Glass Fireplace Doors
Glass fireplace doors can add to the beauty of your home fireplace while helping you save money and increasing your safety. The idea behind a glass fireplace door is simple. You want to be able to see and enjoy the fire in your hearth while being protected from sparks and floating ash.
If you have small children or pets, a glass fireplace door adds in a necessary layer of protection to keep the little ones from getting too close to the fire. Young children can be attracted by the dancing quality of the flames and may be lured in. The glass fireplace doors will allow them to observe those flames without being hurt by them. Even adults can be entranced by the magical quality of flickering fire and glowing embers. The doors serve as a reminder to them as well that the fire is to be approached cautiously.
Sometimes, while a fire is burning, a spark can shoot out from the embers. Or a bit of flaming ash can be wafted up by the draft. Without any barrier between your living room and the fire, these sparks and ashes can be a bit dangerous. Sometimes they don't want to head up the chimney but out onto the carpet. The carpet might catch fire. And even if it doesn't, you don't want fine ash being ground underfoot into your living room rug.
Glass fireplace doors do more than provide safety, though. They help you control the size of the flame. Once the fire is going, you can close the glass fireplace doors to limit the flow of air. Since fire needs oxygen in order to burn, limiting the air supply has the effect of limiting the size of the fire. You don't want a dangerously hot, roaring flame in your hearth. The glass fireplace doors help you achieve the gently flickering fire that you can warm up in front of with safety.
For this to work properly, you need a set of glass doors that include a damper. Without a damper, the only way to control the air flow is by shutting the doors partially or all the way. You may not want to leave the doors partially open, but you may find that shutting them all the way produces a weak flame or even causes the fire to go out. A damper will allow you to open and close a controlled portion of the door that is hidden from view (and thus shielded from you) but open to air flow. A glass fireplace door should include an easily operable damper at the top, at the bottom, or sometimes in both locations.
Glass fireplace doors should open fully to allow easy access to the inside of the hearth. They ought to slide easily along their rails or rods so that it doesn't take a lot of strength to get them opened or closed. When you're less than a foot from a roaring fire, the last thing you want is to make jerky or violent movements to wrench the doors open or shut.
Finally, we come to the question of beauty. You don't just want your glass fireplace door to function. You want it to look good and to show off the look of your fire. Most doors will be made of tempered glass with no design. You don't want to look at the door itself, but through the door to the fire. Brass trim around the edges, or black or silver will have an elegant framing effect. If you want to add a touch of elegance, the trim can be formed as an arch rather than a rectangle. This will add a pleasing design touch without obscuring the fire that is being framed by the doors.