Fireplace Accessories Buyers Guide
Fireplace accessories are what make our fireplaces a little safer, a little cleaner and maybe even a little cozier. So, in this article, we are going to go over not one accessory, not two, but nearly every accessory of note for your wood burning, electric, or gas fireplace.
There are many fireplace supplies out there to make your experience with your fireplace much easier. We will discuss everything from log holders to stove paint - all explained in easy-to-understand language.
Who Needs Fireplace Accessories?
Who needs fireplace accessories? The short answer is, everyone! Finding the right accessory for your fireplace can make a world of difference in your living space. Having the correct item can help clean your hearth more quickly, protect your home, or simply make your space more beautiful to look at. If you need information on one specific item or want general information on every accessory, you're in the right place.
Aesthetic Enhancers and Maintenance Aides
In this section, we will cover products to help you better use your wood fireplace as well as provide your hearth with some much-needed style.
Fireplace Tool Sets — A fireplace tool set is a necessary accessory for a wood burning fireplace. However, many people like to place them near a gas fireplace to bring a nostalgic charm to the unit. A tool set will usually come with five pieces, including a broom, a poker, a small shovel, log tongs, and a stand.
Ash Buckets — A necessary part of any wood fireplace, the ash bucket holds the ash and embers to discard later. These keep the fireplace clean. Many buckets come with a small shovel to help load the ash inside. Ash bucket designs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. You'll find some that are simple pales while others feature a double bottom to prevent the outer metal shell from getting too hot. Still, some are built on a raised foot system to keep it off the floor so as not to burn anything combustible like a carpet.
Fireplace Grates — Akin to a basket or shelf that sits inside your hearth, a fireplace grate keeps your logs lifted in the air to improve oxygen flow. They also prevent your logs from rolling around inside the firebox. And, because your logs are raised, the ash falls under the grate, which makes for easy cleanup.
Individual Tools — You can buy replacement tools for your fireplace toolset or for tools that don't come in a standard set. One example is the hearth cricket, which some put on the fireplace for good luck.
Flame Color Enhancers — If you're tired of looking at the same orange fire, then grab some color enhancers. These are unique in that they create multi-colored flames. These items are made of phosphorus or magnesium crystals and only augment the look of the fire. Do not cook over the fire while using color enhancers.
Fire Starters — These are simple aids to help start a fire. They are usually squares of wood chips and sawdust that create a concentrated, hot flame. If you've got wood with high moisture content, a fire starter is a great accessory to have on standby.
Bellows — This simple device uses an accordion style motion to supply air into the base of the fire. Bellows provide oxygen to revive a dying fire or help the initial combustion. You'll find bellows made of fabric, leather, or vinyl with an outer wood casing and nozzle.
Fireplace Gloves — Thick, tough gloves designed to prevent burns from tools, screens, or anything else close to the fire. You'll bring these out when reloading a fire.
Fireplace Smoke Guards — If your fireplace spills smoke into the house and not up the chimney, then you'll want to look into a fireplace smoke guard. Smoke roll out occurs with an improperly sized flue or a hard-to-start fire. A smoke guard is a metal crown that goes over the opening of the fireplace to help the fireplace draft by adjusting the size of the fireplace.
Steamers, Humidifiers, and Trivets — Need to introduce some humidity in your home? There are a number of steamers and humidifiers designed to work with your fireplace insert or stove. They can do their job best by sitting on a deep shelf within your unit. Meanwhile, trivets can be set on top of the stove or insert to heat the food in a pot or skillet.
Please note that these items are not made for cooking. You'll need to use your cookware in conjunction with these items. So, don't try to brew up a pot of tea in the humidifier and don't throw some sausage on the trivet.
Firewood Storage & Tools
Cord-Wood Storage — The products in this section are all about storing and maintaining your firewood. Storing your firewood in a dry, covered area will go a long way in keeping a healthy hearth. Dry wood burns cleaner and creates less creosote. If your wood burning stove or fireplace has creosote buildup, that can create a fire hazard. So, these accessories can help extend the life of your hearth, as well as give you less mess when it comes time to clean.
Wood Cart and Carriers — No need to carry an armful of cut logs; a wood cart or canvas log carrier makes moving logs less of a hassle. Although rugged items, you can use these practical accessories outside or inside. Wood carts and log carriers are great for the homeowner with a rack or wood stack in the corner of the yard.
Outdoor Firewood Racks — These outdoor accessories hold and protect your cut firewood, allowing the wood to dry out and season. You'll find that firewood racks lift stacked wood off the ground. This prevents your wood from absorbing moisture. Many racks also include a cover to keep wood dry during a rainy day. There are even firewood racks that stay indoors, so you always have a supply of firewood on hand on those cold, wet nights.
