Updated: June 8, 2015

Fireplace Grate Reviews:

Looking to buy a new grate for your fireplace? Perhaps the old one is beyond saving or you just want a new look and design for your living room. Fireplace grates are what help keep the burning wood in your fireplace from moving all over and they provide for oxygen to get underneath the wood and keep it going. When logs are stacked upon each other to burn, eventually they will break apart and fall down the longer they burn. The grate should keep the majority of the embers in place until the log has completely burned out. The good news is that fireplace grates are inexpensive and should last you for a decade or more - depending on how much use they get. I've had a wood burning fireplace for 20 years and it was finally time to replace the older one. Where do you buy a new grate? Should you go to a specialty fireplace store or just buy one online? Not all fireplaces are standard in size, so first you need to measure the interior space of your fireplace. Make sure to check all the dimensions twice - ours was wider in the front than the back so I had to take that into account before ordering anything.
fireplace grates


Choosing a Fireplace Grate - As we mentioned above, size is important as not all grates will fit every fireplace. Yes, you would think something like that is standard across all homes, but that isn't always true. Get the measurements and then proceed to the material. You can choose between cast iron or steel. Most experts agree that cast iron fireplace grates are the way to go. They last the longest and hold up the best with heavy use. If you look at the best sellers on websites like Amazon.com, the cast iron models get the best feedback from consumers. The contour or shape of the grates is another feature to consider. Many are very similar in shape and design although the self feeding ones are a little different. A self feeding fireplace grate has a deeper middle and higher sides compared to other grates and this allows for the burning logs to stay in the grates as they burn out and not just fall over the edges. My dad has an older grate system in his fireplace and it does seem like the logs fall all over the place as they burn. He's always adjusting and moving the logs back into position with his fireplace poker. When it comes to buying the right product, once you have your measurements, it's easy to purchase a grate online or at your local fireplace store. We have several stores here in Portland that specialize in hearth and fireplace products, so that was my obvious choice. The salespeople answered all my questions and their prices seemed reasonable when I looked at online websites. I still like shopping online at Amazon.com since they carry so much more inventory than any brick and mortar retailer can. You can browse the best selling fireplace grates here.

Best Fireplace Grate:

RECOMMENDED - The Cast Iron Fireplace Grate from Vestal is offered in 21", 24", 27" and 30" models - all for about $45. Great for burning wood or coal, it comes in one piece and has open ends. The front measures 27" while the back is only 23 3/4" wide. Owners say the grate sits about 4 inches off the floor of the fireplace and the holes in the grates are large enough to allow the right amount of airflow to create a great fire while still small enough to keep wood pieces from falling through. For those with gas starting fireplaces but wood burning, make sure the gas lighter pipe will provide you with enough clearance for the grates. Some reviews mention that spacing can be a problem in some situations. Otherwise, the comments and feedback for this fireplace grate are near perfect with happy customers. The other top seller is from Panacea - they offer both 18 inch and 24 inch models that rate well with consumers.


Self Feeding Fireplace Grate:

RECOMMENDED - The top seller in this category online is the 23 3/4" Self-Feeding Fireplace Grate which sells for roughly $70. There is no assembly required as it's a one piece design made of cast iron. The contouring of the grate allows for gravity to help the burning wood stay in the grates and not fall through or over the sides. As the wood burns it just falls to the bottom of the grates. You can stuck up 2 or 3 logs and they will stay in place while they burn. Folks who buy this model say it's 'sturdy and functional' and 'superior to a traditional grate'. Vestal Manufacturing, the maker of this, is a reputable name in this industry and their other products receive excellent praise from consumers as well.