The best fireplaces are one of the most important things in your home. They provide warmth and comfort to you during cold winter nights or warm up when it’s hot summer days. A good fireplace can make your life much easier if you have no other source of heat such as a wood burning stove or electric heater. You can even use them to keep yourself cool in the summer months. There are many different types of fireplaces available today, but they all share some common features:
They’re usually made from wood, which means they produce heat through burning fuel.
They typically burn for a long time (hours) before needing to be refilled with water or oil.
You can buy new ones over time, or you could build your own fireplace from scratch.
There are several types of fireplaces available today, but they all share some common features:
Cast Iron Fireplace Grate – These are the traditional type of fireplace grate. They were originally used for centuries in homes throughout Europe and Asia. Cast iron is durable and easy to work with, making them popular choices among homeowners. However, cast iron doesn’t hold up well against moisture or rusting like steel does. It needs to be regularly coated with a waterproof material such as paint.
Stainless Steel Fireplace Grate – These are the more modern type of fireplace grate. Their popularity has increased in recent years due to their easy upkeep and sanitation. You don’t need to coat stainless steel with any protective materials, which means it won’t peel or flake as you use it. This reduces the chances of rusting or moisture buildup inside your fireplace. Stainless steel is also very easy to clean.
Fireplace Grates are either hinged or drop-in. Hinged grates are placed on the firebox opening and held in place by hinges, which allow access to the fire pit so you can put more firewood inside. Drop-in Fireplace Grates are designed to fit into the firebox opening with no need to secure them in place. They’re sometimes hinged for easy removal and are typically made from durable materials to withstand heat.
Fireplace Grate Depth:
Most fireplace grates will have adjustable legs so you can lower or raise the level above the firebox. This helps you to control the height of the flames and the amount of heat that is radiated into the room. There are several popular options here, including:
Low-Profile Grate – These fireplaces are placed very low above the fire pit. They’re great for slow burning logs and are best used with taller fireplaces.
Standard Grate – These are the traditional height of fireplace grates. They’re good for both wood and coal fires.
High-Profile Grate – These grates sit above the firebox at a higher level. This allows for faster burning wood to be used while still radiating heat into your room.
Banner Fire Grate – These are large grates that cover the entire width and length of your fireplace. They come in low, standard, and high-profile models and offer a unique experience while heating your home.
You also have some options when it comes to the finish of your fireplace grate. This is purely a cosmetic choice and depends on the type of look you want in your home. Some of the more common types include:
Black Fireplace Grate – These are made from cast iron and have been painted black to prevent rusting and for an aged appearance.
Natural Fireplace Grate – These are made from cast iron and have not been painted, which means they can rust if left unwashed. They offer a more traditional look that’s similar to antique fireplaces.
Silver Fireplace Grate – These are made from metal and have been coated with a silvery finish, which prevents rusting. They also give your fireplace a unique look and prevent any soot stains from forming as well.
Many grate manufacturers provide extra accessories to enhance the overall safety and performance of your fireplace. These include safety bars, spark screens, and replacement parts. Safety bars and spark screens are placed above the grate to keep burning embers from falling onto floors or carpets. They also prevent small objects or children from falling into the fireplace. Replacement parts are almost always available for each grate.
This allows you to fix any broken or damaged parts rather than having to replace the entire grate.
If you’re looking for a replacement or new fireplace grate, there are lots of different types, sizes, and finishes to choose from. Fireplace grates are typically made from metal and range from simple bars to large screens. Be sure to measure your fireplace opening before buying a new grate to make sure it fits and choose a finish that matches your decor.
Fire Grate vs Fireplace Screen – Which is Best?
When it comes time to replace your fireplace grate or get a new fireplace all together, you will have to decide between getting a grate or a screen. This all depends on what type of fireplace you have as well as the purpose of the device. In this section we will go over how to choose between a fireplace grate or a fireplace screen. We will also recommend some of the best options for each.
What is a Fireplace Screen?
A fireplace screen is a metal or wire device that fits in front of an open fireplace to prevent small objects or even people from falling into the fire. They are usually made of flat metal bars that are shaped and intertwined in a way that allows air to flow through while blocking everything else. Most screens also have small legs at the bottom to raise them off the ground so air can flow underneath as well. This type of fireplace cover should always be used with open fireplaces and are vital when burning fires to prevent sparks from flying out and setting objects, or even people, on fire.
