How to Install Glass Fireplace Doors
Retrofit your wood-burning fireplace with the safety of glass doors
A cozy fire on a cold night is a delight. But it loses its charm when you must wait for it to burn out before heading to bed. A wood fire left untended isn't safe. Unlike a gas fireplace, which can be switched off, the only way to leave a wood fire is to close it off with glass doors.
Most new fireplaces come with glass doors. But if you want to add this safety feature to an existing fireplace, retrofitting them isn't difficult. The doors come in standard sizes that fit in any flat firebox opening.
We asked Justin Calemmo, of Five Sons Chimney Service in Brookfield, Connecticut, to show how to retrofit new doors on an old fireplace. Our 1848 fireplace has a surround that's undersized, so the glass doors make it safer by blocking the fire from the too close wood floor and mantel.
Glass Fireplace Doors Overview
Installing a fireplace door is simply a matter of fitting the door unit into the firebox opening and attaching it to the masonry. The process is fairly simple when you're dealing with a squared-off brick firebox. If you have a firebox made of rough-textured material, such as fieldstone, you won't be able to use a standard door because it can't overlap the opening's edge.
If you're dealing with an older fireplace, you'll want to be watchful when drilling into the brick, in case it's brittle.