What Door Fits My Zero-Clearance Fireplace?
Which Fireplace Door Is Right For My Prefabricated Fireplace?
Prefabricated, or “prefab," fireplaces are produced in a factory. They are constructed with metal on the outside, as well as the inside of the firebox. These particular fireplaces use a metal chimney or flue liner versus brick or stone. A prefabricated fireplace will also contain a metal stamp, plate, or marking indicating the manufacturer's information (such as Heatilator, Majestic, Superior, Marco, Sears, etc.). These factory-built wood-burning fireplaces (as well as gas fueled options) are sometimes referred to as zero-clearance fireplaces.
If this is the type of fireplace that you have, you will need prefab or zero-clearance doors. These factory-built doors allow for adequate air exchange between the firebox and outer cabinet. They also comply with strict fire safety codes to ensure that your family stays warm and safe!
We have a great collection of zero-clearance fireplace doors! Submit your measurements and we'll custom-make you a door to your specifications!
How Do I Choose A Fireplace Door?
Selecting the perfect door to accent your fireplace and living area can be quite enjoyable. However, before you begin browsing through our exquisite collection of gorgeous replacement fireplace doors, there are a few things you'll need to take into consideration first:
1. Verify whether you have a masonry or zero-clearance (factory built) fireplace.
- Masonry fireplaces are constructed along with the home as it is being built. They are created with brick or natural stone, and held together with mortar. When you look at the interior of your chimney, you will see that the brick or stone is consistent. Additionally, the chimney outside your home would be brick or clay only – not vinyl or any other type of siding. There should be no metal facing on a masonry fireplace.
- Zero-clearance fireplaces are ones that have been built someplace else and installed within your home. Take a look at the chimney: if the exterior is covered with vinyl or another type of siding, or if you have a metal surround for your fireplace, then you have a factory-built unit.
Masonry doors are designed quite a bit differently than zero-clearance, or pre-fab, fireplace doors. Pre-fab units must be custom-made so that the door frame does not cover up the air inlets that are found within the opening of the metal fireplace. If air cannot circulate through the inlets, the fireplace could overheat and lead to a fire. Pre-fab doors also come with specific hardware for attachment to a metal fireplace.
2. Measure your fireplace.
Obtain the dimensions of your fireplace opening. Take note of your hearth's position (flush with the firebox, not present, above the firebox, etc.). All of these measurements will help you determine if you need a stock or custom-made door. This does not refer to the look as much as it does the structure. Stock doors are usually an overlap fit, where custom-made doors fit inside the fireplace opening. Properly fitting doors are vital to your fireplace's performance. Those that don't fit appropriately not only decrease the efficiency of your heating application, but they can also pose a fire hazard.
3. Pick a style!
Now that you know what type of fireplace you have and which door type you require, you can browse through our beautiful line of custom fireplace doors! We have many different styles available from rustic and vintage to elegant and industrial. We also have modern and contemporary designs that blend in with almost any décor. You'll have the opportunity to pick from a variety of options to fully customize your door, including the finish color, spark protection, handle style, and glass tint!
Why Masonary Doors Should Never Be Used On Zero-Clearance Fireplaces
Zero-clearance fireplaces are pre-fabricated in a factory and come as a whole unit. They can be installed with little clearance to the combustible components of your home (walls, studs, mantel, etc). They have louvers above and below the fireplace that allow air to flow around the outside of the firebox, insulating it and preventing it from burning those combustible items nearby. The doors of a zero-clearance fireplace need to have gaps in them as well to help with this cooling effect.
Masonry fireplace doors are not made with these gaps, and therefore must NEVER be installed on a zero clearance fireplace. Masonry doors fit on the outside of your fireplace and if forced onto a zero-clearance fireplace, will cover some of the louvers. This is very dangerous. The fire could become so hot that it breaks the glass in the doors. It could also get too hot for the surroundings and cause major damage to your walls, scorching the studs, even starting a house fire.
Unfortunately, if you're buying from a big box retailer, they may not have knowledgeable staff on hand and will sell you a masonry door for your zero-clearance fireplace. If modifications need to be made to the door to fit in the fireplace, it is the wrong type of door and wil cause damage to your house and risk your safety. When you purchase a house, make sure to check your fireplace for issues like this. This is something a home inspector might not always catch. We had a customer who had recently bought the house and was doing some remodeling. When he sent us an image of his fireplace and we quickly realized that the current doors were not meant for his fireplace and told him to not use the fireplace at all until he could replace the doors. The previous homeowner had installed masonry doors on their zero-clearance fireplace. We helped him find a zero-clearance fireplace door that fit his decor needs, and would be much safer.