Mesh Curtains & Screens

Mesh Curtains & Screens

Mesh Curtains & Screens

Installing a fireplace mesh curtain or screen allows everyone to safely enjoy the warmth and beauty of a gas or wood-burning fire in a fireplace.  Mesh fireplace curtains and screens contain the sparks and flying embers in the fireplace while preventing people and pets from accidental burns.  Available in various decorative designs, sizes, and shapes, fireplace screens and mesh curtains will give your fireplace a decorative touch while acting as a safety barrier.

Standard Hanging Mesh Curtains

Hanging fireplace mesh screen curtains are made out of durable steel, stainless steel, or metal wire that has been woven together to create a wire curtain featuring a metal curtain pull.  Our woven wire curtains come in 1/4" standard mesh or 3/16" mini mesh, which refers to the size of the holes in the mesh curtain. The wire curtains come in either one single or two equally sized sliding panels, similar to fabric curtains for a window.

The hanging wire curtains should have a standard 40% fullness, meaning the mesh should have extra width to create a natural drape effect within the fireplace opening. For example, if your fireplace width is 30" total, you will want to order two 24" wide mesh panels. Fireplace mesh curtains are installed inside the opening of a fireplace using mounting hardware such as rods and rings. One of the following mounting options can be used to install mesh curtains in both masonry and prefabricated fireplaces. Curtain rod kits are commonly sold separately from mesh curtains. 

  • Bypass Rod - Available in 36", 48", and 75" sizes, bypass rods are the most basic mounting option.  Shallow holes are drilled into either side of the fireplace opening, and the bypass rods are cut to length.  The rod ends are slipped into the predrilled holes, and a bracket is used in the center to help further secure the rod.  
  • Straight Rod Kit - This kit is mounted with a center plate into the top of the fireplace/lintel and fits openings between 32" - 58". Each rod has holes punched in the end, allowing them to be secured to the top of the fireplace.  This allows the mesh to move without shifting the rods.  
  • Angled Rod Kit - Designed to fit openings between 32" - 58" and is also mounted with a center plate into the top of the fireplace opening/lintel. Each rod has bent ends with punched holes, allowing the rod to be secured to the sides of the fireplace.

Calculating the right height of the fireplace mesh curtains is very important as it prevents gaps that allow sparks to escape from the fireplace.  For fireboxes that do not have an existing mesh curtain rod, simply measure the overall height of the firebox and the necessary deductions will be made for the curtain rod and bottom clearances.  If you are replacing your fireplace mesh curtains, measure straight up and down from the bottom of the firebox to the existing curtain rod.  If you do not see a standard size that will work with your fireplace opening, please contact us for a custom hanging mesh quote!

Recessed Hanging Mesh and Valance Kits

Recessed mesh and valance kits give your masonry fireplace a modern look as the valance hides the recessed mesh curtain mounting hardware.  The recessed mesh installs into the opening of the fireplace and fits snugly within the opening. The valance is a metal plate that can go above or below the fireplace opening and creates a contemporary, sleek aesthetic. Besides creating a sleek modern look, other benefits of recessed mesh and valance kits include:

  • Mounting - Recessed mesh and valance kits are designed to be installed in masonry fireplaces with larger openings.  The valance is installed using the included lintel clamps, screws, and hardware.  The lintel clamp that holds the lintel support bar in place is long, allowing the clamp to fit across the thick edge of the masonry stone or brick. The lintel support bar is what the curtain rod and top valance attach to. Prefabricated fireplaces do not have a deep edge, therefore, the lintel clamp would not have enough surface area to attach properly.
  • Customizable Features - Valances can be customized with a powder coat or premium finish, allowing you to match the style of your fireplace and room decor.  Installing a top and bottom valance creates a fireplace door concept, which creates an even more finished look.
  • Custom Fit - Recessed mesh valance kits are available in completely custom sizes.  Enter the depth of your lintel bar and you will have a high-quality product designed to specifically fit your open hearth masonry fireplace.

