3 Good Reasons to Add a Fireback
to Your Fireplace
Protection & Safety
As our colonial forefathers well knew, the rear masonry of
their fireplace was quite vulnerable to damage inflicted by
the intense heat generated by burning logs. They relied on
firebacks to help preserve the integrity of their
fireplaces. Today's fireplaces, despite advances in
refractory materials, are still vulnerable. And firebacks
still represent the best means of reducing the likelihood of
expensive damage to masonry, as well as the supporting studs
behind the firewall, which tend to dry out with excessive
heat, deteriorating and becoming a possible fire hazard.
With a fireback positioned in your fireplace, a portion of
the heat which is normally lost, is reflected back into the
living area of your home. In effect, the fireback functions
as a heat radiator, increasing the efficiency of your
fireplace by as much as 50%.
Beauty & History
An added, and often overlooked bonus of a fireback is that
it permits the use of more attractive materials to line the
firebox. White stucco, old paving bricks, stone, etc. can be
specified in new construction, whereas in existing
fireplaces, these materials have been applied over the
yellow brick so common in most fireplaces today. In
addition, the beauty and historical significance of the
fireback itself lends charm to any fireplace.
General Fireback Tips
How to Select the Proper Size
Your fireback should be at least large enough to protect the
area of the rear wall directly behind the fire. Also, the
top of the fireback should not extend into the flue opening;
otherwise, it may choke off the draft or interfere with the
damper. Aside from these factors, size is pretty much an
aesthetic choice. Generally, with a rear wall 30" to 48"
wide, you can allow 4" to 15" on either side of the fireback.
This provides a fair amount of leeway in allowing the same
size fireback to be used in different sized fireplaces.
Instructions for Use with Gas-burning Fireplace
The Country Iron Foundry firebacks are glowingly highlighted
by the flames of gas-burning logs, which in turn adds to the
beauty of the entire fireplace. Any of the firebacks
inserted into the patented Gas Log Safety Supports can
simply be placed behind the logs. The supports not only
raise the fireback for better viewing, but also allow it to
lean forward, if required by the curvature of the rear wall.