Fireplace screen buying guide: Types to know and factors to consider

Weigh the factors and choose the correct screen for your fireplace.
Atharva Gosavi
a fireplace door and a summer fireplace screen
Fireplace screens

Wayfair 

With the frosty winter winds steadily creeping in, it’s time to fire up your fireplaces and invite warmth and coziness into your home. However, that also means facing the uninvited dangers of embers spitting out beyond the hearth and causing accidental burns. That’s precisely where a fireplace screen comes in — a barrier that adds a protective layer between the living room and the fireplace to avoid such accidents.

The primary role of a fireplace screen is to provide protection. However, it’s also quite a nice style statement.

Factors to consider

That being said, there are also other factors that need to be considered before you zero down on the fireplace screen of your choice.

1. Fireplace screen size

Screen size is the first factor that needs to be sorted out before anything else. As a rule of thumb, it’s necessary to note that a fireplace screen should overlap the top and the sides of the fireplace by ½ inch. Overlap between 3 to 5 inches on the sides and the top is also acceptable. The only caution here is to make sure both sides and the top are overlapped.

Make sure you have accurate measurements of your fireplace; compare them with the screen measurements given on the product page to get a proper idea.

2. Material

The material of a fireplace screen plays a crucial role in terms of protection and dissipating enough of the heat from the fireplace. For instance, mesh metal fireplace screens offer protection and also allow enough heat to pass through to keep you warm.

On the flip side, a glass door will offer better protection and an elegant look, but it’ll also restrict the flow of heat. The choice of the material depends predominantly on why you’re buying the screen.

3. Handles

If you need to adjust your fireplace screen frequently, you can look for one that has handles at the top, so it offers easy mobility.

4. Price

Pricing is always a subjective factor. It depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of fireplace screen you want and why you want one. You could embrace a frugal approach by getting a screen only for safety purposes. However, if you also want the screen to complement your home decor, you’ll definitely need to spend a bit more.

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In the end, your pricing will be determined after you have weighed all the factors according to your requirements.

5. Screen style

Fireplace screens are available in different styles. There are various styles and types of fireplace screens made from an assortment of materials.

Types of fireplace screens

Now that we have become acquainted with the basics let's take a look at the types of fireplace screens you can choose from. Remember, each of these screens has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so the decision to buy one should be made only after you have weighed all the factors mentioned above.

1. Bowed fireplace screens

Fireplace screen buying guide: Types to know and factors to consider
Source: Wayfair
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Bowed fireplace screens are a great choice if you wish to expand the depth of your fireplace viewing area. You only need to move these screens every now and then to tend to the fire. If you're looking for a simple yet stylish screen to adorn your fireplace, this is one of the best fireplace screen types to consider.

However, bowed fireplace screens aren’t suitable for all types of fireplaces. If your fireplace has an uneven hearth, it’ll be problematic to balance a bowed screen since they don't have any balancing feet.

2. Single-panel fireplace screens

Fireplace screen buying guide: Types to know and factors to consider
Source: Wayfair
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Quite opposite to the bowed fireplaces, single-panel screens restrict your viewing area and present a very simple look. If you're opting for a budget fireplace screen only for using it as a protective layer and not as a style statement, these screen types are worth a try.

3. Fireplace screen doors

Fireplace screen buying guide: Types to know and factors to consider
Source: Wayfair
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Elegant design coupled with ease of use — that’s how you can define fireplace screen doors. With these screens, it’s easier to tend to the fire; all you need to do is open the door and tend to it. This system eliminates the lifting you’d need to do with other types of screens.

Also, the door design adds a touch of class to your fireplace and gives it a premium look. You can opt for glass or metal door screens as per your choice. So, for both safety and appearance sake, fireplace screen doors are a great choice to choose.

4. Folding fireplace screens

Fireplace screen buying guide: Types to know and factors to consider
Source: Wayfair
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Folding fireplace screens make loading wood into the fireplace a cinch. They offer a three-dimensional look to your fireplace, and you can easily fold one side of the screen to load the wood or tend to the fire. Folding fireplace screens are also easier to store during the off-season since you can effortlessly fold them to reduce their size.

5. Childproof fireplace screens

Fireplace screen buying guide: Types to know and factors to consider
Source: Wayfair
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If you’ve got kids or pets at home, having a childproof fireplace screen is of utmost necessity. These screens are placed away from the hearth so as to keep children and pets at a safer distance from the crackling fire.

6. Summer fireplace screens

Fireplace screen buying guide: Types to know and factors to consider
Source: Wayfair
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Summer fireplace screens are usually used for fireplaces that are not in use. You can go for any of these fireplace screens if you wish to add life to a fireplace that’s not crackling with fire.

Conclusion

That’s pretty much all you need to know about the different fireplace screens before you decide on buying one. The final choice will always depend on various factors, so you must determine the priorities of these factors before making the perfect buying decision.

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