The 5 (Surprising) Things I Learned About Fireplace Doors After Installing Them for a Living

Posted in: I'm Moving, Home Improvement

Your fireplace is the focal point of your room. As Director of Sales and Marketing for BrickAnew, I tell people this all the time. Stockings are hung from the mantle and graduation pictures are taken in front of it. But it’s also the dirtiest place in your house. One of the easiest ways to hide that mess is by adding glass doors to your fireplace.

Still, fireplace doors are more than a necessary evil. They should be treated like furniture because they’ll last for years, adding function and flair to your home for as low as $200.

While I’m well versed in and passionate about fireplace doors, this home accessory is the last thought for most people. Here’s what I want you to know about fireplace doors.

1. You Ultimately Need to Think Function First

When most people think of fireplace doors, think of them from a functional aspect—stopping drafts and saving energy. And that’s a great first thought. Fireplace doors were originally designed so that a person could safely let the fire die down by closing the doors before they went to bed. Throughout the night, and in the morning, the room would stay warm, keeping cold air out.

So it has to function properly! If the doors are too big or too small, they won’t seal tight around the fire. This allows drafts to flow through and heat to escape.

Over the years, however, fireplace doors have also moved from a functional accessory to a decorative accessory…

2. But People Forget That Fireplace Doors Can Accessorize

After function is out of the way, the you can look for ways to really compliment your space! Most people don’t realize that fireplace doors can now act as a wonderful decorative accessory to your overall room decor because there are a wide variety of frames and custom paint colors that allow you to highlight any color scheme your room may have. Yep, no longer are you limited to area rugs and pillows to add a chic and modern look to your room. Even some of the simplest doors have an upscale and sleek look, like the EZ Fireplace Door below.

I’ve seen people add custom design features as well, making the doors look more upscale.

3. Nobody Really Use Their Fireplace Doors Correctly

A common misconception is that the doors are meant to be closed while the fire is burning. The industry hasn’t done anything to change this misconception; most product pictures of doors show them closed with a burning fire in the background. While this may help sell doors, it sends the homeowner the wrong message.

Closing the doors while your fire is burning can create a fire hazard and the tempered glass door is not meant to withstand such heat. Additionally, it defeats the purpose of a fire heating your room, as all the heat will go straight up your chimney, not into your room. If your fire isn’t dying down, you shouldn’t close the doors.

4. Small, Medium or Large DOESN’T Fit All

“The Fit” is one of the most important aspects of choosing fireplace doors. The better the fit, the better it will perform and look. Big box retailers carry doors for masonry fireplaces in small, medium and large sizes that can satisfy most homeowners’ needs. But if they were to spend a little bit more, they could get a custom door that’s made to perfectly fit their fireplace.

When fit properly to your fireplace, it will look better, perform better and more than likely last longer than the mass produced version.

5. Replacing Your Fireplace Doors is a Simple DIY Project

Installing fireplace doors is a very easy do-it-yourself project, as it only requires a drill-in screwdriver and tape measure. The tape measure is the most important part of the project. The old adage of measure twice, cut once is especially true when it comes the fireplace doors. If the doors are too big, they won’t fit in the opening. And fireplace doors that are too small will leave too big of a gap.

Fireplace doors are filed in the back of your mind, especially when redesigning you home or the room where you fireplace lives. But I encourage you to remember that this accessory can add functional and aesthetic value to your home, and with the right fit, they’ll last as long as even your favorite sofa.


Sam Wilhoit has been Director of Sales and Marketing for Brick-Anew for eight years, a fireplace retailer that specializes in custom prefab glass doors. He’s been in the fireplace and hearth industry since 2003 and still learns something new every single day.
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