 Steel Fireplace Grate with Ember Retainer
Made in the USA, this fireplace grate may be a solution if you don’t want to spend a lot of cash on a grate. It has 6 bars and can hold enough wood or logs in order to create a strong fire. Also, it is made of solid square bar steel. So, your logs will be kept in place for much longer, thus making the fire more efficient.
We also appreciated that a screen was added under the bars. This will keep the wood from falling through. In addition, this gives enough of a gap for the wood to breathe. But sadly, it is not durable enough and the legs may end up melting down. Not to mention that the sagging of the steel will prevent more air from reaching under the grate.
- Can hold enough wood or logs
- Has a decent price
- There’s a screen added under the bars so that logs won’t fall
- The legs and grate itself will sag over time
Features to Look into When Buying a Fireplace Grate
Knowing what to take into account when buying a fireplace grate is essential, especially if you don’t want to deal with replacement costs too early. Some people tend to look for items before they research the ideal characteristics, and this ends badly in some situations. If you don’t want your case to be one of the unpleasant ones, then make sure that you consider the following things before spending your cash.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the main things to consider when buying a fireplace grate is the size. Size matters because the unit must fit your fireplace – otherwise, you’re just wasting your money.
Sadly, fireplace grates aren’t standard across all homes. So, before you even think of purchasing a grate, you need to take measurements of your fireplace. Check the height and width, and you can make sure that your new grate will definitely fit inside the fireplace.
The shape of the grate is also important if you want to ensure your fire will burn properly and that you get the heat you want. At first glance, all fireplace grates look the same, but there are actually a few key differences that you can see by looking more carefully.
For example, there are some models that have a self-feeding design. This means that the sides are higher and that they are much deeper. So, the logs won’t fall out of the grates. On the contrary, they will be kept there and will continue to burn. Concurrently, grates with different shapes may actually cause the logs to fall all over the edges, which can be quite dangerous.
You need to find a product that comes for a decent price. This means that your grate shouldn’t be too cheap, but shouldn’t be too overpriced either, especially if you don’t have enough funds for that. Usually, a decent-sized grate will be able to do what it’s supposed to without requiring you to break the bank.
Concurrently, something that is too cheap should be a red flag. Underpriced items tend to lack quality and would just be a waste if you’d have to replace them very soon anyways. Find something that is able to offer everything that you need and for a good price.
Another important aspect to look for is the material the grate is made of. These items are generally made of steel or cast iron. Each one of them is able to deliver different things – that’s why you need to know how to choose.
For example, cast iron grates will have small gaps at the base, so that wood and coal chunks will be able to burn together. Conversely, they also tend to be quite heavy. The heavier the grate, the more it will be able to deliver.
Steel grates, on the other hand, have bear bars set apart by their thickness, and usually, the thicker the bars are, the better. If you settle for thin bars instead, then you may have to replace them very soon, and you surely don’t want that.
Choose depending on your needs and the features that you are looking for from the material.
If you have a fireplace grate with a mesh bottom, then you’ll have an even better experience. Basically, the bottom won’t allow woods to fall, so they have better support while burning. Additionally, mesh bottoms are great for all types of artificial and natural fuel logs.
Number of Legs
Another important aspect is the number of legs the fireplace grate has. In some cases, the grate will start to sag, due to being exposed to the heat and due to the weight of the logs. This is why it’s recommended to look for a grate that has some additional legs in the middle for better stability. Of course, it isn’t necessarily a requirement, but if you can find a good one with additional legs, then you’ll have a much better experience.
Fireplace Grates – Types to Look for
There are multiple types of fireplace grates that you can choose from. If you want to pick the right item for you, here are the types and features you should be aware of:
Cast Iron Basket Grates
This type of grate has small gaps in the base so that embers can drop-through, thus putting large coals much closer to the fuel. It works in a similar way to a mesh tray, except that there are no mesh grids – these are replaced by the small openings in the base. They come as single pieces, not requiring any assembly. If you want to burn coal or wood, then you should go for one of these.
Stainless Steel Bar Stock Grate
Stainless steel grates are made of 304 or 430-grade stainless steel, and it is useful for both indoor and outdoor use. It is great if you want something that you only use occasionally. Otherwise, it may end up damaging much quicker. You can find such grates for daily use too, but they are pricier.
Standard Steel Bar Stock Grate
These are low-cost models, suitable for people who don’t use them too often and who are on a budget. They don’t have an ember mesh, but they have legs that support some square bar grates.
Purpose Build Self Feeding Grates
If you want grates that always keep the coal or logs in the center, then you should look for a purpose-built self-feeding grate. Therefore, the fuel will always be in the center, which will ensure a continuous burning fire.
Tips on Using a Fireplace Grate
Just like a heater for the garage, you need to know how to use a fireplace grate when you buy it. If you’re not too sure yet, here are the steps that you should take:
Put the Grate Inside the Fireplace
Once you receive your fireplace grate and you’re ready to use it, you need to take it and place it inside the firebox. Make sure that the grate has a depth and width of 6 inches less than the opening, as well as the depth of the firebox.
Clean the Firebox
If you had a fire inside the fireplace prior to getting your grate, you should prepare the area for the new item. That being said, put water on the ash, and sweep the firebox. Get rid of the debris too. Make sure the grate is positioned in the fireplace’s center. The opening has to be faced by the long side of the grate.
Put Logs on the Grate
Take two small seasoned logs on the grate, and make sure they are parallel to each other. While one of them has to be close to the front, the other has to be close to the back. Add dried bark or crumpled newspaper in the area between the logs and add some kindling over it and the logs.
Add More Logs
Now, you should make sure to add some smaller logs on the top of everything that’s inside the fireplace so far. If your firebox is smaller, two logs will be more than enough. This will ensure that the air movement will be good enough for the fire.
- Light the
The next step is opening the damper and adding some old newspaper lengthwise, and make sure you also keep it below the opening to the flue. Then, light the top end of the newspaper and let the smoke go into the chimney for a few seconds.
Let It Burn
Once everything else is done, drop the newspaper with the flame onto the logs. Then, take a fireplace lighter under the grate and set fire to the tinder, after which you can close the screen. As the fire goes, you may have to add more logs to maintain the flame.
FAQs & Answers
A heater, a wood-burning stove, or a fireplace grate are all necessary things when we need some heating, but very often, there may be questions we have no answer to. If you’re in the same position, then here are some of the most frequently asked questions about fireplace grates:
- Is it alright if I place a fireplace plate behind the grates?
Yes, there should be no problem. However, you need to make sure that it is drilled into the fireplace, as not all grates come with additional holders. So, your plate may not have a place to be held on.
- Will my fireplace grate warp?
Not necessarily. While they are exposed to fire, some grates are durable and won’t warp. However, if the material is of bad quality, then it may indeed start warping over time. It all comes down to what material you choose.
- Can I use a fireplace grate in my wood-stove?
You should refrain from doing so. A grate can be dangerous in a wood stove as it can lead to overheating. Wood stoves are designed especially so the wood burns over the bricks.
If you want to have a better fire, then you must definitely get a fireplace grate. The flame will immediately be stronger and will able to warm the room more efficiently, as coal and logs are kept higher into the fireplace. So, the best fireplace grate can improve your life and increase your comfort.
With that being said, we hope that you found our fireplace grate reviews and buying guide useful for when you go shopping. Also, it may e a good idea to have a look at top-rated wood stove fans to go with your brand new fireplace grate.