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How Do I Choose the Best Dog Grate?

By Jamie Nedderman
Updated: May 17, 2024

A dog grate might be one of the most important tools among those that are needed for a fireplace. A fireplace owner should make sure that the chosen grate will move the desired amount of heat into the house from a good-sized fire. Beyond this purpose, there are many types that can match the style of both the owner and the home. When searching for the best dog grate, some factors to consider are the size, the material and the cost. Also, be sure to consider the other names that it might be called, such as a hob grate, fire basket or fire dog.

One of the first steps is to measure the fireplace to make sure that the dog grate will be a perfect fit. The grate should be at least 6 inches (7.6 cm) smaller than the fireplace width and 3 inches (15.2 cm) less than the depth. This arrangement allows oxygen to move properly through the fire.

Fire baskets typically are made from steel or cast iron. Steel is designed for someone who regularly uses the fireplace and dog grate. Thicker models will last longer than thinner models. Cast iron is used to burn wood or coal and lasts longer than steel. Unlike steel, the weight affects the longevity of a cast iron grate; the heavier the weight, the longer it will last.

In addition to materials, a large variety of shapes are available in dog grates. Some are more square models with the grate frames resting atop feet for elevation, and others are rounded or more of a bench style. Considerations might be made based on the style of the mantel, other prominent shapes in the room or the preference of the owner. A choice can be made from a selection online or at a local supplier, or custom-made grates are available at a much higher cost to the buyer.

Cost is almost always a consideration when making a purchase. An inexpensive, basic model might cost less than $50 US Dollars and prices increase from there. Used models are available if a lower cost is desired, or antique models are available for consumers who want this type of style. Better materials, creative shapes and customizations can drive costs much higher, so buyers must decide which of their individual preferences and needs are worth the cost.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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