There are few things more beautiful than watching logs burn in an open masonry fireplace. But with that beauty comes a couple of disadvantages, those being heating inefficiency and safety concerns. Of course, this sparks the frequent debate of, which is better, fireplace glass doors vs. screens.
Both of these options are voluminous in types, styles, sizes, and costs, and they also have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
In this blog post, we will detail everything you need to know about doors and screens. And by the end of it, you will be ready to purchase the perfect one for your home!
Table of Contents
Do You Have to Have Fireplace Doors?
Fireplace doors are not an absolute necessity, but they add various benefits to your system. As detailed below, a few of the most notable benefits are lower costs, reduced risks, and improved beauty.
- Reduced risks: Undoubtedly, the most significant benefit to installing glass doors is reducing the risk of injury. It’s no secret that flames easily draw the attention of curious children or pets. The sparks, flames, and embers could easily burn them! Glass doors also eliminate the risk of sparks escaping the unit and creating a house fire.
- Lower costs: Doors can reduce heating and cooling costs! They help the fire burn hotter and cleaner, which means you don’t have to rely so heavily on your home heater. They also prevent heated and cooled air from escaping through the chimney.
- Improved beauty: If you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective fireplace makeover idea, you should consider installing doors! From black fireplace doors to tempered glass, the various style options will instantly improve the look of your system.
Are you looking for unique and inspiring ideas? Check out our fireplace screens and doors Pinterest board!
The glass bi-fold doors compliment this room’s modern decorative look.
Fireplace Door Replacement
Sometimes our customers know they want a change but don’t exactly know what they want. Allow us to guide you through this fun process of transforming your fire surround.
The fireplace is often the focal point of the room. Which a great thing if the looks modern or fits your home decor. However, a common annoyance that so many customers express is that the once beautiful hearth is now an embarrassing eyesore.
The most common phrases we hear about outdated hearths:
- “Can my fireplace doors be replaced?”
- “We just don’t like the way it looks.”
- “Can you change out masonry fireplace doors?”
- “The brass doors are so dated…”
- The fire screen/door/cover doesn’t match our living room!”
- “Is it safe to remove or replace doors on a fireplace?”
Our expert chimney technicians will solve each of these issues!
We can often digitally add the type you like onto a picture of your fireplace to ensure it visually fits your home’s style.
You need an expert to evaluate the situation to ultimately provide a transformation that satisfies both appearance and safety requirements!
How to Choose the Right Doors for your Fireplace?
When choosing the right ones for you, it can be difficult to know where to start. Your friends from Full Service Chimney are here to help! Our door selection process goes in these simple steps:
Step 1: When our technicians arrive at your house, they’ll go over your concerns about the look of your current unit, what modifications you’d like to make, and what you should avoid. We’ll take measurements and evaluate if any issues could hinder your fire surround from receiving a new set.
That process dictates how we will need to go about the replacement. Armed with the information gained during your inspection, we can determine a budget for your project.
Bi-fold glass doors on a prefabricted unit.
Step 2: Together, we’ll research our suppliers and their options to decide the best fit for you based on the criteria you helped us establish.
Step 3: After we’ve narrowed down a few options, we can take a digital photo of your fireplace and use an image editing program to insert the new doors over the picture of your hearth. It’s a straightforward way to help show you expected results, all during your first appointment!
Whether the difference is large or small, the decision has never been easier than it is now to make your hearth updates. When considering a partner to help you achieve this household goal, consider us your #1 resource for screens and glass doors.
Types of Fireplace Doors
Fireplace doors are excellent features because they quickly improve your unit’s look, efficiency, and safety. And similar to many other fire accessories, there are various models available that will perfectly fit your home’s aesthetic.
But before you choose a model or style, you must know the difference between the three most common door types.
This type consists of two identical glass panes. These panes meet in the middle and open like your standard kitchen cabinet. There is only one open seem, meaning this type is excellent for energy efficiency. You can also easily access the entirety of the firebox!
The tempered glass will protect these decorations from sparks, embers, and rolling logs.
Each bi-fold glass door features two matching glass panes on either side. These panes have a middle seem, which allows them to slide and fold to the side.
There are two options for this type: Trackless and tracked. Trackless enables them to open completely, giving you full access to the firebox. Tracked doors that slide along a track on the door frame rail. You won’t have as much access, and it’s harder to clean than trackless. But’s it’s more challenging to open, rendering it the safer option for homes with children.
Perhaps your unit isn’t a typical shape or size. Or maybe you have a unique and creative idea for your fireplace surround in mind. In these cases, custom doors are the best option for you!