Log Holders — Designed to contain a small number of cut logs, log holders are kept inside near your hearth to refuel the fire. Most log holders will carry about five to six logs. With a well-stocked log holder nearby, you don't need to brave the elements for your firewood any longer.
Firewood Covers — These are two layer vinyl covers made to keep moisture away from your wood. Because many firewood racks come with covers, you can easily find replacements for specific racks. Search for firewood covers in the outdoor firewood rack category.
Firewood Marker — This simple wheel accessory rolls down the length of the log to make precise marks with surveyor paint to show you where to cut. Firewood markers help create uniform lengths of wood that fit into your firebox and rack perfectly. And, of course, uniformity makes for easy transport and stacking.
Wood Moisture Meters — Testing a log for moisture is an easy way to determine if your cordwood is ready to burn. Moisture meters use a low voltage current to pass from one prong to another through the wood. The meter measures the amount of resistance to determine the moisture level. If you see 20 percent or lower, your log is ready for the fireplace.
Accessories for Gas or Wood Burning Fireplaces
The aesthetic additions in this section will help make your gas or wood-burning hearth the focal point of the home. They can also extend the life of your fireplace. You'll find these accessories are meant to be in the house near the hearth appliance. Most of these items serve multiple purposes. They can enhance the look of your fireplace space, keep your family safe, or ensure your fireplace is well maintained.
Hearth Rugs — Decorative and fire-resistant hearth rugs are great items to complete the look of your fireplace. Hearth rugs come in many different styles like Americana and Oriental. They also come in a variety of shapes like half-moon and rectangular. No doubt, if you're in the market for something eye-catching that will keep your floor protected from stray embers, a hearth rug is the way to go.
Andirons — Designed to keep logs from rolling out of the fireplace, andirons were considered an essential part of any fireplace for a long time. Today some modern andirons are more decorative and can only be used in gas fireplaces. Sold in pairs, you can still find sturdy andirons with the purpose of protecting your home from an escaping log. Before you buy one, make sure andirons are designed to fit your wood burning fireplace.
- Pilgrim Fonda andiron
Firebacks — Firebacks are big, durable slabs of cast iron that sit in the back of your fireplace. A fireback protects the back wall from damage over time. They also absorb heat and radiate it back into the home. Many firebacks come with designs cast into them as well. There are thinner firebacks made for gas log sets. But, don't put those in your wood-burning fireplace.
Aroma Enhancers — Make your hearth do more than heat your home. Add aroma enhancers so your fireplace works double duty. These items include everything from oil-scented stones that go directly above the fire to be warmed, chimney deodorizers that go inside your inactive fireplace, to pine cones that sit on the hearth. You'll find aroma enhancers that work for both gas and wood burning fireplaces.
Fireplace Hoods — For both functional and decorative purposes, a fireplace hood, like many accessories on this list, serve dual purposes. For function, a hood will deflect the heat away from your mantel, keeping your valuables safe. As for aesthetics, many hoods come in a black, brass, or chrome finishes designed to work well with any style. Some hoods are adjustable and function with any wood or gas burning fireplace.
Fireplace Screens — This accessory protects your family and pets from embers popping out of the fireplace during a fire. These are strongly recommended for wood-burning fireplaces. A fireplace screen that sits in front of a gas-burning fireplace serves a decorative role, as gas-burning logs don't give off sparks. They come in many shapes and sizes, too, so there's no shortage of choice.
Candelabras — Fireplace candelabras fill the space in your firebox when your hearth is inactive. Since an inactive fireplace can cause a black hole effect, a candelabra is an excellent display piece to negate that.
Fireplace Doors — These items come in many styles and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose. Fireplace doors create a barrier between your home and the open chimney. During cold days your home will lose heat to an open, unused fireplace. During the warm days, an open fireplace lets cool air escape. Fireplace doors prevent this from happening. When your fireplace is not in use, close the doors and save some energy.
Mesh Fireplace Screens — These work in the same way as the fireplace screens mentioned previously. They keep embers from flying out of your fireplace. The main difference between a mesh and standing fireplace screens is that it acts like a curtain you can push to the side or pull out. Mesh fireplace screens are generally made of metal coils that form draped panels. When installing, you'll find a mesh screen should be about 20-30% larger than the width of the fireplace opening to provide the draping effect.
