A fireback is a cast iron plate which attaches to the back of the firebox. Originally designed for wood-burning fireplaces, firebacks can now also be used with gas log fireplaces as well. Normally a great deal of the heat from a wood fire escapes up the chimney, while more heat is absorbed by the brick in the back wall. In colonial times, firebacks were not only functional but a highly decorative part of every fireplace. Today’s manufacturers have continued that tradition, placing elaborate or historic designs on each piece.
Normally a great deal of the heat from a wood fire escapes up the chimney, while more heat is absorbed by the brick in the back wall. A fireback captures much of that heat and reflects it back into the room, making any wood-burning fireplace much more efficient. Additionally a fireback protects the back wall from the cumulative effects of the heat from multiple fires.
Firebacks are an essential part of your fireplace that have stood the test of time. Often when I inspect homes I find that there are many fire bricks in a Fireplace that are cracked, damaged and deteriorated. This can cause extreme heat and fire to penetrate inside depending whether it is a masonry fireplace or a prefabricated fireplace that requires conventional framing behind it.
Solid metal fireback back plates protect the masonry of your fireplace as well as reflect heat back into your home to increase energy efficiency. Below is an example of cracked fire brick and a photo of a fire back.