When entering a home for the first time, one of first things that you notice is the location and design of the fireplace. After the kitchen and master bathroom, the sitting room, hearth room, family room or the den, whatever you would like to call it, is one of the most important rooms in the home. And of course, the fireplace is usually the focal point of that room. This is why it is so important to be sure that this vital feature in your home receives the proper attention to detail it describes. The final detail in the process of fireplace design is the item that covers the fire box.
While there may be other alternatives that are available, most people will choose to utilize either fireplace doors or a fireplace screen to address this most important detail. Both of these solutions provide a decorative function that will definitely satisfy your desire to enhance the appearance of your fireplace. Either choice will involve time and research as you pour over the many different models, styles and colors that you will find in a modern fireplace shop or home improvement center. While each are vital additions to your decor and both perform a similar function, there are some differences to consider.
In addition to being a decorative item, doors on a fireplace serve to primarily prevent the loss of heated or cooled air in a room from escaping up the chimney when the fireplace is not in use. While some people also leave their fireplace doors closed when a fire is burning, this is definitely the exception and not the rule as this prevails the majority of the heated air from entering the room. Most people will leave the doors open during use and close the screen that is attached to the inside of the doors so preventing sparks or burning embers from escaping out into the room.
A free-standing firewall screen performers many of the same functions of the fireplace doors, such as blocking flaming embers and sparks from entering the room, and preventing logs from rolling out of the fire box and onto the floor. However, the screen does nothing to prevent the escape of heated or cooled air when the fireplace is not in use. Many people feel the fireplace screens are more attractive than doors and if you share the same opinion, you will need to decide if you are willing to sacrifice the energy savings for a more attractive overall look in your fireplace design.
No matter the choice you make, either of these items will help keep your family safe as you enjoy the warmth and beauty of a rip-roaring fire. They will also satisfy your need to provide that finishing decorative touch to one of the most important features of your home.