What are Fireplace Grates?

Fireplace grates are raised and latticed stands that are used to hold burning wood in the fireplace. They are usually made of some form of iron- either steel or cast iron. Cast iron fireplace grates are sturdy and popular. A grate improves the performance of your fireplace by leaps and bounds. Fireplace grates are also often installed as fashion statements, with a unique and well-designed grate adding character to an otherwise ordinary fireplace.

The functioning of a fireplace grate is very interesting. In a nutshell, grate fireplaces allow air to pass below the fire. Thus, the amount of oxygen supplied to the fire increases, which in turn helps the fire thrive and raises it temperature. In the process, most of the pollution that would have otherwise escaped is, instead, combusted. The increased oxygen supply also helps ignite seasoned logs quickly, with a minimum amount of kindling, whilst starting a fire.

Thus the benefits of a fireplace grate are:

A fireplace grate produces a burn of a better quality. It also increases the temperature of the air released significantly.
The floor of your fireplace is protected by a grate. Thus a grate gives your fireplace a longer life and helps maintain the concrete base.
Starting a fire is very easy when you’re using a grate due to the abundant oxygen supply it provides.

It is much easier to clean up your fireplace with a grate. All you have to do is to place a flat ash-pan below the grate that can be removed an emptied regularly.
The amount of wood one uses is significantly lowered with the use of a fireplace grate.

Hence, there are many reasons why you should consider purchasing a grate for your fireplace. However, what exactly does one look for in a grate? Here are some features to think about:

Design

A well-designed fireplace grate can really add character to a room. There are many stylish and decorative fireplace grates available on the market. Find one to fit you and your family’s fireplace needs.

Size

Measure your fireplace carefully before purchasing a grate. An ideal grate is 6 inches smaller than the width of your fireplace and 3 inches lesser than its depth. If your measurements are incorrect your fireplace grate could be ineffective.

Material

Fireplace grates are usually made of either cast iron or steel. Normally, the heavier a grate is the better it is. Cast iron is much heavier than steel and lasts much longer. Thus if you want to burn coals in your grate or you have a very large fireplace choose a cast iron fireplace grate to support it. Thick steel bars on a grate are also a good option, especially for family use.

Indoor and Outdoor grates

There really is no major difference between indoor and outdoor fireplace grates, they both serve the same function which is to keep your logs or other combustible items off the floor so that they can be more effectively fueled with a fresh supply of oxygen and ventilated properly.  The grates are made of heavy gauge iron, steel or other metals so the elements will really not damage them.  One issue you may consider with outdoor grates is rust.