Fireplace Screens Review
We spent over 38 hours researching and testing 15 different kinds of fireplace screens and found that design, materials, and functionality were most important. The Plow & Hearth Crest Fireplace Screen with working doors scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. When you first see this fireplace screen it may look too pretty to be used, but that is one of the great things about it. The wrought iron construction and beautiful design look wonderful in front of any fireplace. The two working doors allow you to access the fire without having to move the screen. It is the perfect screen to keep your floors and carpets safe from sparks.
Introduction to the Fireplace Screens
A good quality fireplace screen has two uses; improving the look of your fireplace and protecting the floors and carpets from stray sparks and rolling logs. There is a huge selection of choices available that include bowed, single panel, three panel, glass and much more. There are fireplace screens that are purely decorative and for use only when there is no fire burning, and screens that are for use with even the biggest roaring fire.
If you have a wood burning fireplace you should never have an active fire without using a fireplace screen. The purpose of this buyer’s guide is to help you learn what is necessary to sort through the different choices so you can choose the best one for your fireplace. There are several things that you want to consider while you are searching for the right fireplace screen. All the information you need is in this buyer’s guide.
Fireplace Screens Summary
Fireplace screens are a necessary accessory for anyone who has a wood burning fireplace. Even though they can provide a beautiful accent to your hearth, they also serve the very important function of protecting pets, children., carpets, floors and other furnishings from excessive heat and sparks that could fly out of the fireplace.
With all of the different screens on the market deciding on the right one for your fireplace can be really difficult. The top three fireplace screens we have reviewed above are great choices for decorating the hearth of your fireplace while protecting it and the surrounding area as well.
If none of the featured fireplace screens appeal to you, read the buyer’s guide below to learn about the different types of screens and how you can use the right information to sort through all the choices available to make the best decision for your needs and preferences.
Fireplace Screen Comparison
Plow & Hearth
|Dark Green |
|35.50 x 26.75 x 3.60||0.50 x 44.00 x 34.00||52.00 x 32.00 x 2.14||43.50 x 1.00 x 31.00||2.00 x 27.20 x 32.20||52.00 x 1.00 x 31.00||28.90 x 50.00 x 1.70||48.00 x 1.00 x 32.00||31.00 x 52.00 x 0.50||28.00 x 8.75 x 29.00|
Fireplace Screen Buying Guide
There are several things you need to consider before you purchase your fireplace screen. We have listed these considerations below.
- Long lasting materials – Choose a fireplace screen made from a material that fits your home well. The metal mesh screens allow a lot of heat to get into the room but still protect the floors and carpets from sparks. Glass fireplace screens can be beautiful but they are only for use in front of a fireplace when it is not lit or the glass could crack and break.
- Complementary Style – Flat stationary screens give your fireplace a very streamlined look. Designs that have hinged sides allow the screens to be adjusted so you can have more of a customized look.
- Top Handles are Best – If you think you will be adjusting your fireplace screen often, look for a model that has top handles. This allows for safer and easier movement. Most screens have doors that can be opened so you can access the fire without moving the screen.
- Fireplace Screen Size – Select a screen that provides plenty of coverage in both height and width. This ensures the best protection and safety.
The Proper Fireplace Screen Size
Fireplace screens are a protective barrier against sparks flying out of the fireplace and damaging carpets and floors. Because of this important job you want the screen to be at least 3” to 5” taller and 10” to 12” wider than that fireplace opening. If you are covering a fireplace opening that has an arch, measure the tallest point of the arch. If you are covering an extra large fireplace you may need to have a custom fireplace screen made. There are decorative fireplace screens that you can get for your fireplace also. These are most often used in the summer to give the fireplace a finished look when it is not in use. Decorative screens are not designed to be used in front of active fireplaces.
Choosing the Right Fireplace Screen
There are several steps that are involved in choosing the right fireplace screen for your fireplace. We have listed these steps below so you can get organized and ready to start searching for the perfect fireplace screen for your needs.
- Set Your Budget – There is a large selection of fireplace screens to choose from. These screens can vary in price from the very inexpensive, $20-$30 dollar models to the high dollar $100 to $300 dollar models. Decide on what you want to spend for your fireplace screen. You don’t want to go “cheapest”. There’s nothing wrong with setting a budget but you get what you pay for when it comes to quality. Give yourself a budget that will allow for models that are good quality and constructed well.
- Measure Twice – Choosing the right size fireplace screen for your fireplace is important. If the screen is too small it will not keep sparks inside properly and your floors and carpets could become damaged. Every fireplace screen on the market will have the dimensions listed. Compare your own fireplace’s dimensions with what the description says to ensure that the screen you are considering is the right size for the opening.
- Sizing Guidelines – When measuring for a flat fireplace screen, make sure that the screen you are considering overlaps your measurements by 1” to 4” on both the top and sides. If you are considering a folding fireplace screen look for models that are 3” to 4” taller than the tallest point of the opening and 10” to 12” wider. This will enable your stand to remain standing on its own. The guidelines for a gas fireplace
- Select Your Preferred Style and Materials – Once you know what size screen you need, now you need to consider the style and materials you want for your fireplace screen. You will be able to choose from models that range from 1 to 5 panels, decorative screens, screens with a lot of scrollwork and other decorative features and many more options. Fireplace screens are available in a variety of materials and finishes as well including brass, copper, wrought iron, bronze and others. Consider the style of your living room or den when looking for a fireplace screen. This will help you choose a screen that fits in well with your current décor and not look out of place. There are fireplace screens that fit decorating styles from traditional to contemporary.
Decorative versus Functional
Throughout this buyer’s guide we have mentioned two types of screen styles; decorative and functional. There are fireplace screens that are decorative only that are created to cover the fireplace during the off-season or when the fireplace is not being used in the winter months.
Decorative screens can be made of all kinds of metals and glass as well. Care must be taken with the glass screens since they cannot be closer than 2 feet when the fire is active. It is safest to move the glass screens away from the fire completely just to be safe that they don’t crack or shatter from the heat.
The Importance of a Spark Guard – A spark guard provides much more protection from flying embers and sparks than a traditional fireplace screen. The difference between a spark guard and a fireplace screen is that the spark guard completely covers all areas of the fireplace to prevent sparks from flying out anywhere. Some fireplace screens can have small gaps that sparks can get through.
A fireplace screen will add security and safety to the area around your fireplace. You should never build a fire in the fireplace and not have it covered and protected by a good quality fireplace screen.
In addition to adding a large amount of safety to having a fire in the fireplace, screens add a decorative element that can add a lot to your living room or den. (Or wherever your fireplace is located) A beautiful fireplace screen can transform a regular fireplace opening into the focal point of your room.
With so many choices and options it can become overwhelming to figure out which options you want, and what style to choose. The information in this buyer’s guide is designed to make this process much easier and eliminate the confusion.
The top rated choices are a great place to start and provide you with a good selection of fireplace screens that are decorative yet fully functional as well. The knowledge you have acquired from this guide will enable you to make the best decision possible on a fireplace screen that will last a lifetime.
- Plow & Hearth – http://www.plowhearth.com/
- Uniflame – http://www.uniflame.com/
- Panacea – http://www.panaceaproducts.com/