Houses with fireplaces have some appeal to them, both aesthetically and functionally. Aesthetically, a room with a fireplace looks more homey than one without and you can decorate the spot as you wish. A family portrait placed on top of fire will steal the show better than when hung on a full plain wall. Functionally, the fireplace acts as a ventilation vent for your home when it is hot as well as a heating spot when the weather gets chilly.
When it comes to choosing a fireplace door, it can be both easy and hard, but it all depends on your tastes and reasons to install one. One known reason to install one is because of children and pets. Mostly for their safety when the fireplace is on, and another is to keep the house clean.
The selection will also be determined by the type of fireplace you have. Is it a wood-burning one, a gas, ethanol or an electrical burning one! For that reason, whatever you choose has to be functional not to burn in the process.
Do I need a custom fireplace door?
In terms of dimensions, of course, you need a custom-made fireplace because it has to fit. And the standard sizes may not be ideal. But in terms of designs and the material used to make your fireplace door, it will depend on your budget and your taste.
Different Types of Fireplace Doors
Just like there are different kinds of fireplaces, there are also different kinds of glass fireplace doors to enclose them. And those types are divided into two main categories, namely cabinet doors and bi-fold doors that may either be tracked or trackless.
The cabinet doors are the simplest of the three that open and close, similar to the typical kitchen or closet cabinet door.
Meeting up at the center, they open wide to the sides. These doors take up a lot of space, so if your room is not spacious, they are not ideal.
The bi-fold trackless doors fold in twice and occupy less space than the cabinet doors.
Aesthetically they look better, modern and stylish. When it comes to cleaning, they are simple, but in terms of maintenance, they need a bit of more expertise more than the cabinet doors do.
Lastly, there are the tracked bi-folding fireplace doors that still open in halves, but this time they open along a rail both at the top and at the bottom. Of the three, they are perhaps the most secure because you can easily lock them. Such that toddlers and pets cannot reach the fireplace.
The materials used to cover up a fireplace have to be fire resistant and still look pleasing to the eye. The best materials to use are, therefore metal and tempered glass. Metal is however used for a permanent framing or the making of the cabinet kind. And tempered glass is the best for the making of the bi-fold doors. Wooden doors are also functional and very attractive, but one has to be very careful when choosing the type of wood. It has to be fire-resistant.
Most fireplaces are rectangular, and for that reason, the doors for them are rectangular too. The smaller versions sizes range between 30-37 inches long and 22 ½ -29 ½ inches wide. For the medium versions, the length is between 30-37 inches and width 25 ½- 32 1\2 inches. The large sizes are typically 36- 43 inches wide and 25 1\2 – 32 1\2 inches long.
How to Measure Size for a Custom Fireplace Door?
When measuring the size of the door to install for your fireplace, you have to include extra space above and below the furnace itself. You also have to consider the thickness of the framing as you measure to ensure an exact fit. And while doing so, find out the type of fireplace you have. If it is masonry or a metal chimney which are structurally different. The masonry has brick and stone lining while the metal chimney has a metal chimney pipe usually with a metal chimney cap.
- When measuring the size for your custom fireplace door, it is important to include spaces above and below the furnace in measurements.
- Pay extra attention to measurement of frame thickness to ensure a perfect fit of custom fireplace glass.
- Fireplace door opening must be square and level from each side for accurate fit of fireplace glass.
- To get a fireplace opening measurement you need to measure from the left and right sides of the fireplace opening.
- Determine the height of the fireplace opening by measuring the top and bottom sides of the fireplace.
- A fireplace must have top and bottom spaces for mounting a custom fireplace frame.
Parts of a Fireplace Door
This is the part of the fireplace door that holds the glass or the railings, and it can be made of either aluminum or steel. Steel is selected because it is rust-resistant, it is economical and has an anodized finish. Aluminum is chosen because it is durable and has a powder coat finish.
This is the part that helps contain the sparks and prevents them from jumping from the flame to the carpet or any nearby material that can catch fire. And these spark guards are made in two different ways; as mesh doors or as mesh curtains. Both these types fit all kinds of fireplaces and are usually used behind the fireplace doors. Additionally, you can use them to cover the ash after the fire is out.
The glass panels used are tempered, which means they have been strengthened to withstand temperature, chemicals, and pressure. These kinds of glasses rarely break, but when they do, they break into granular chunks instead of irregular shards like ordinary glass does.
Variety of Styles and Shapes
The range of style and shape comes in the form of the glass you are to use. For instance, you may choose the clear glass for your gas or ethanol burned fireplace, or the grey or bronze glass finish for the coal or wood-burning to hide the soot formed.
Should Glass Fireplace Be Open or Closed?
Well, that will depend on the type of fireplace you have. If it is one that can potentially pollute the air inside, then it is better to keep it closed but if not, keep it open. And if you have young ones around, always keep it locked. Better safe than sorry.
Fireplace Door Installation
The installation must be done with a professional who understands the skill, using the right tools and the proper technique. For a good job, make sure he gets the measurements right and the best materials, maintaining safety as priority number one.