Fireplace Screens

As with mesh fireplace curtains, freestanding fireplace screens offer a protective barrier and are available in a variety of sizes and styles.  It is recommended to order a screen large enough to cover the fireplace opening, slight overlapping is okay. Freestanding screens are also commonly used to help keep children, pets, and unwanted items out of the fire, while keeping sparks and flying embers contained.  Common types of fireplace screens:

  • Freestanding Single Panel - Single panel fireplace screens are available in fixed and custom sizes, which are offered in a wide array of design styles and finishes. Available in flat or curved styles, you will be sure to find a single panel screen to coordinate with any decor.
  • Folding - Folding fireplace screens consist of three or four panels that are designed to fold as needed. Folding fireplace screens block off more of the fireplace opening than single-panel screens and are available in fixed or custom sizes. A variety of design options are also available. 
  • Operable Door - Freestanding fireplace screens with operable doors add safety, style, and convenience to the fireplace opening. The operable doors allow you to tend to the wood-burning fire without having to remove the safety barrier. The screens have feet to keep the unit stable when opening and closing the screen doors.  Operable door fireplace screens come in a wide array of sizes and styles to match any room decor.
  • Freestanding Glass Panel - Freestanding glass panel fireplace screens offer a contemporary aesthetic to any fireplace. As with most of our fireplace safety screens, these glass panel screens are available in fixed and custom sizes along with a variety of styles and finishes. A freestanding glass fireplace screen provides a safety barrier and an unobstructed view of the flames, as well as a stylish way to cover the fireplace opening when it is not in use.
  • Attachable Safety Screen - Commonly used on gas fireplace glass, the attachable safety screen fastens to the front of the fireplace to create an air space between the hot glass and the screen.  This creates a physical barrier, reducing the risk of serious burns by preventing direct contact with the glass front.

Fireplace screen design styles range from minimalistic and simple to decorative and ornate, allowing a seamless blend with the design of any fireplace.  Besides adding a much needed layer of protection to your fireplace, these fireplace screens add a touch of style and beauty to the room.

Mesh Curtains and Fireplace Screens Buying Guide

Adding a fireplace screen, mesh curtains, or a recessed mesh and valance kit adds a stylish safety barrier to your indoor fireplace.  With many options available, you'll need to take a few things into consideration before making the final purchase.

New or replacement standard fireplace curtains require accurate measurements to ensure a perfect fit.  Measure the opening width from side to side, keeping in mind that having extra material helps to create a full, draped look, similar to household window coverings.  When measuring a firebox with an existing mesh curtain rod, measure from the bottom of the opening to the top of the rod. For standard mesh curtains, allow 1/2" clearance at the bottom to prevent the mesh curtains from dragging across the firebox floor when opening and closing the panels. 

When measuring a firebox without an existing fireplace curtain rod, measure from the bottom to the top of the firebox. Deduct 1" from the total height in order to get the appropriate clearance. Please reach out to our experienced team for help with determining the right size of standard mesh curtains for your fireplace. 

When shopping for a freestanding fireplace screen or spark guard, accurately measure the width and height of the fireplace opening. Match those dimensions with your choice of a freestanding fireplace screen. Freestanding screens are mostly available in fixed sizes and offer some customizable options such as frame finishes and designs.

As of January 1, 2015, all glass-fronted gas fireplaces and stoves will include an installed protective barrier if the glass surface temperature exceeds 172 degrees Fahrenheit, protecting young children and others from serious burns.  This barrier must be in place when the product is installed. Glass-fronted gas fireplaces manufactured prior to 2015 will require an after-market safety screen, either attachable or freestanding, to prevent access to the hot glass.

With our vast selection of fireplace mesh curtains and freestanding fireplace screens, you are sure to find a protective barrier to compliment your design style and enhance your fireplace. Not only will the fireplace safety accessory look great, but it will help keep you and your loved ones safe as you enjoy the warmth and beauty of a roaring fire in your open-hearth or gas fireplace. 