What is a Fireplace Grate?
A fireplace grate is a metal frame that holds burning logs (and sometimes embers) in an open fireplace. They come in many different sizes and styles and are usually made of either cast iron or steel. Most have flat bars that hold the burning material in place above the bottom of the fireplace while others have a mesh style that holds the material in with little bars or wires. The best fireplace grates allow for the free flow of air underneath and don’t block the exit of smoke up the chimney. Newer types of fireplace grates are also made to capture and funnel smoke back into the room for a better indoor atmosphere.
How to Choose Between a Fireplace Screen and Fireplace Grate
When choosing between a fireplace screen or grate you should first think about what type of fireplace you have. A fireplace screen will only fit in an open fireplace where there is no closed fireplace chimney. If you have a standard fireplace chimney, then you will need a grate that fits over the top of it. You should also consider how much use and access you will need. If you just need to block the occasional ember or small object from falling in, then a fireplace screen will do.
If you need to light fires on a regular basis, then you will need a grate that is large enough and made of strong material so it won’t deform or weaken when in contact with fire.
A fireplace screen is a good option if:
You have an open fireplace
Occasionally have small objects or paper that accidentally fall in
Want to block occasional sparks from flying out
A grate is a good option if:
You light a fire on a regular basis
Want to block small children or pets from walking into the fireplace
Need a strong and sturdy material that will not deform or weaken when in contact with fire
The Duraflame DFS4831BM Size 48 Fireplace Screen with Bonus Matching Log Set is a good option if you have a small to medium sized open fireplace and don’t use it on a regular basis. It has a mesh screen that will allow for air to flow through while keeping objects from falling into the fire. It also has little feet on the bottom to raise it up from the floor so air can flow underneath. Like most screens, it is made of thin metal that will deform or melt if in contact with a very hot fire for an extended period of time.
The Duraflame DFS4831BM is a good choice if you:
Have an open fireplace and don’t use it on a regular basis
Want to block small objects from falling in
Want a mesh screen that will allow for air to flow through
Some Things to Keep in Mind
Always make sure you read the directions before using a fireplace screen or grate so you know how to properly install, light, and extinguish your fire.
Fireplace screens are generally not made to block embers as they are made of thin metal that will deform or melt if in contact with a very hot fire for an extended period of time. If you are using a fireplace on a regular basis then you should really invest in a fireplace grate.
You should only install a fireplace screen if you have an open fireplace that doesn’t have a closed chimney. If you do have a closed chimney, then a fireplace grate is the only option.
Make sure your fireplace is in good working condition before trying to light a fire. Check that all flue tiles are intact and there are no cracks or holes around the frame or chimney pipe.
If you have small children or curious pets in your home, a fireplace screen can help prevent them from being burned or severely injured by the hot embers and sparks that fly out of the fire. They will also keep small objects or paper from accidentally falling in as well.
Always be extremely careful when around an open fire. No matter how big or deep your fireplace is, embers can escape from it if given the opportunity. Make sure that you have your screens securely in place at all times and check them every so often to make sure they haven’t shifted, fallen in, or gotten damaged in some way.
Don’t try to move or transport a fireplace screen while there’s a fire still burning. Wait for it to completely burn out and allow it to cool before handling.
Most fireplace screens are rather lightweight so they can be easily moved out of the way when not in use.
Fireplace screens are also a decorative piece that can help improve the look of your fireplace and overall interior décor. They come in an assortment of styles and finishes that add visual appeal to a room.
Fireplace screens are a great way to keep yourself and your home safe from the dangers of an open fire. They are very affordable, easy to install, and can easily be moved out of the way when not in use. Whether you need one to block embers or small objects from falling into the fire, or you just want added safety for you and your family, a fireplace screen is a great choice.
Below are some recommended fireplace screens based on their quality, safety features, and customer reviews.
Recommended Fireplace Screens
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Q-1200 Large Fireplace Screen Set – This is a great large screen that offers a safe and decorative solution in front of an open fire and can also be used with a fireplace grate. The construction is sturdy steel and the finish is black which blends in with most home decors. (26″ H x 40″ W)
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You Will Be Given A Selection Of Screens To Choose From.
Other Recommended Screen Types:
There are several other types of screens that can be used in front of a fireplace or wood-burning stove. Most of these screens perform the same purpose, which is to keep small objects or embers from falling into the fire. These can all be easily moved out of the way when not in use.
