Saturday, January 26, 2008

Choosing the Right Fireplace Glass Door

If you don’t know what you’re looking at, the many options for glass fireplace doors can be confusing and even overwhelming. What does zero-clearance mean? What is tempered glass? How can you tell if a glass door will fit your fireplace? This article explains many of the available options so you can know which fireplace glass door is the right one for your fireplace.

Masonry or Zero-Clearance?

Before you start shopping for glass fireplace doors, you need to know what kind of fireplace you have. There are two kinds of fireplaces:
  • Masonry fireplaces are made of brick and mortar. If your fireplace chimney is made of brick and mortar, you have a masonry fireplace.
  • Zero-clearance fireplaces (also called factory built fireplaces) are prefabricated in a factory and are made of metal, although the hearth may be lined with firebricks. If your fireplace chimney is a metal pipe, possibly topped with a round metal chimney cap, you have a zero-clearance fireplace.
It is important to determine which kind of fireplace you have since a glass door for a masonry fireplace will not work for a zero-clearance fireplace and vice-versa.

Zero Clearance Fireplaces: Find the Make and Model

If you have a zero-clearance fireplace, these require a specific size door. This ensures the correct amount of airflow is allowed into the fireplace to keep the unit operating properly. The best way to get the right size door for a zero-clearance fireplace is to find the manufacturer and model number. Look for a metal tag inside the fireplace with the manufacturer and model number.

If you can’t find this information, contact a fireplace door dealer for assistance.

Masonry Fireplaces: Measure to Fit

If you have a masonry fireplace, you will need to measure to ensure the fireplace door you buy is a good fit. There are two options for masonry fireplace doors:
  • Inside Fit means the door mounts inside the hearth opening.
  • Overlap Fit means the door mounts outside the hearth opening.
The fit depends on the design of the door itself. Inside Fit and Overlap Fit require different sets of measurements. Thermo-rite, a manufacturer of glass fireplace doors, has a free brochure that tells you how to measure your hearth for a fireplace glass door.

Trends and Options for Fireplace Doors

Recent advances have given consumers a wide array of choices from simple doors to designer and decorative products that can make your fireplace sizzle. To get more information about the latest trends in fireplace glass doors, we turned to Ray Repasky, vice president of Thermo-Rite.

According to Ray, custom fireplace doors are the next big thing. “Today, people can choose the glass color, the metal finish and the width of the frame,” he says.

A few of the recent trends in fireplace glass doors:
    Finish – Once the most popular option for fireplace doors, brass fittings have recently been less fashionable in home interiors. Many people have turned to earthy finishes such as iron, stainless steel, pewter, brushed nickel and black. These are the same choices that have become more popular for lighting, faucets and other home fixtures.

    Design – Trackless fireplace doors with thin frames and folding doors are the top choice. Some frames fit well with a modern décor, while others are more traditional. Many of these fireplace doors can be customized to fit your hearth perfectly.

    Glass Color – Now consumers have alternatives to clear glass in fireplace doors. Bronze glass and other colored glass let you see a fire when it is burning, but hide the interior of the hearth when there is no fire. “Many people are discovering the beauty of bronze glass,” says Repasky. “When you aren’t burning a fire, you don’t see into a dirty fireplace.” Other alternatives to clear glass include gray, mirrored and beveled glass for fireplace doors.

Dealers are giving consumers more choice than ever in fireplace products. Whether you are shopping for a masonry fireplace glass door or a zero clearance fireplace glass door, be sure to do your research to get the fireplace glass door that’s right for your hearth, your home, and your budget.

Related Links:

Prefab Fireplace Glass Doors
Articles and information on prefab fireplaces.

Fireplace Glass Doors: Conserving Energy, Saving Money
An article showing how fireplace glass doors save energy and money.

Real Life Fireplace Remodel
Before and after pictures from Cheryl who remodeled her fireplace with brick paint and new fireplace glass doors.

Fireplace Glass Doors
Masonry and zero-clearance fireplace doors. Many different styles and sizes to choose from.


  1. Fireplaces basically provide heat and give some relief from the freezing temperatures. The hottest products that are available in the market are nothing but the modern electric fireplaces. Modern man has no time to gather wood in order to create a fireplace. The best part about electric fireplaces is that they do no require any wood or matches. All you have to do is turn on a switch. The things that are needed for installing a modern electric fireplace are a glass cleaner, a drill, a clean fur free rag and of course the electric fireplace kit. Modern electric fireplaces are very easy to install hence are preferred by many. These fireplaces have become objects of both beauty and functionality.

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  3. Amazing. I think I need this in my condos living room at eastwood city parkview condo. Thanks! :)



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