Hearth set is another term used to describe a fireplace set, or a collection of fireplace accessories. A smaller hearth set may be referred to as a hearth kit. A basic set may include tools such as a poker, shovel or ash pan, brush, broom, bellows and a pair of fireplace tongs. There are also larger sets that may include things such as a hearth screen or fireplace cover, a hearth safety gate to protect children or pets, a kindling basket, a log storage unit, a hearth fender, or andirons. Some include a fireplace glove, much like a large over mitt, made of protective material to shield the hand and forearm while working with the fire.
Since the fireplace is often the focal point of the room, the hearth set should be chosen with care. Each piece will make a statement when one looks at the fireplace. It is wise to select a hearth set that complements the décor elements and other finishes throughout the space. Size is also important, as a small set will be swallowed up by a grand fireplace and vice versa. The space should also not look cluttered so a combined set may be appropriate, such as one that combines the tool stand with the log rack.
Of course, a decorative hearth set can be used strictly for aesthetic purposes while tools that are actually used for the dirty work may be hidden away. In the case of a gas or electric fireplace, the hearth set is clearly just for looks. There are numerous options and they are crafted in many different styles and finishes. From large to small, from modern to Victorian, from stainless steel to solid brass, there are options available for most design styles. The price range varies.
While appearance is certainly important, functionality is as well. For a working fireplace, the appropriate tools are a must. Keeping the pieces of a hearth set clean and well maintained is also very important to protect their finish.
Another type of hearth set includes items used for cooking in the fireplace. These items are made of sturdy materials due to the high temperatures in which they are used. A rack, very similar to an oven rack, can be used in a fireplace for baking or cooking. Special pots, pans, skillets, kettles, utensils, and other types of cookers such as a steamer or popcorn popper, may also be included.