For proper and long-term use of the fireback, we would like to give you the following tips:
Judge the quality of the fireback
Our firebacks have a quality rating of one, two, or three stars. Three stars mean the fireback is in very good condition and has no cracks. Therefore, the fireback is suitable for use in the fireplace. Two stars usually mean that there is a minor crack. Therefore, this fireback is also suitable for use in the fireplace. Firebacks with one star have such a large crack(s) that they are no longer suitable for use in the fireplace. They are, however, suitable for protecting the back wall behind the wood stove, in a gas fireplace, as a backsplash above the kitchen stove, or as decoration in an unused fireplace.
Cast iron may rust a little, which is normal. However, it does not affect the quality of the fireback.
Sometimes a fireback has streaks or grooves that look like cracks. You see this, especially in very old firebacks. This is because these were cast into the sand with a mold. The mold was often made of wooden planks, which form the stripes and may have grooves.
Prevent the fireback from cracking (further)
Firebacks are made of cast iron. Cast iron gradually conducts heat and radiates it. Its disadvantage is that it can crack or break (further). Therefore, make sure to:
- Keep the fireback from falling by securing it to the back wall of the hearth with mounting brackets. See also the blog on our website about attaching a fireback to the fireplace back wall?
- The fireback does not get thermoshock due to too much transition from the cold environment to the hot fire, and vice versa. Therefore, start with a small fire at the beginning of the stoking season, and never put out the fire with water or sand.
- Do not overheat the fireback by firing too large fires for too long. Stoke a quiet fire.
- Do not overheat the fireback by firing with (tropical) hardwood or using coal or briquettes.
How to maintain a fireback?
All of our firebacks are treated with either antique wax (the ones with the brown patina) or stove polish (the black/gray firebacks). Sometimes, firebacks are painted. Often these are colored firebacks that were painted before. Brown firebacks turn black from the fire across the width of the fire.
Basically, a fireback hardly needs maintenance. However, sometimes some rust comes through on the black/gray plates. That can be touched up with stove polish. Furthermore, the fire will cause soot deposits, which can become so thick that the decoration is less visible. A wire brush can remove the soot deposits, after which the fireback can be retreated with antique wax or stove polish. In either case, allow the plate to dry thoroughly before using it in the fire.
Fireback as decoration on the wall, including a backsplash in the kitchen
A fireback can be hung on a brick wall with at least two pairs of mounting brackets. Two or three brackets at the bottom and one or two at the top of the fireback. If the wall is not stone, an alternative solution is needed. See also our blog How to install a fireback backsplash above a stove? It is best to get advice on this from the contractor and to follow that.
Firebacks above the kitchen stove should, in principle, be cleanable. However, it is possible not to treat the fireback in the first place and keep it clean with soap and water. The fireback can occasionally be touched with stove polish for black/gray plates or antique wax for brown plates. You can initially see if that works out well for you. If you are unsatisfied, you can still paint the fireback backsplash. You can find out how to do this in our blog How to install a fireback backsplash above a stove?
Enjoy the fireback!
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