Adding a fireplace screen to your fireplace can provide protection from any embers or ashes that may escape during use. These screens are available in various sizes and shapes, and are constructed from a variety of materials.

Fireplace screens are a must-have for anyone with a wood-burning fireplace, especially if there is carpet nearby or if children or pets are present. Decorative screens are only necessary when you have an actual fire burning, as they do not serve a purpose when there is no fire and do not protect against gas-burning logs. Furthermore, a fire screen can prevent ash from being tracked throughout the house by curious pets who may want to investigate the fireplace.

The fireplace screens industry boasts a wide array of manufacturers. Among them, Pilgrim stands out as the best-selling brand, having been in business for over 60 years. Their screens are known for their durability, with sturdy welds and smooth seams, and come in various styles and colors. Cascade, on the other hand, specializes in hanging mesh (coil mesh) screens and provides an extensive range of factory-cut sizes as well as custom panels and finishes. The Oregon-based company exports its products worldwide. Uniflame, which started in propane distribution, has a selection of reasonably priced yet robust fireplace screens suitable for budget-conscious customers. Finally, Minuteman offers a broad spectrum of screens, from single panel freestanding models to highly decorative faux screens, positioning itself as a strong mid-to-high-end manufacturer based in Massachusetts with a long-standing reputation for hearth accessories.

Fireplace screens come in various sizes and materials and are used as effective covers for fireplaces. They can consist of one to five panels, with some being foldable and others being rigid. Manufacturers offer a broad range of finishes, including popular options like copper, bronze, brass, wrought iron, and steel. Additionally, the screens come in different styles that are suitable for modern and traditional homes. You can find one that best complements your home décor.

The comparison between single panel and multi-panel fireplace screens reveals that the latter typically utilize framed screen panels and full-length steel pins. These screens provide flexibility in terms of width and length. However, it is important to note that the advertised width should be six inches wider than the actual opening to ensure upright stability. Some multi-panel screens come with spreader bars to prevent accidental screen detachment. On the other hand, single panel fireplace screens with doors are gaining popularity among consumers. This type of screen features an internal frame with one or two operable doors and stabilizers at the base to hold it flat against the fireplace. These screens can remain in place while tending to the fire, and models often come with door handles and magnetic clasps for easy access. For households with children, it is recommended to anchor the screen using hook and loop adhesive strips. It is also advised to order these screens with at least an inch of overlap on all sides of the fireplace, with three inches being the preferred amount.

A coiled steel wire woven into individual panels is used to create a hanging mesh screen, which is a standard feature in manufactured fireplaces and some masonry fireplaces. The woven panels have rings along one edge and are designed to hang from a small rod that is similar to a shower curtain. The screen panels slide back and forth along the rod as needed, but there is no rigid barrier like free-standing screens, which means that they are not reliable for keeping children or pets out of the fireplace or for stopping a rolling firelog from escaping a fireplace grate. When ordering, it is suggested to look for screen panels that are 20 to 30% wider than the actual fireplace opening to ensure that the screen has the proper draped look when fully closed. Another type of fireplace screen is the single panel solid screen, which is similar to a single panel fireplace screen with doors, except it only has a perimeter frame with a single field of mesh screening. These screens are purposely lightweight and easy to move for easy access to the fire. Rumford style screens, on the other hand, are a style of hearth with an opening that is nearly square and consist of a tall perimeter frame and a curved front frame, creating a screen that curves into the room from the fireplace. The fireplace opening should be six inches narrower than the advertised width of the fireplace screen. This allows enough wiggle room for the angle of the panels to ensure the screen remains upright. Some multi-panel screens are available with spreader bars that lock the screen panels in place, preventing children and pets from knocking the screen down accidentally. Single panel fireplace screens with doors are becoming the most popular type of screen for many consumers. This style features a perimeter frame and an internal frame built around one or two operable doors and features stabilizers at the bottom or top.

