It’s no secret that the firebox in your fireplace can get pretty hot irrespective of the fuel source that you use such as wood or coal. As such, incorporating heavy duty fireplace grates in the firebox makes sense. That’s because it contributes towards preventing damage to your bricks or mortared firebox floor and walls for a very long time, despite the abuse and intense temperatures.
Secondly, a grate contributes towards a better fire experience as it is well ventilated and raised off the floor to some degree, allowing for abundant oxygen supply necessary for a quality fire with minimal smoke.
However, wood or coal-burning fireplaces can always be expected to produce smoke. That smoke is managed by how well your fireplace has been constructed with that need in mind. Because a fireplace grate is raised, the clearance from the floor helps suspend the fire closer to the throat of the chimney and making it easier for the smoke to quickly rise into it and lessening the chance of it spilling over into your living space.
While most fireplace grates are made from steel, cast iron, and in some cases stainless steel, they are not equal. These materials are indeed durable, but the construction of the grate and the gauge of material used will determine their degree of longevity.
Grates that bear a lifetime guarantee have been constructed with meticulous care that bears extreme longevity in mind.
Low quality fireplace grates will tend to rust and warp.
Investing in a heavy duty grate is a good investment as they are made of thick gauge material and come with coating that prevents rust as well as offers effective heat resistance and eliminates the chances of the metal warping as a result of repeated heating and cooling in the course of many fires.
Heavy duty grate options such as the one reviewed in this post will serve you for many years to come while remaining unscathed and unchanged through the years. This applies even if the grate is heavily used. Heavy duty options tend to have a higher price tag for that reason. But then given their longevity and efficiency, they are great value for their price points.
When choosing a heavy duty fireplace grate, you will need to consider the dimensions and type of the fireplace you have. This ensures you purchase the right model that is best suited for your fireplace. You are better placed to make an informed decision as to what sort of grate will work best for your needs if you know the fireplace type you have. For that reason, let’s take a quick peek at fireplace types.
Types of fireplace
Most homes will have traditional fireplaces that fall into two categories below as follows.
1. Standard fireplaces
Standard fireplaces are also often referred to as brick fireplaces. The design usually involves the fireplace inner walls generally angling inward while the back wall tends to either be vertical or have a slight forward tilt. More often than not, standard fireplaces have an opening of about 36″ W x 28″ high x 16″ to 20″ D.
However, some fireplaces can be extra-large beyond these measurements or smaller. Fortunately, heavy duty fireplace grates come in all manner of different sizes to suit a myriad of dimensions. Unless you have a super-sized fireplace, you will likely spot a heavy duty fireplace grate in this post that fits your fireplace unit like a glove.
Alternatively, there’s always the option of having a fire grate custom made for you to suit unique dimensions. Depending on the height of your standard fireplace, you have the option of getting a fireplace grate model with low clearance or zero clearance so that your fire is visible and enjoys good ventilation while your firebox remains protected from direct heat.
But you can also opt for a grate with a higher clearance of up to 4 inches or thereabout based on your preference
2. Rumford fireplaces
Rumford fireplaces are known for their shallower designs with higher openings that are purposed to prevent heat loss through the flue. The design is instead meant to improve heat transfer into your living space.
Because of the shallow and high opening, more heat pours into the room. However, if not properly built smoke too will pour into the room. This fireplace type will effectively expunge smoke and deliver more warmth to your space if built correctly.
If your firebox recedes in width as it goes inward, you want to ensure you buy a grate model that has an adequate front width but with a lesser back width in keeping with the shape of your fireplace. If your firebox is rectangular you can opt for a model of equal width in the front and the back of the unit. You can always choose varied clearances of high or zero based on your needs and preferences.
Over and above the type of fireplace you have, shape and dimensions, there is one more factor to consider when settling for a heavy duty fireplace grate.
If you have a fireplace screen, you want to get a grate that will co-exist perfectly with such an accessory. As far as ventilation goes, the general rule of thumb is to leave at least 3 inches between the firebox walls and the grate. This will ensure an abundant supply of air for a quality fire.
Other fireplaces that benefit from incorporating a high quality heavy duty fire grate are factory-built fireplaces and modular fireplaces. Such fireplaces are built in a factory and then assembled on site.
Now that you have key pointers on what to consider in respect to your fireplace when shopping for a grate, we have lined up 5 top heavy duty fire grates that are worth your consideration because of their high functionality and exceptional durability.
SteelFreak Super Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grates
The StealFreak Super Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grates are a good buy when looking for durable heavy duty grates. They are made from an all-steel frame with a seven-bar count.
One of the shortcomings of steel is its susceptibility to rust and warping. However, because these units are suited for indoor fireplaces, exposure to moisture is minimal. As such, the black coat finish is sufficient to keep rust at bay.
These fireplace grates are made from ¾” thick square steel which does an excellent job of not warping as a result of repeated heating.
