How do I protect the wall behind my wood-burning stove?


The fireback is a traditional heat shield for a stove

It is a common problem: the wall behind the wood stove becomes too hot, which can damage the wall or even burn it. The solution of replacing the back wall with a heat-resistant material, such as heat-resistant stones or a wood stove heat shield, is often cumbersome and not always beautiful. An age-old solution is much easier, more beautiful and also easy to remove, namely placing a cast iron fireback against the back wall as a heat shield for the wood stove.

An additional advantage of a fireback as a wood stove heat shield is that the cast iron conducts and radiates heat in a slow manner. The heat efficiency of the wood stove is thereby increased, while the rear wall is protected. The thicker the fireback, the greater the heat efficiency.

The following three steps can be followed to choose a fireback as a heat shield for the wood stove:


Decorated, unused fireplace


Step 1 | How large should the fireback be?

The size of the fireback should preferably be slightly larger than the rear of the wood-burning stove. Then it best protects the back wall. Smaller firebacks naturally also offer a certain degree of protection. If the wood-burning stove is in a fireplace, the dimensions and shape of the back wall of the fireplace must be taken into account. The following article explains which size of fireback fits best in that case: Which size of fireback fits in my open fireplace?.


Fireback as a wood stove heat shield

Fireback behind the stove

Decorated, unused fireplace


Step 2 | Which fireback fits best with the fireplace, with my wood stove and with my interior?

This step has of course to do with personal preference. Often, it is nice to pay attention to the style of the wood-burning stove, the interior and any fireplace, in order to form one harmonious whole. On the other hand, contrast can also be very beautiful. An antique fireback can be perfectly matched with a modern wood-burning stove and with a modern fireplace and interior.

It is also important to consider how imposing you want the fireplace to look. An imposing fireback can enhance this character of the fireplace, while a modestly decorated fireback is less noticeable, making the fireplace less noticeable.

Some antique firebacks have a crack, often due to centuries of use. It is no problem to place a fireback with a crack as a wood stove heat shield. The crack will not crack further, and the fireback retains its protective function.


Fireback as wood stove heat shield

Fireplace back as heat shield for the wood stove

Fireback as wood stove heat shield


Step 3 | How do I install the fireback behind my wood stove?

A fireback as wood stove heat shield or in a fireplace is best secured using mounting brackets. Read here how this works: How do I install a fireback?.


Fireback as heat shield for wood stove

Fireback as heat shield for wood stove

Fireback as heat shield for wood stove



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View our current online range of 500+ antique and vintage firebacks to further enhance your fireplace.


Learn more:

How do I install a fireback?

A brief overview of the history of the fireback

Fireplace accessories for the wood-burning stove

What to do about a crack in a fireback?

How do I decorate my fireplace?

How do I decorate my unused fireplace like a real fireplace?

Nice gift ideas for fireplace lovers


Decorated, unused fireplace

Fireback behind stove




Posted in FAQ