Here’s a list of a few popular custom door options:
- Arched Doors
- Corner Doors
- Direct Vent Fronts
- Masonry Hearth Glass Doors
- Specialty Designs
- Ornamental Designs
- Zero Clearance Glass Doors
We must reiterate that before you initiate a plan to install new fireplace doors of any kind, you must consult a certified chimney technician.
As you will see in this example, failure to do so could result in wasted money, time, and unintended safety hazards.
Do NOT Make this mistake...
Real-World Example: The homeowner wanted new glass doors on their fireplace, but instead of contacting the manufacturer for an approved set, they decided to buy their own doors from a local store. The doors they purchased were intended for a masonry system, but this is a prefabricated unit. The important lesson to take away from this real-life example is that this mistake causes fireboxes to overheat, which leads to unintended house fires.
What Does a Fire Screen Do?
Fire screens are an essential safety accessory for homeowners with an open-hearth unit. They keep dangerous sparks and embers from escaping into the room.
If you burn wood in your open-hearth, it’s impossible to prevent all sparks from popping out of the firebox. Without a fire or spark screen, combustible objects within proximity of the hearth can catch fire from these sparks, which puts your family and home at risk.
But even if you have a gas-burning unit, they act as a safety barrier between children and pets and an open flame. While some consist of heat-resistant materials, be aware that many metal and glass models can become hot after an extended period!
Now that we’ve outlined the purpose of a fireplace screen, let’s discuss how to choose one.
How to Choose a Fireplace Screen
There is a massive selection of hearth screens available that will not only improve safety but also add a new and improved layer of style to your hearth!
First and foremost, you need to determine if you really need a fireplace screen?
Keep in mind that it isn’t a requirement for all fire surround owners. It’s primarily for open-hearth fires within proximity of combustibles or if children and pets live in the home. If your unit and floors consist of fireproof material and you don’t have pets or children, a cover isn’t technically needed.
Nevertheless, whether you’re looking to improve your unit’s aesthetic or want to add an extra layer of safety, fireplace covers are a great accessory! So if you’re ready to invest in one, you should first be able to answer these questions:
- Do you want a screen that prioritizes safety, decorative style, or both?
- Do you know the size of your unit? The width and height of the screen need to extend past the firebox to ensure no sparks, logs, or embers escape.
- What’s your budget? Depending on the model and manufacturer, cover costs often range from around $50 to $500.
Once you confidently answer those questions, it’s time to begin the search process. But to ensure you’re making the right choice, we recommend you learn more about all the types and materials available.
Fire Screen Materials
The most commonly used materials are undoubtedly glass and metal (Steel, iron, or brass).
Glass brings a certain traditional elegance that will significantly help transform your hearth into the room’s focal point. Various victorian and colored glass fireplace screens will literally light up the room with a vibrant fire lit behind it. Of course, the glass will require more frequent cleaning than metal covers.
Metal models are highly durable, reliable, and require less cleaning. While the typical metal screen isn’t as visually pleasing as glass, there are many attractive custom-crafted options on the market.
Single panel screen in front of wood-burning system
Types of Fireplace Screens
The available selection of fireplace cover ideas, types, and styles is plentiful. It’s so plentiful that we guarantee there’s a screen out there that will perfectly fit the aesthetic and mood of your lovely home.
But to make this blog post more concise, we will quickly highlight a few of the most popular types.
- Single Panel Fire Screen: This is the standard and arguably the most commonly used type. They are affordable and straightforward but will still add a traditional look and allow easy access to the hearth.
- Bowed Screen: Bowed, or sometimes called, “curved screens,” have excellent hearth safety coverage. They aren’t as easy to move as their traditional counterpart, but their three-dimensional look could benefit various decorative styles.
- Screen with Doors: This type is the best of both worlds! It’s essentially a single panel fire screen that features cabinet doors. The biggest advantage of this type is easy access without having to move the cover.
- Child Safety Screen: This type will ease your mind if you leave a room with a lit fire. Your curious children and pets don’t stand a chance of getting burned if you utilize this cover!
- Custom Screen: Like the custom doors, this type benefits unusual hearth sizes and shapes or homeowners seeking to get creative with their unit.
Replacing the screen or glass doors is the simplest way to change the look of your system. But it’s not as easy as it seems. There are thousands of options available. Without training or extensive research, installing glass doors or fire screens on your fireplace is unlikely to be a simple project. Let our team help you navigate through your choices.
Our fully trained specialists understand the specifications of your unique unit and will help narrow down your search. We will help design a look that you will proudly call your home’s focal point.
Full Service Chimney has glass door options available for most types of systems! Both gas and wood-burning varieties. Schedule an appointment today and allow us to measure and inspect your fireplace to ensure a quality fit.
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