Fireplace and Stove Paint — When the stove or fireplace starts to lose some of its old shine, it may be time to touch it up with paint. Some fireplace and stove paints are aerosol, and their temperature ranges differ. So, do the proper research before buying a can. You'll also find that some of the paints require heat curing. Make sure you have the time to cure the paint after applying.
Fireplace Accent Lights — Accent lighting focuses light on a particular area, in this case, on the hearth. Fireplace accent lights are purpose made, so you will not find an accent lighting kit for every model. Many accent lighting kits use LED lights, which are small, unobtrusive, and reasonably easy to install.
In this category, you'll find a variety of products dedicated to maintaining and extending the life of your fireplace. There are glass cleaners, replacement parts, soot removers, mortar, bricks, and more. Research each product before you purchase to see if its temperature range fits with your hearth appliance.
Gas Fireplace Parts
Gas fireplaces have many pieces to keep up with, and it's good to know what each one does. In this section, we will attempt to uncomplicate things and take you through a few key accessories to keep your gas fireplace beautiful and running for a long time.
Gas Fireplace Keys and Valves — This includes wall-mounted shut off valves, fittings, and gas keys, along with thermocouples and thermopiles. These replacement parts will keep your gas fireplace safe and in your control.
Remote Controls — Some gas fireplaces come with remote controls, while they are an option for others. These give the user an ability to light their hearth with the push of a button. If one gets lost or damaged, you can find one to fit your brand. It is necessary to understand what type of gas control valve your fireplace has, as not all models can use a remote and others can use only a specific type.
Some brands will offer purpose-built remotes for each model. If you've got an Empire fireplace, get the Empire remote. If you've got a Napoleon fireplace, get a Napoleon remote and so on. If the manufacturer doesn't have their own brand or remotes, it will specify the type of models that can be used. There are also some brands of universal millivolt or IPI remotes, such as Acumen.
Fireplace Glass — Fire glass is a decorative accent designed for gas fireplaces and burners. Not all gas appliances can use fire glass, but those that do will treat you to a dazzling display. Fire glass is shaved tempered glass able to withstand high heat without cracking, fading, or producing an unpleasant odor. Many people use fire glass indoors and outdoors.
Fireplace Pilot Kits and Parts — These are complete valve systems to upgrade or replace the gas valves on fireplaces and gas log sets. There are entire pilot assemblies available for natural gas and propane models. These are essential accessories for your gas fireplace. So, consider saving this page so you have a link to great products when the time comes to replace these parts.
Gas Connectors — The gas connectors supply the gas to your log set or fireplace. These connectors include any item that is strictly dedicated to providing a line of gas to your appliance. These accessories include flexible and rigid gas lines, brass valves and fittings, CSST pipe, and gas regulators.
Electric Fireplace Accessories
Electric fireplace manufacturers offer accessories to help make your electric heater more unique. Most accessories for electric units are items like glass media, bulbs, replacement covers, and log sets. Thankfully, all of our electric fireplace accessories are located in one place, making the process even more convenient.
Things You'll Need for New Fireplace Builds
A new fireplace is more than just a firebox and a chimney. There are many accessories that you should consider when building out a hearth. If you're one of those in the process or thinking about adding a new fireplace to your home, these are must-have products.
Chimney Cleanout Doors — These are the cast iron doors on the outside of a masonry chimney. They seal the ash chute while the fireplace is not in use. A chimney cleanout door is built into the brickwork. Most commonly, you'll find the ash dump on the floor of the fireplace. After the fire, sweep the ash into the chute. Then, open the clean-out door outside and remove the ash.
Venting Kits — Getting rid of the exhaust from your fireplace is priority number one after the fire gets going. Venting kits do just that, and they are available in a variety of sizes for many different products. A well-installed venting system will increase the life of your hearth appliance. But, there is one big thing to remember - not all venting kits work with all fireplaces and stoves.
When searching a vent kit, make sure to match the model number of your appliance to that of the vent kit. If you purchase a vent kit on its own, some will ship parcel, and some will ship LTL freight. It depends on the size of the kit. If purchased with an appliance, like a stove or fireplace, your package will almost always arrive via LTL freight.
Grills and Registers — These are decorative iron grates that you install during your masonry fireplace build. These grills and registers fit into an opening used for a built-in fan system.
We've covered a lot of ground, but there's still more info available for every product on this list. If you find yourself with some lingering questions, check out the links below. You're more than likely to find the answers you need in one of our many helpful guides. If you still have something you want to know, feel free to give one of our certified fireplace specialists a call at 1(800) 203-1642 Monday through Friday from 8:30am-5:30pm CT. They would be more than happy to help you.