Screens Fireplace

Fireplace Screen Types

Fireplace screens come in a wide variety of styles and materials which makes choosing the perfect screen for your fireplace possible but also a little daunting. Take the time to choose just the right screen for your home though and you'll be glad that you did. This guide to the various types may help you make a decision about which kind of screen is right for your home.

What Is It Made Of?

Modern fireplace screens are made of various materials, the most common being metal and glass, although wood is also sometimes used for strictly decorative screens.

Contemporary wooden fireplace screens are usually decorative in nature and are not meant to be used in front of an active fireplace. These screens are often nicely finished and may have attractive carvings and paintings on them which liven up an empty fireplace during the months when it's not in use — or even just in between fires. Many examples of antique fireplace screens are wooden and display some remarkably beautiful design work. Some examples can be found on Buffalo Architecture & History's page about fire screens. Reproductions of antique screens are made and available for sale. Actual antique screens can also be purchased, however depending on their age and value you probably would not want to use them near an actual fireplace.

Metal screens are the most common type of firescreen. These can be made of iron, steel, brass, copper, pewter and even silver or chrome. Usually the metal is formed into a fine mesh through which one can see the fire and feel its heat. Metal screens can be simple and plain or ornate with complex scrollwork, abstract design elements and even landscape scenes. One thing to note about metal screens is that they can become very hot after being in front of a burning fire for a while. Take care when moving the screen out of the way when tending the fire. Placing it on wooden floors or carpet may result in scorching of your floor. It's best to make sure it remains close to the hearth, on brick, tile or stone.

Glass fireplace screens are also popular, though perhaps not as common as metal firescreens. Glass firescreens may block more radiant heat than a metal screen, but they have a certain elegance which can make up for that drawback. Tiffany-style glass screens can be quite beautiful in a way metal screens just can't match, especially when the dancing flame of an open fire brings life to its colors and designs. If you are looking for a more ornamental screen and burn fires more for their cozy charm than for their heat, a glass screen may be just the thing for you.

Shapes & Sizes

Fireplace screens come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Of course you want a screen that will fit your fireplace opening, so make sure you buy one that will extend at least an inch or two past the edges of your fireplace opening. In terms of shape, it becomes more a matter of taste and the character of the room your fireplace is in when making a choice.

Flat, single panel screens take up little space and are best for small rooms and tight areas. These screens can also cover the entire fireplace opening if you purchase one that is tall enough. Bowed single panel screens take up more room but may add some visual interest and charm.

Three or more panel hinged screens also take up more room, but they also can add more visual character and are easier to stow away or move aside because of their foldable nature. In addition, multi-panel firescreens often leave an open area over which you can reach when tending to your fire, eliminating the need to move the screen out of your way. This does however leave open the chance of a spark or ember being projected over the screen and into your room.

Spark guards are another kind of firescreen that address this issue. Spark guards are made up of a set of panels rigidly constructed as one piece. These screens have a top panel that prevents sparks from flying up and over your screen. Spark guards are similar to large, single panel firescreens which cover your entire fireplace opening, but their shape has more depth and they are made up of four or more unhinged panels instead of a single panel.

Access Doors

Some fireplace screens have access doors built into them. These door can appear on single panel or multi-panel screens and make it easier to tend the fire as you don't have to move the screen out of the way when throwing another log on. While moving a screen out of the way before tending a fire may not seem like much of a nuisance – and it may not even be a factor at all if you have a large multi-panel screen that you can reach over –, repeatedly having to do so and making sure you don't scorch your floor with a hot metal screen in the process may become a bit of a hassle if you have fires burning often.

Expense

Fireplace screens range in price from about $40 or so to a few thousand dollars for a single screen with a middle range of a couple hundred dollars. The materials and craftsmanship are usually what determine the price, although whether the screen is an antique may also be a factor. High-quality glass screens are usually the most expensive. Deciding how much you spend on a firescreen is really a matter of how much you can afford or are willing to spend. Basic, inexpensive screens will do the job just fine and are easy on your wallet, but if you want a screen that is highly attractive or which fits your décor just right, you may end up paying a bit more for something more special than the basic screens you can pick up at a department store.

Shop around online to see more examples of what's available. Amazon is always a dependable choice, but there are also plenty of other merchants online and you can find links to their site on the fireplace screen links page.