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Firebacks

Firebacks have been used, in various forms, for hundreds of years. They are literally solid pieces of metal placed against the back wall of fireplaces in order to protect the masonry and reflect heat back into the home. Over time, the money a fireback allows you to save by reducing the need for repairs and enhancing overall efficiency can be substantial.

But the value of a fireback isnít purely practical. Many people also use these hearth accessories as accents for their gas or wood burning fireplaces because of their stately appearance. We carry both traditional cast iron and contemporary stainless steel styles in a variety of historically-inspired designs.

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By Steve from Apollo, PA on August 31, 2014
I'm looking to purchase a fireback for my fireplace. The back of the fireplace measurements are 28 inches wide and the backwall starts to curve in at 17 inches for the smoke to go up the chimney. Do you have any recommendations for a fireback for this fireplace?
By eFireplaceStore on September 2, 2014

Answer:
One of our popular sellers in this category that would fit your application is the Pennsylvania Firebacks Field of Leaves Fireback. This model is ideal not only for protecting the back wall from damage, but the cast iron construction will absorb and radiate a good deal of heat that would normally be lost to the chimney.

A lower cost option that is intended primarily for heat reflection purposes is the Copperfield Stainless Steel Radiant Fireback - 20-in. X 20-in.. The included mounting feet allow the fireback to be angled in various positions to allow for best heat distribution and to compensate for the curvature of the rear firebox wall.

By Joann from Portland, Oregon on October 15, 2013
What does a fireback do? How does it compare to glass doors in keeping out the cold in the winter?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on October 15, 2013

Answer:
A fire back is designed to stand against the back wall of a fireplace and radiate heat into the room when a fire is burning. It also provides protection for the back wall from logs that may be tossed into the fireplace. The fireback will not provide any added benefit for keeping cold air out of the room. A gasketed door assembly or sealed damper should definitely be considered for that purpose.

By Rafael from San Antonion, TX on December 12, 2014
I have a 20 yr old fireplace that has a stone 3 piece sectional liner inside. The center piece has cracked and needs to be replaced. Do you have something to replace this with?
By eFireplaceStore on December 12, 2014

Answer:
We offer universal refractory panels that are designed just for this application. The product is the Hargrove Replacement Fireplace Refractory Panel - 24 inch X 28 inch. The panel can be cut to size using a circular saw equipped with a masonry blade.

By Rich from Pittsburgh, PA on September 1, 2014
Can you use a fireback along with a fireplace screen or tempered glass fireplace door unit?
By eFireplaceStore on September 2, 2014

Answer:
Firebacks can be used in a masonry and prefabricated wood burning fireplaces, as well as B vent gas units that are large enough. They should not be used in direct vent models, as they can cause issues with overheating.

By Liz from Morganville, NJ on February 8, 2013
Do you have the grates that attach to the firebacks?
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on February 11, 2013

Answer:
Unfortunately, no. None of our fireplace grates attaches directly to our firebacks.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 11, 2013

Answer:
While we do have mounting boots that are designed to hold the fireback in a slightly angled or upright position, we do not carry a specific grate that is an integral part of the fireback. The fireback boots do have holes cast into them that are designed to receive the back legs of the grate. This helps to stabilize the grate during loading.

By Tim from Kansas City on January 12, 2013
Will I get better heat reflection from a stainless steel fireback, such as the Copperfield, or do the more decorative cast iron firebacks reflect heat just as well?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 14, 2013

Answer:
Stainless steel firebacks do a better job of reflecting heat, but unlike a cast iron fireback, radiate virtually no heat once the fire has burnt out. Cast iron firebacks will absorb heat during the burn process and will continue to radiate heat for some time afterward.

By Ryan from Collierville, TN on February 9, 2013
How do I size a fireback? The rear dimension of my fireplace is 26" w x 16" h - it's a prefab insert.
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on February 11, 2013

Answer:
If you plan on using a fireback without support boots, it is best to use one that is as wide as the back wall of your prefab box and about 1-2 inches shorter than the back wall. Use of the support boots will raise the fireback by 2 to 2.5 inches.

