Choosing & Using A Fireback

Choosing a fireback for your hearth is a combination of aesthetics and space considerations. A fireback should be at least wide enough to shield the hearth wall directly behind the fire. It is not uncommon for there to be 3” to 10” of exposed back wall on either side of a fireback. The top of a fireback must be below the flue opening.

If the back wall of the fireplace is perpendicular to the hearth floor, as are many old hearths, a fireback can be simply leaned against the wall. To prevent the fireback from falling forward it is very important to place a thin non-flamable spacer between the back of the fireback and the wall to insure proper balance. To insure proper balance and to raise the fireback for better viewing our Saf-T-Boot support system can be used to hold the fireback perpendicular to the hearth floor.

Many modern hearths have a back wall that leans slightly forward either from the floor or from a few brick courses above it. In this case our Saf-T-Boot support system can be used to raise the fireback and hold it leaning forward at an angle.

Pennsylvania Firebacks are shipped with a water base black paint to prevent rust in transit.

To give a brighter finish to the fireback and to protect the casting from rust after use with a fire, an application of water base graphite Stove Polish or Stove Black is recommended. Applied with a toothbrush or rag, this paste when dry can be polished with a wire brush or rag giving the fireback an attractive silverfish sheen. This graphite finish is durable and can be re-polished in place after many uses without reapplying the polish.

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