Grates – A grate is a piece of metal that is used in front of a fireplace to hold burning logs. They come in a variety of styles and finishes. Some have small spaces between the bars to allow heat and embers to escape while others are solid.
Blankets & Throws – A blanket or throw that is large enough to hang down over the edges of the fireplace void can do the same job as a screen. These are generally more decorative than a screen and can be easily moved out of the way when not in use.
Why Use A Fireplace Screen?
Safety – Fireplace screens are a must-have when small children are present. They can easily be moved out of the way when not in use but provide added protection from falling embers or small objects when a fire is lit.
Decor – While safety is the main purpose of a screen, these fireplace accessories can also add a touch of elegance and style to your hearth area. They come in an assortment of colors, sizes and patterns to blend in or stand out.
Portable – Most fireplace screens are designed to easily move out of the way when not in use. This allows you to enjoy the fire without having a permanent fixture in the way.
Do I Need A Screen?
Open fireplaces are wonderful but they do pose a potential safety hazard to children and pets. Even if you do not have young children or pets in your home, the cracks and crevices around your fireplace can trap embers which can cause a house fire if unattended. This is why it is highly recommended to either use a screen or some other type of barrier in front of your open fireplace when not in use.
When Is Using A Fireplace Screen Not Required?
Fireplace screens are not always necessary. If there are no children or pets in your home or you keep your fireplace well maintained to avoid creosote build up, then using a screen may not be necessary for you. Using one will obviously add a decorative touch to your hearth area but you may find that the benefits of using one far outweigh the look of your fireplace.
Can I Make A Screen That Is Easier To Move Out Of The Way?
If you like the idea of having a decorative screen in front of your fireplace but do not want to be bothered with moving it out of the way every time you have a fire, then you can either mount it on the wall or get a swinging door model that uses hinges.
Do I Need To Have My Screen Custom Made?
While most screen manufacturers offer custom screen sizes, most of the time you will find that a standard size will work for your needs. Remember to measure the opening and frame of your fireplace before ordering a screen to avoid any unnecessary shipments.
What Is The Difference Between Wire, Mesh & Perforated Metal?
All of these materials are used in fireplace screens and their primary purpose is to keep small objects from falling into the fire place where they can start a house fire. They also help to keep embers from flying out of the fireplace. Some models are decorative as well but they do sacrifice a bit on functionality. Mesh is the most common followed by wire and then perforated metal.
What Is The Difference Between A Hanging And Free Standing Fireplace Screen?
Hanging screens are supported by two legs that are affixed to the top of your fireplace opening. They are best used in fireplaces that have an actual mantle that the screen can be affixed to. Free-standing units do not need to be fixed to your fireplace and can be moved out of the way when not in use.
What Is The Difference Between A Fireplace Screen And A Grate?
There is no functional difference between a grate and a screen. Both are used to keep small objects and embers from falling down into the fire place. A grate is usually just the actual bars that support the logs while a screen will have a decorative frame around it but they serve the same purpose.
Do I Need A Screen If I Have A Gas Log Fire?
While gas logs do produce heat and light just like real wood burning fireplaces, they are not susceptible to the same types of accidents that can occur with an open flame. You probably do not need a screen if you have a gas log but it never hurts to be too safe.
What Is The Difference Between An Electric Fireplace And A Gas Fireplace?
There is no functional difference between these two types of fireplaces. Both produce real flames and both can be used with a fireplace screen. The main difference is the source of heat. While gas fireplaces use real flames to produce heat, electric fireplaces rely on electricity to create heat in the fake flames.
What Are The Advantages Of A Fireplace Screen?
There are a few advantages of using a fireplace screen. First of all, they are very functional and can keep you from getting burned if you have little children or pets in the house. Second of all, they can be quite ornate and add a touch of class to your home decor.
Are There Any Disadvantages To A Fireplace Screen?
While fireplace screens are fairly maintenance free and serve a very important function, there are a couple of minor disadvantages. First of all they can restrict air flow which makes your fireplace less efficient. They can also get in the way when not in use but this can be easily rectified by placing the screen against a wall.
Do I Need A Screen If I Have A Firebox Stove?