The design is simple with a sturdy rectangular frame with thick steel bars attached and center legs that further reinforce stability. Crossbars are widely spaced for excellent ventilation.
- Dimensions are 30” W x 14” D x 8” H
- All steel construction
- 7 bar count
- Sturdy and inclusive of a center legs
- Engineered to last
- Comes in several other sizes; 30”to 36”
- No assembly required
If you need a super heavy duty grate, this is a solid choice that will not disappoint in terms of function and longevity. For a fireplace that is bigger or smaller, you will be happy to know the SteelFreak has several size options that you can work with.
HY-C Liberty Foundry GT-BX Fire Grates
Cast iron is often misconstrued to mean that it is weaker than steel. A high quality cast iron grate that is made with meticulous skill such as the HY-C Liberty Foundry GT-BX Fire Grates will very well outlast most steel fireplace grates except for heavy duty variants and lifetime guarantee steel options.
This particular unit has a versatile modular build that will require minimal assembly and accommodates logs or smaller fuel types such as coal. The unit has a gentle slope that has enough gradient to self-feed the fire.
That’s because the logs or coals in the periphery of the pile are eventually and gradually drawn into the middle section of the fire as soon the burning logs or coals in the middle crumble. This means that your fire will burn for way much longer without your having to tend to it or having to worry about stoking and adding fuel to the fire all the time. You can sit back for extended periods enjoying the fire without having to lift a finger.
- Dimensions are 30” W x 12” D x 6.6” H
- Constructed from cast iron
- Can accommodate logs or coal
- Stable self-feeding design with a total of six legs
- Crafted for impressive durability
- Available in other sizes 23” W/ 17.25” W
- Minimal assembly is required
The legs on this grate are all detachable in case your fireplace type demands a grate with a low profile. This unit is ideal for indoor use.
Vestal Cast Iron Heavy Duty Fireplace Grates
Vestal Cast Iron Fireplace Grates are a viable option for consumers looking for a solid extra-durable tough build in cast iron.
This unit has smaller spaces in between bars uniquely which makes it possible to handle either logs or coals effectively.
The entire design is cut out from one piece of cast iron. With a front size of 23.3″ front and 20-3/4″ back, this unit will work for most fireplaces.
- This unit measure 23.3” W x 15.5” D x 6.5” H
- Made from cast iron
- Versatile design for use with wood or coal
- Sturdy 4 legged frame
- Durable build
- Available in 23.3” W
- No assembly needed
Both ends of the heavy duty Vestal Cast Iron Fireplace Grate are open to facilitate easy feeding of logs onto the grate.
Pleasant Hearth Solid Steel Fireplace Grates
This Pleasant Hearth Solid Steel Fireplace Grate has a simple but effective design for holding and containing logs as they burn.
The unit has a steel rectangular frame with four sturdy legs and steel mesh. 6 bars are welded across the frame and add to the reinforced strength of the unit. These 6 bars all have 1.5” thickness that make the overall weight of the unit slightly lighter but still tough enough to withstand the heat of the fire within the firebox repeatedly.
The black coating on the metal helps prevent rust and contributes to resisting heat. That coupled with the thickness of the bars, you can expect zero warping from this heavy duty grate.
- Unit Dimensions are 30” W x 12” D x 7” H
- All steel construction with mesh
- Fit for use with logs
- Stable unit with a total of six legs
- Crafted for impressive durability
- Comes in a number of different sizes
- No assembly is required
The mesh that covers the entire top has well-sized holes that allow ashes and small embers to fall through. It holds the bigger embers in place as well as the logs and hence keeps the fire going for longer before you have to add more fuel
HY-C Liberty Foundry Fire Grates
This HY-C Liberty Foundry Fire Grate is rafted with heavy duty cast iron and the design has a longevity bias and is curated with dual-use in mind.
The entire unit is cut from one solid piece of cast iron giving the grate impressive strength. A basket shape such as this holds the coals or logs in place for efficient burning in addition to facilitating a pleasant fire experience.
The four-legged frame has a low profile with a clearance of 2” inches. This is especially good if your fireplace demands a grate that sits low. The black coating on the cast iron helps keep away rust as well as improve the general durability of the unit.
- Dimensions are 27” W x 12” D x 4” H
- Constructed from cast iron
- Can accommodate logs or coal
- Sturdy four legged low profile base
- Crafted for longevity
- Comes in several other sizes 22” W/ 17” W
- Comes fully assembled
A width of 27” on the front and 21” on the back coupled with a narrow depth ensures this heavy duty grate is compatible with most small fireplaces.
When buying a fireplace grate, you want a model that will suit your fireplace type and serve to preserve the firebox, while improving your fire experience. Given the hostile state of any frequently used fireplace, you want to get a durable grate that will remain functional for years to come. It’s hard to go wrong with a heavy duty fireplace grate. This is true, provided you have taken measurements of your firebox correctly to get the right size. From small to extra-large sizes, there’s something for every fireplace. .