While many people think of Firebacks as being purely decorative, they do indeed serve several very practical purposes. Solid cast iron firebacks absorb heat and then radiate the heat directly into the room, making the fireplace much more efficient in heating the house. Additionally, firebacks protect fire brick, increasing the life of the fire box and helping to prevent further damage to an aged fireplace lining. For use with gas log or wood burning fireplaces.
Firebacks are designed to rest on the floor of the hearth, however, fireback "boots" may be used to hold the fireback upright and raise it off of the hearth floor if the extra height is desired.