Fireplace screens are primarily designed for use with open fireplaces but some people still use them with firebox stoves. If you go this route you will want to make sure that you measure your fireplace or firebox opening to ensure that you get a screen that fits properly.
What Are The Screen Materials?
The two most common materials are mesh and perforated metal. If you have a traditional brick and mortar fireplace you will want to get a screen that is made of mesh so that it is sturdy enough to stay in place but still allows plenty of air to flow up through the screen. If you have a firebox stove or an insert you can get by with a perforated metal fireplace screen.
Fireplace screens can be made out of almost anything but the most common materials are metal and fabric.
Metal screens can be either ornate or plain, again it just depends upon your taste and the rest of your home’s decor. Mesh and perforated metal are the two most common materials. We will go into more detail about these materials below.
Fabric fireplace screens come in a wide variety of colors and designs. You can also combine fabric with other materials such as wood or metal for a unique look. If you choose to go with a fabric fireplace screen you will either want to make sure it is heavy enough that it won’t blow around or get a stand-alone model that has its own bottom so that it stays in place.
Do I Have A Choice Of Colors And Patterns?
This really depends upon the material that your fireplace screen is made from. Mesh screens come in a variety of colors but most people choose a darker color so as not to show the soot. If you go with a metal mesh screen you can also choose from a variety of metals such as brass, copper and even pewter. Fabric screens come in a wide range of colors and patterns and you can even get roll-down fabric screens that you can pull down over the fireplace if you don’t want the screen there all the time.
What Kind Of Fireplace Screen Is Best For Me?
This really depends upon what type of fireplace you have and how much use it gets. If you have a traditional brick and mortar fireplace with an open fire then you will probably want to go with a mesh screen so that air can flow up through it and help to keep the fire going. Mesh screens come in a variety of finishes but if you have a traditional fireplace you will want to avoid anything that is too ornate or it may not look right. If you have a firebox stove or an insert you can get by with a perforated metal screen, just make sure it fits properly.
If you have a gas log set or an electric fireplace then you will want to go with a glass screen so that you can see the flames. These screens come in either tempered glass or non-tempered glass. You will want to be sure that you get the right one or you could end up breaking the screen when you try to put it in place.
How Easy Are They To Maintain?
Metal screens can be wiped down with a damp cloth but any serious cleaning will require that you disassemble it first. Fabric screens can be vacuumed or even washed on a gentle cycle in the washing machine. Be sure to check the tags for the care instructions before you do this, however.
How Much Do They Cost?
Fireplace screens can cost as little as $20 if they are made of a less durable material such as plastic or around $50 for a metal mesh screen. High quality metal screens with an ornate finish can be quite a bit more expensive. Fabric screens are going to be the most expensive due to their quality and design.
Fireplace Screen Reviews
This is a nice, solid screen that fits into your fireplace opening from the back. It is made of metal with a black powder-coat finish and has an adjustable hearth plate so that you get a nice tight fit. The mesh is 1/2″ x 1/2″ square openings which are small enough to keep sparks from flying out of the fireplace but still large enough to let the heat circulate. Assembly is required when you take it out of the box but it only takes a few minutes to put it together.
There are some reports from people who say that their screen arrived damaged but most of them say that theirs arrived just fine. This is not an extremely expensive screen and if it arrives damaged you might want to just return it and look for another one, or take it back yourself and Report the damage to the shipper.
Fits into the fireplace opening from the back
Has an adjustable hearth plate so that you get a tight fit
Fairly expensive compared to other screens
Reports of damaged screens arriving
This is a nice looking metal screen with a black powder-coat finish. The metal mesh is 1/2″ x 1/2″
Sources & references used in this article:
Stackable fireplace grates by HJ Cassidy – US Patent 5,842,465, 1998 – Google Patents
Fireplace grate by JF Richardson – US Patent 3,987,779, 1976 – Google Patents
Fireplace grate with adjustable ash pan by JD Toth – US Patent 5,010,874, 1991 – Google Patents
Fireplace grate by DM Vestal Sr – US Patent 4,892,088, 1990 – Google Patents
Fireplace grate screen by J Grosso – US Patent 3,536,057, 1970 – Google Patents
Portable fireplace by US Patent 551,539, 1895 – Google Patents
Domestic Storage Problems and Transitions by SP Adams – RCC Perspectives, 2019 – JSTOR
Fireplace-furnace by US Patent 575,847, 1897 – Google Patents