1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

"Grate Wall of Fire" and "Texas Fireframe"

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pdxfireplace, Nov 16, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. pdxfireplace

    pdxfireplace New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Oregon
    I'm searching for input/experience with the "Grate Wall of Fire" and the "Texas Fireframe". So far, I've found very little.

    Anyone here have any input/experience?

    Thank you.

    Cheers,

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,954
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Is this a fireplace grate heat exchanger?
  3. pdxfireplace

    pdxfireplace New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Oregon
    No, they are both grates designed to improve wood burning in a standard (i.e. not insert) fireplace.

    Here are the links to each:

    http://texasfireframe.com/

    http://www.gratewalloffire.com/


    Interesting, but in my research I came across a reference to an old (1980s, I believe) Consumer Report article that concluded, based on their studies, that building a wood fire in the fireplace directly on the hearth (i.e. no grate) resulted in a more efficient fire that pulled less heated air out of a centrally-heated home than a fire built on a grate. No mention about whether grateless vs. grate had any impact of more or less smoke getting into the living space.

    I'm very interested in reading good research, etc. about the "best" way to build a wood fire in a fireplace in my living room, including grate vs. no grate and the "best" grate. The house is a well-built 1960s ranch and the masonary fireplace is in great shape. I don't want to add glass doors or an insert. We'll use the fireplace, not for heating, but for aesthetics, but I want to make it as "efficient" (yeah, I know!) and "smoke-free" (into the living space) as absolutely possible.

    Cheers,
  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,167
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Please pardon my bluntness, but they both just look like BS hype to me. If you're going to use a traditional open fireplace only for occasional ambience, and you don't expect it to heat your home, then why not just use a plain old fireplace grate and wire mesh spark screen? I don't think either of these things (the two in the links you provided) is going to do anything for you. Just my opinion. Rick
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,226
    Loc:
    Lake Wissota
    The great thing about The Great Wall of Fire grate is it keeps the fire to the back of the fireplace and is kind of a self feeder. Just throw a couple logs on top and you don't have to worry about roll outs. I almost bought one for my fireplace, but instead I bought a cheap cast iron grate with 4" legs and cut the two back legs off to create basically the same thing. It works pretty good and all the wood slides down to the back as it burns and seems to hold coals longer than an elevated grate.
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,167
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    It's not hard to find a really reasonably priced regular old wrought iron fireplace grate that's both tapered front to back on the sides to fit the typical footprint of the standard masonry firebox, and angled a bit downward toward the back. I don't know why anyone would need anything fancier than that for an occasional ambience fire. While the glass door thing does nothing for me in an installation like that, I am a big fan of the twisted wire curtain things, to keep red-hot embers from flying out. Rick
  7. pdxfireplace

    pdxfireplace New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Oregon
    Fossil,

    You might be right. That's why I'm trying to get input from folks who've used them. The benefits (putting aside the $$) of the Great Wall of Fire seem a bit more plausible than the Texas thing, but they've both been around for awhile and are still in business----someone's buying them. Note: The owner of the Texas company sued Consumer Report alleging libel, etc. when they reported their tests that burning wood directly on the hearth was better than using a grate (even though CR stated their tests showed his grate performed better than conventional grates). He lost his lawsuit. The court was emphatically clear that he didn't have a case.

    Todd,

    Do you know of anyone who's using the Great Wall of Fire?


    Thanks to you both for your replies.

    Cheers,
  8. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,891
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    PX, I played with a few grates before the insert.

    The original was an 1800's cast iron model, that my Mom had found at a "Tag Sale" by the local historical society, when they were demoing a house that couldn't be saved. Salvaged what they could (banisters, etc) and had one hell of a sale. She bought it in 1977.

    Flash forward 15 years later, it's now my FP grate.

    I decided it was yucky, after 3 years of using the FP, and went with a new one from HD, sloped backwards, worked great. Cost $40. Lasted 2 years, then burnt through.

    Next one from Wally World, $10. Burnt through lasted 2 years.

    I had put the cast iron one out in the garden for a flower bed. So it sat outside 4 years, in all kinds of weather.

    I brought it back into the house after the 2nd cheapo died. The grate lasted another 3 years. It's sitting outside, in the fire pit, waiting for it's calling next year. 2 rungs are rusted out. I'm curious has to how long that suckers gonna last >:-(
  9. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,071
    Loc:
    Silicon Valley
    The gratewall of fire should help throw some heat, but you will be looking at coals alot more often than looking at flames. I can only imagine how quickly new logs burn up into coals with all the room for air to get beneath (I also bet that creosote would not be much of an issue unless you used green wood.

    All said, I'll stick with my woodstove.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,226
    Loc:
    Lake Wissota
    No, not personally, but there was a post awhile back about these and a forum member named Sandor swears they work better than your average cheapo grate. I couldn't find that thread it was about a month ago.
  11. nwctjeff

    nwctjeff Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    36
    Loc:
    nw connecticut
    The Grate Wall of Fire grate works VERY GOOD in my opinion. I used one last year before installing my insert. The claims of less wood usage and increased heat output compared to standard fireplace grates are true. I was out of work due to knee surgery last winter and burned the fireplace continually for a couple weeks straight keeping the house at very comfortable (mid 70"s) levels. I was able to load the rack up before going to bed and restart the fire in the morning with kinding and the hot ashes left in the fireplace. The rack held the wood in place with no fear of the logs rolling forward out of the fireplace. The burn rate of the wood was controlled much better than any other grate can do. I had the chimney cleaned prior to the insert being installed and the chimney sweep said there was no creosote build up at all in the chimney (approx. 1.5-2 cords of wood burned throughout last winter).

    With all that said, I true wood insert will always outperform a fireplace great of any type.
  12. pdxfireplace

    pdxfireplace New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Oregon
    nwctjeff,

    Thanks for the feedback. What about aesthetics? One of the promoted attributes of the Grate Wall of Fire is a larger bed of coals and less flame. While that presumably does result in more radiant heat being projected into the living space, how about the "ambiance"----does it suffer due to less flame and more coals? Yeah, I know, that's subjective, but . . ..

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
  13. nwctjeff

    nwctjeff Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    36
    Loc:
    nw connecticut
    pdxfireplace,

    When using the grate wall of fire grate, we still got that open fireplace experience. There was still flame present but not the climbing up the chimney, uncontrolable type flame. The distance between the fire back or back wall of firebox and the size of the wood used affected the size of the flame greatly. It took some experimenting with the position of the grate for the best combination of flame and heat output. The one thing i did not like about the grate was that it would tend to creep forward when loading wood roughly or using too large of a piece. I used to take the poker and push the grate backwards in the morning before loading wood. I promised myself that if I was going to use it again this year that I would have the grate and the fire back welded together to prevent this from happening.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page