By Didi from Atlanta, GA on February 17, 2015
I have a 75 year old masonry fireplace and I know that gas logs were installed into it before I bought the house. Would a fireback make a difference as far as reflecting heat from the gas logs? If so, would you recommend stainless steel or cast iron? Also, wouldn't the fireback need to be higher than the logs to reflect the heat?
By Chris C. on February 17, 2015

Answer:
The use of a cast iron or stainless steel fireback is not recommended as heat deflected by the fireback can cause internal components, such as the gas valve and electronic control module, to overheat and fail.

By Merrie from MI on October 17, 2014
I'm trying to decide between the stainless steel and cast iron fire backs. I live in a modular home with a Heatilator fireplace. I replaced the refractory liner in the back at the beginning of Winter and it didn't even quiet make it to the end of Winter when it crumbled. I use the fireplace for about 80% of my heat.
My concern is that the stainless steel ones would not last as long and I would have to buy another one next year. What do you suggest?
By eFireplaceStore on October 20, 2014

Answer:
The stainless steel fire backs we carry are actually quite durable and an excellent alternative to the cast iron fire backs. Both materials have their own strengths. The stainless versions do a superior job directing and radiating heat out into the room. The 304 grade is extremely durable against corrosion from a wood burning fire and would last for years. This version will also come with the support legs at no additional cost. Cast iron versions are very pretty to look at and do a good job of absorbing heat from the fire, radiating it long after the fire has died down.

The Copperfield Stainless Steel Radiant Fireback - 15-in. X 15-in. - 70020 should work well.

By John from Ft. Worth, TX on December 20, 2014
I need a large 27 x 27 fireplace fireback that has a great durability. Is cast iron the best to withstand hot fires? What do you recommend?
By eFireplaceStore on December 22, 2014

Answer:
Cast iron is indeed the most durable product to use for a fire back. The thickness and density of the material prevents any warping, while doing an excellent job of protecting the fire brick in the fireplace. While it measures one inch wider than your requirement, an excellent and popular product is the Pennsylvania Firebacks Large Great Oak Fireback - LF01.

By Vicky from Roswell, GA on April 14, 2015
Are all of the firebacks suitable for use with outdoor fireplaces?
By Brennan W. on April 14, 2015

Answer:
While the stainless steel firebacks can be used in an outdoor application, we do not advise using the cast iron ones outdoors, as they can rust and corrode due to humidity and exposure to the elements.

By Ed from Mableton, GA on November 11, 2013
Can cast iron or stainless steel firebacks be used in a prefab fireplace?
By Chris on November 11, 2013

Answer:
Both stainless steel or cast iron firebacks can indeed be installed in a prefabricated fireplace.

By Trent from NJ on January 14, 2015
Do firebacks need feet or can they lean against the back wall of a fireplace?

By Kevin E. on January 14, 2015

Answer:
Firebacks do not require feet. But, in cases of very tall fireplaces, the feet are helpful to get the most benefit out of the fireback. Additionally, the feet allow the fireback to be angled forward to help reflect more heat into the room.
By eFireplaceStore on January 14, 2015

Answer:
The use of feet is a good idea for stability, but they are not required. The fireback can lean directly against the back wall.

By Don from Columbus, OH on November 15, 2014
Can I use a fireback with a fireplace insert? If so, should the doors stay open or closed when in use?
By eFireplaceStore on November 17, 2014

Answer:
From the attached photo, it appears you have a standard prefabricated fireplace, which can indeed be used with a fire back. For maximum effect from the fireback, the doors should be left open.

By Pam from PA on August 7, 2015
Can firebacks be used without feet? If they are needed, how much height do they add to the entire system?
By Kevin E. on August 9, 2015

Answer:
Firebacks are perfectly safe to use without the optional feet. Depending on the fireback feet chosen, you might add between 1 and 3 inches of height to the entire fireback.

By Connie from Herndon, VA on August 27, 2013
The back wall of my fireplace is 24" wide by 26" tall. What is the best size fireback if I don't use feet. What about if I do add feet?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on August 28, 2013

Answer:
A fireback that is up to 23 inches wide by 25 inches would be a good fit for your fireplace, if feet are not used.

Mounting boots will typically reduce the available height by 2 to 5 inches, but that will depend on the boot set that is used.

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