Fireplace screens that are decorative and lack mesh or have large openings should not be used with wood fires since they are incapable of preventing sparks or embers from flying out of the fireplace. These types of screens are most effective for inoperable wood burning fireplaces or gas fireplaces. They offer an artistic appearance and break up the dark opening of a fireplace that is not being used.

Customers who have an operable wood burning fireplace must have a fireplace screen at all times. Fires pose risks to homes, and burning softwoods or damp fuel logs increases this risk. Such fuels tend to pop and crack, and pockets of moisture sizzle in the flames, causing hot embers to fly in unpredictable directions. A fire screen is the only barrier that can stop these embers. We suggest leaving the screen in place whenever pets or children are in the home, as embers can remain hot for up to 24 hours after the fire has burned out. This is also a good prevention against ash being tracked through the house by pets. While screens of this style are optional for gas fireplaces, direct vent gas fireplaces are required to be sold with barriers, which are a type of safety screen that covers the glass surface. These screens usually attach to the face of the fireplace to provide additional protection for your loved ones or animals from hot surfaces.

When selecting a fireplace screen, it is important to consider some key factors. Firstly, ensure that the screen's legs are thick and sturdy to prevent any tipping. Additionally, check for any gaps between the screen and its attached frame, as sparks could potentially ignite a fire. It is also useful to have side panels that are hinged, allowing for greater flexibility in positioning the screen. However, some screens may not have side panels and are intended to sit flush against the fireplace.

During the operation of a fireplace, it is advisable to leave glass fireplace doors open for the first 15 minutes of the burn to prevent shattering from thermal shock. The glass doors are not affected by flying embers or sparks, but a strong impact from a firelog could break one of the glass panes. However, this should not be a problem if a grate is used and the fireplace is not overloaded with wood. Glass doors have large gaps between the panes to provide enough oxygen to the fire. Sealed glass doors have an air control flap to supply oxygen to the flames. Fireplace screens with handles are convenient as they allow for easy movement to access the fire. It is important to consider screens with handles, especially if the screen does not have hinged doors. The size of the fireplace screen should be slightly larger than the fireplace. For multi-panel fireplace screens, the ideal height should be the same as the fireplace opening, with enough width to cover each side of the fireplace by three inches. The center panel should stand out from the fireplace by at least eight inches to avoid tipping over. For single panel screens, there should be at least one inch of coverage on the top and both sides, with three inches being ideal. Hanging mesh screens should be ½" shorter than the height of the screen rod attached to the fireplace floor. The width should be 20 to 30 percent greater than the fireplace opening width. It is essential to verify if the hanging rings are included in the height of the screen panel, as they can be ½" to 1" tall, and if they are not included, the mesh panel curtain could drag to the floor.

Installation of fire screens, whether they have doors or not, is usually straightforward. Most screens can be placed in front of the fireplace without much difficulty. However, some screens may require a small amount of assembly.

When properly maintained, fireplace screens have a long lifespan. Cleaning them once per season can prevent build-up and maintain their appearance for many years.


Frequently Asked Questions About Fireplace Screens

Q: Are there fireplace screens available that can prevent chilly drafts from entering when the fireplace is not being utilized?
A: A full glass enclosure is required for that purpose.

Q: Does the presence of a glass screen reduce the amount of heat emitted by the fire?
A: The presence of glass doors reduces the heat in a room. To achieve maximum heat retention while also ensuring protection from sparks, sliding mesh curtains are the most suitable choice.

Q: Do the screens provide protection against pests such as bats, birds, squirrels, and others that could enter the chimney?
A: Barrier screens are designed to sit in front of the fireplace opening in a home in order to prevent sparks from escaping. However, they do not provide protection against pests. To address this issue, installing a chimney cap that includes a mesh screen may be helpful.

Q: My gas fireplace has an opening that measures 27 inches in height. Is it appropriate to use a screen that is exactly 27 inches tall, or would a larger screen be more suitable?
A: Typically, a standalone screen will be slightly taller than the fireplace, but this ultimately depends on personal preference.

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